Frank Rosen, who served as president of UE District 11 for 14 years and whose UE membership and activism goes back 65 years, died November 28 in Chicago at age 91. Rosen made tremendous contributions to improving the lives of UE members and all workers, as well as to the peace, civil rights, and consumer rights movements.
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UE News Updates
UE Local 1021 members reached agreement on a new contract with their employer KRACO Enterprises on June 8, the day after the California primary election. The two-year includes hourly wage increases of 60 cents each year, improved job security language, retirement benefits, improved work schedules etc.
On October 1, members of UE Local 140 overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year agreement with Locke Insulators, Inc. The contract brings pay increases of 2.25 percent, 2.5 and 2.5, as well as a ratification bonus of $500 for each member. The union also won classification upgrades for the extrusion department, a pay upgrade of $1.14 for the affected workers. There were no major changes in healthcare.
Blue collar employees of the Town of Berlin have a new three-year contract that will run through June 2018. The workers are members of Sub-local 52 of UE Local 222. The union consists primarily of employees of the Public Works Department, golf course, Parks and Recreation, and the town’s custodians.
After three arduous months of bargaining Local 221’s negotiating committee reached a new three-year contract with the Champaign Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) in early February, three months after the expiration of the old contract.
I recently attended a two day conference on food justice in Bridgeport, Connecticut, one of the most marginalized cities in the middle of one of the richest counties (Fairfield County) in America. Bridgeport seemed a fitting place to hold the conference; a place rich with racial and cultural diversity going through the all too unfortunate struggles of poverty and gentrification. Statistically, 18.4 percent of the residents live below the poverty line, and Fairfield county is the most “economically uneven region” in America.
The members of Local 269 reached a contract settlement with their employer, Erving Paper, in record time and a day before the April 30 expiration of the old contract.
Field Organizer Omar el-Malah died in his sleep on June 26 at age 39. Doctors gave the cause of death as acid reflux.
He joined the UE staff in 2003, with previous experience working for several other labor unions. His primary assignments in UE were in New England and the Mid-Atlantic area, although he frequently worked in other parts of the country to assist UE campaigns.
After a tough round of negotiations, UE Local 610 members on May 4 approved a new three-year agreement with their employer, Wabtec. Wages will increase 50 cents each year, and there is a slight increase in the night shift differential, from 85 cents to 90 cents. For workers at the rubber plant in Greensburg, the union won an increase in the set-up rate from $17.84 to $18, before the general wage increases were added.
UE Local 716 has gained 50 new members through National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) elections at two rail yards in Ohio. Local 716 is the new statewide local of rail crew van drivers in Ohio employer by Hallcom (formerly Renzenberger.) These two wins bring to seven the number of rail yards represented by the Local 716. The NLRB counted the ballots on June 13.