At the end of difficult negotiations in which members conducted a six-week contract campaign, Local 1421 has a new three-year contract with Tree Island Wire that includes a new healthcare plan that drastically reduces workers’ costs.
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UE News Updates
Local 1421 members at Stepan have a new three-year contract with 2.5 percent raises each year. The contract was settled in just two bargaining sessions.
“We really didn’t give anything back,” says Local 1421 President Bryan Martindale. “We made one concession in order to fight off a greater evil.” The company tried to impose a two-tier wage system, calling the lower tier a “training wage.” “They wanted to hire people at $6 less per hour. We beat them on that.”
Georgina Cabrera, a member of UE Local 222, has been named Connecticut Paraprofessional of the Year. On November 14 she became the first school paraprofessional to receive the renamed Anne Marie Murphy Paraprofessional of the Year Award.
On December 5, the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the historic six-day occupation of the Republic Windows & Doors by the members of UE Local 1110, the Republic CEO who caused the sit-in was sentenced to four years in prison.
The ex-boss, Richard Gillman, pleaded guilty in Cook County court to one count of theft for stealing more than $500,000 of the company’s assets. In addition to prison time, he was fined $100,000 by Judge Domenica Stephenson.
After four months of bargaining including two extensions, the members of Local 684 members on November 26 approved a new five-year agreement with The Electric Material Company (TEMCO). The new contract includes yearly wage increases of 1 percent, 2 percent, 2.25 percent, 2 percent and 2 percent. The first raise is retroactive to October 4, the original contract expiration date. Each member will also receive a signing bonus of $1,600.
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.
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.