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Maria Somma



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Background Information

Employment History

Articulated Man

Assistant Organizing Director



Board Member
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance


MD Rep

Web References (51 Total References)

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance [cached]

Maria Somma

Maria Somma is the International Health Care Organizing Coordinator for the United Steelworkers. Somma has had a long history with organizing… READ MORE

Maria Somma, USW ... [cached]

Maria Somma, USW

Solar workers "face the exact same ... [cached]

Solar workers "face the exact same challenges all non-union workers face," says Maria Somma, organizing director for the Steelworkers.

Because the union has yet to take any of its campaigns public, Somma declined to give specifics.
But organizing efforts in the renewables industry face three major challenges: resistance from solar companies and other employers, a geographically diffuse work force, and jobs that are especially vulnerable to outsourcing and relocation.
"An employer is an employer, whether they're an environmentally friendly employer or a polluter," says Somma. She says the Steelworkers have already seen renewables companies roll out the kind of intimidation standard for the private sector in response to union organizing: captive audience meetings, threats of ring and contracts with a slew of anti-union consultants.
Employers can also leverage the threat of outsourcing. "Importing a massive, massive heavy wind turbine from China is still cheaper than producing it in the United States," laments Somma.
"If they want ... public money," says Somma, "these employers should provide good-paying jobs and those employees need to be able to form a union."
Despite the challenges, Kurimski and Somma are optimistic about moving toward an economy that is good for both workers and the environment.

Maria Somma | APALA [cached]

Maria Somma

Health Care Organizing Coordinator for the United Steelworkers, Somma has had a long history with organizing starting with her experience as a teenager where she spent a summer at a women's peace encampment on the outskirts of London next to a US airbase stocked with nuclear weapons. After attending college, Somma transitioned to working with student activists at the University of Illinois. Then she moved to Minneapolis where she worked with mostly low-income families as a community organizer before heading to the Illinois Nurses Association where she became a union organizer. After five years with the Illinois Nurses Association before leaving to take a job with the United Steelworkers where she has worked since 2001. Former President of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Somma is also a member of the Board of Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice and serves as a mentor to younger union organizers.

Executive Board | APALA [cached]

Maria Somma

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