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Union Leaders with Communications Workers of America Join President Biden as CHIPS Act is Signed into Law

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The nearly $53 billion investment will create thousands of competitive American jobs and strengthen domestic manufacturing and supply chains

WASHINGTON — Union leaders with the Communications Workers of America (CWA), which represents workers at onsemi, the only union-represented semiconductor manufacturing and final assembly facility in the U.S., joined President Biden in support as he signed the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act into law. The leaders included CWA President Chris Shelton, President of CWA’s IUE-CWA Industrial Division Carl Kennebrew, and Jane Stein, President of IUE-CWA Local 88177 in Mountain Top, Penn., where the unionized semiconductor facility is located.

Among the provisions advocated by CWA, including $200 million towards a dedicated workforce and education fund, the legislation includes key protections to prevent companies that receive funding from turning around and investing in semiconductor production in China instead.

“The signing of the CHIPS Act into law marks a historic win for American workers and will be critical to rebuilding our country’s manufacturing sector and fortifying American supply chains. For too long, the U.S. failed to ambitiously invest in critical chip manufacturing, leaving global trade at the mercy of China’s unfair trade practices. As the only union representing American semiconductor manufacturing and final assembly workers, we understand the need for more investment in U.S. manufacturing and wide-scale competition,” said CWA President Chris Shelton. “This legislation is a significant step towards getting U.S. manufacturing back on the map, while creating sustainable, competitive jobs in the process.”

“I am proud to stand alongside President Biden as he signs into law the CHIPS Act, legislation that will ensure critical investment in semiconductor manufacturing across the country and improve the lives of our country’s essential manufacturing workers,” said IUE-CWA President Carl Kennebrew. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Biden Administration to ensure there are labor protections tied to these federal dollars that will help create good, family-sustaining jobs.”

According to a 2020 report from the Semiconductor Industry Association, U.S. companies account for 48% of the world’s chip sales, but only 12% of semiconductor manufacturing happens in the U.S., down from 37% in 1990.

At the onsemi plant in Mountain Top, Penn., currently the only union-represented semiconductor manufacturing and final assembly workforce in the U.S., workers fabricate semiconductor chips that power the electric vehicle, solar power, battery storage, 5G, medical, aerospace, and smart appliance industries.

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About CWA: The Communications Workers of America represents working people in telecommunications, customer service, media, airlines, health care, public service and education, manufacturing, tech, and other fields.

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