PITTSBURGH -- The United Steelworkers union Tuesday sent copies of a record that has been called an 'anthem for the unemployed' to President Reagan and members of Congress.
In a letter accompanying the copy of 'Steel Mill Blues,' USW President Lloyd McBride told Reagan, 'We urge you to move toward a firm commitment, and then to the actual economic stimulative steps that truly will put America on the mend.'
'Although we as a union are making every effort to resolve certain economic problems within our nation's basic steel industry through the collective bargaining process, there are far greater problems that labor-management bargaining along cannot solve,' McBride told congressional members.
The song, written by Ohio teenager Michael Pickering, describes the plight of an unemployed steelworker who has lost his pride and faith in America and is having trouble feeding his family.
Pickering said the song, produced last year, was written for his uncle, who had been furloughed from the closed steel plant in Midland, Pa., about 40 miles west of Pittsburgh.
At that time, Justin Brown, whose company produced the record, called it an 'anthem for the unemployed.'
With the help of a Pittsburgh television station that publicized the record, approximately 15,000 copies were sold in the area at National Record Marts stores. The proceeds go to steelworkers' food banks in the area.
USW spokesman Russell Gibbons said the union also has distributed 10,000 copies to its district offices across the country.
'Primarily it's a message. We want to get the lyrics around,' he said. 'We think it says a lot, especially to legislators.'