Montrell Steib

Montrell Steib
Atlantic Alumina, Full-time Local Union President
Hometown: St. James Parish, La.
Local Number 5702, USW District # 13
Years as USW Member: 13

What is unusual about your hometown, place of work or job?

I live in the middle of sugarcane fields and swamp in one of the river parishes linking New Orleans and Baton Route. It’s slow. Everybody knows everybody. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Sometimes that’s a bad thing. It’s like a big family.

The refinery (on the other side of the Mississippi River) hires from within the community. I can go to work and see family members, friends, all at one facility. That kind of makes your workplace, your work environment, a little better.

What does this year’s theme, “Everybody’s Union,” mean to you?

I wore a Steelworkers hat on the plane here, and a guy said to me, “I never knew there was a steel plant in Louisiana. I said, “We’re not just steel anymore. We just signed football players. We have everybody.” Our name says “Steel.” But it’s everybody.

What issues will be important when your Local’s contract expires?

For me, it’s going to be safety. We have an older plant with maintenance issues. We address issues as they come up, but we need to add stronger language to our contract and fight it on that end as well.

What’s your go-to dance move?

The two-step. You can’t go wrong with the two-step. You just rock it.

Every leader has a good tune to walk out to when introduced. What’s your walk-up song?

“The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers

Who would you most like to have dinner with, and why:

I would like to sit down with International President Tom Conway, former President Leo W. Gerard, Vice President at Large Roxanne Brown and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer (and former USW Vice President for Human Affairs) Fred Redmond. Where I’m going, they have the knowledge. I could sit around talking with LeBron James, but what am I going to get out of that? I’m still not gong to be able to shoot a jump shot.

What things have you done or hope to do while you’re here?

Network and enjoy being part of one big family. I came here with one other delegate from my local. But I don’t feel like it’s just us two. You’re not just invited to the convention; you’re part of it.

Have you yet decided how you will put the convention to work when you return home?

Explain the important work of the convention to members who may think “you’re just going to Vegas.” Instead of hearing the ringing of the slot machines, I’m hearing “whereas” from the resolutions a thousand times.

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