From October 13 to 22, a delegation of cooperative workers from Mexico’s Frente Autentico del Trabajo (FAT, Authentic Labor Front) was hosted by UE cooperatives in the Northeast.
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UE News Updates
Solidarity actions and the threat of a strike put enough pressure on Renzenberger to get an improved contract offer, and Chicago-area van drivers represented by UE Local 1177 approved it by a 4-1 margin in balloting last week. The new contract includes better paid time off provisions, more paid break time, more job security protections and other working condition improvements that are not included in the contract covering drivers in California.
UE Local 332 has issued a bulletin to its members, following the end of the contractually mandated 60-day "decision bargaining" over GE's plan to close the Fort Edward plant. The following is the full text of the bulletin.
Jessica Brandon, a mother of three whose 40-year-old husband has had four heart attacks, is the sole wage earner in her family. For the past 5 ½ years she has worked as a healthcare technician at Central Regional Hospital in Butner, North Carolina, one of three state psychiatric hospitals. After paying essential bills for the family, Brandon said, she typically has less than $40 left for the month.
Workers demonstrated in six Southern cities on Friday, November 1 against the prosecution of union activists and other participants in the Moral Mondays movement in North Carolina. The Nov. 1 protests were held in Raleigh, Charlotte and Goldsboro, NC; Charleston and Columbia, SC; and San Antonio, TX, and organized by the Southern Workers Assembly (SWA), a coalition promoting rank-and-file labor activism and organizing across the South, formed at a gathering in Charlotte on Labor Day 2012 during protests at the Democratic National Convention.
Protest demonstrations were organized by UE Local 150 and the Southern Workers Assembly for Friday, November 1 in three North Carolina cities, as well as three other Southern cities. The demand of these rallies: “Stop the criminalization of the constitutional and international human right to protest! Drop charges against Saladin Muhammad and all Moral Mondays arrestees!”
In a report on "decision bargaining" issued to union members on October 21, UE Local 332 reports on meetings with GE representatives on October 16 and 17. The union is fighting against GE's announced "intent" to close the Fort Edward plant and move to Clearwater, Florida.
The company has provided the union insufficient information to properly bargain over this critical decision, and the union on October 18 filed an unfair labor practice charge (ULP) with the NLRB over GE's refusal to provide information.
Exactly one month after GE announced its “intent” to close the Fort Edward capacitor plant, more than 300 people from dozens of unions and the local community rallied in support of UE Local 332’s fight to prevent the closing. The spirited mass picketing went on for two hours, culminating in a rally in which several union and community leaders spoke.
In UE Local 332's latest bulletin to members updating them on "decision bargaining" over GE's plan to close the Fort Edward GE plant, the union charges the company with "stonewalling." The company claimed that Ft. Edward is "non-competitive", but has failed to produce evidence to back up that claim, and has failed to provide information the union has requested. The union describes the paltry information provided by the company so far as "underwhelming."
Read the union's complete bulletin at the link below.
On Wednesday, October 2, members of UE Local 332 in Fort Edward, NY picketed an appearance by General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt in Rutland, Vermont. They were joined by members from other Locals in the Northeast Region, Locals 203, 222, 225, 255, and 274, and 222.