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UE News Updates

Climate Change and Jobs: Why Are We Talking, But Not Doing Anything About a Just Transition?

22 July, 2016

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.

Field Organizer Omar el-Malah Dies at Age 39

01 July, 2016

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.

Local 610 Stops Givebacks, Wins Gains in Tough Negotiations

01 July, 2016

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.

New Members Join UE in Two NLRB Elections in Ohio

14 June, 2016

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.

Recently Retired UE Organizer Jim Ermi Dies at 60

28 April, 2016

Retired UE Field Organizer James "Jim" Ermi died Saturday at Virtua Memorial Hospital, Mount Holly, NJ, following a heart attack. Jim served as a UE organizer for 26 years in the Eastern Region and before that, District 1, organizing and assisting UE locals primarily in Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Ermi became involved with UE some 30 years ago as a worker at Stryker Machine Shop in Trenton, NJ, which he helped to organize into UE Local 155. After the union was established in the shop, Jim was elected chief steward.

Easter Rising 1916: Labor and the Irish Independence Struggle

16 March, 2016

An unexpected commotion disrupted routine in a busy city center on an April morning one hundred years ago.  Armed men commandeered the main post office in a major city in the world’s most powerful empire. One of their leaders interrupted the musings and conversations of those going about their business by reading out a proclamation declaring an Irish Republic.

The Easter Rising of 1916 was underway.

Member Activism Enables Local 770 to Negotiate End to Wage Tiers

15 March, 2016

By a 2 to 1 margin, with 106 members in attendance, Local 770 voted to ratify a four-year contract  with Hendrickson Truck Suspension that breaks the two-tier wage system the company had imposed in the previous round of negotiations. While it will take 10 years for a new hire to reach top scale, the new agreement provides a pathway to the top for all employees. Ten workers were restored immediately to top wage; these members had been laid off in 2009 and later recalled at second-tier wages, which had cut their pay by $3.57 an hour.

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