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USW Member Uses Union Plus Legal Program To Stand Up for Workers' Rights

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Lisa Pedersen of Revere, Massachusetts, has been a United Steelworkers (USW) member for 34 years. As “the first girl in [her] area” when she started as a gas leak investigator and repair person for the National Grid, Pedersen is used to being a leader. She is now a “working leader” at the National Grid, and her union loyalty and leadership instincts have particularly shone during the past couple of years.

When a seven-month-long work stoppage began at the National Grid in June 2018, Pedersen was among the few workers to see it coming, having already experienced a work stoppage there years before. “[The newer guys] didn’t change anything about their lifestyle and were really blindsided by it,” Pedersen recalled.

The work stoppage stretched much longer than most people anticipated. Fortunately, Pedersen was able to tap into discounted legal services through the Union Plus Legal Program to advocate for the workers impacted by the stoppage. By chance, it turned out her next-door neighbor was in the network of lawyers involved with the program. “We put forth a law so that locked-out workers could get unemployment,” Pedersen described, in addition to other activism measures.

The Union Plus Legal Program enables union members to get quality legal assistance at an affordable price. Members have a choice of two tiers of legal access: a free program entitling us to a free 30-minute consultation and discounted legal fees, or a premium program offering unlimited legal assistance* for covered matters from a network attorney, for a low monthly fee.

The premium legal program’s open enrollment period lasts until April 30. For members who enroll during the next month, the fee is $19.95 per month. Outside of open enrollment, the cost is $22.95 per month. Learn more at

*Legal disclaimer: This plan does not cover divorce (except a one-hour consultation), child custody, DUI or employment matters. Other exclusions apply, see the plan documents for more details.