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UE News Updates

UE Mourns Passing of Ricky Maclin, Leader of Republic Windows Occupation

11 May, 2015

Melvin “Ricky” Maurice Maclin, vice president of UE Local 1110, leader of the historic six-day factory occupation of Republic Windows and Doors by Local 1110 members in December 2008 and founding member of New Era Windows Cooperative, died on May 5, after being diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer in early April. He was 61 years old, and died surrounded by family in his Chicago home. The steady stream of visitors was a testament to the impact he had on so many lives and our movement for justice. 

UE and Zenroren March Against Nuclear Weapons

28 April, 2015

On Sunday, April 26, UE Young Activists and other UE members participated with thousands of other people in a march in New York City for a nuclear-free, just, and sustainable world. This year is the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. The United Nations holds a conference to review the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty every five years, since the treaty went into effect in 1970.

Local 279 Members Ratify Settlement at Weir After Long Fight Including Three-Week Strike

24 April, 2015

After a years-long struggle culminating in a militant three-week strike from November 20 to December 16, the members of UE Local 279 at Weir Valves and Controls, have reached a settlement with their employer which includes the resolution of many outstanding disputes and the ratification of a new contract. Members ratified the settlement on March 6.  The new three-year contract provides wage increases of 1.5 percent, 2 percent and 2.5 percent and stops the company’s attempt to roll back several contractual protections.

Local 896/COGS Wins Milestone Agreement On Reimbursing Fees for Graduate Employees

22 April, 2015

At the end of a tough seven-month battle, fought with creative tactics and enthusiastic membership involvement, UE Local 896 won a new two-year contract with the University of Iowa that achieves partial reimbursement of student fees and extends 100 percent tuition scholarship to graduate employees in the College of Education. The contract also provides wage increases of 1 percent the first year, 3 percent the second year; blocks concessions sought by the administration; and lowers health premiums for single parents.

Women's History: How Young Women Shook Up GE in the '70s

27 February, 2015

In the 1970s, salaried women workers at Erie GE fought important battles for workplace equality, including two strikes in 1974 and ’75 in which they demanded equal pay for equal work. The participants in these struggles were predominantly young women, and they were influenced by the ideas of the feminist movement as well as by UE’s long-established principles of equality and rank-and-file unionism.

School Custodians, Maintenance, Groundskeepers Win Largest Wage Increase in Many Years

24 February, 2015

Before contract negotiations began, the members of Local 222, Sub-local 9, the New Fairfield Board of Education custodians, maintenance and groundskeepers, told their bargaining committee they needed significant wage gains. Their hourly wage rates were several dollars below those of comparable Connecticut school districts. Thanks to a strong committee and a unified membership, they were able to achieve that goal and settled a new four-year contract that runs through June 2018 and delivers the largest wage increases seen by this unit in many years.

Saying "Our Lives Matter", Tulip Workers Fight and Win

20 February, 2015

UE Local 1135 ratified a new four year contract with the Tulip Corporation on December 22 after a contract campaign that included membership mobilization and a vote to strike.  The battle became heated over raises and health insurance as well as fair treatment in the workplace.  The auto parts company committed several unfair labor practices (ULPs) during bargaining, including unilaterally changing the health insurance.  

Local 896-COGS Stop Concessions, Ratify Contract with Important Gains

20 February, 2015

UE Local 896-COGS (Committee to Organize Graduate Students), the union of graduate teaching assistants and research assistants at the University of Iowa, ratified a new two-year contract this week. They blocked the university's efforts to take back much of what they'd gained in past contracts, and instead made important gains in many areas, thanks to membership involvement.

Black History Month: Ernest Thompson, UE Pioneer in Fighting Racism

13 February, 2015

During his years as a local union officer and as a UE organizer, union members nicknamed Ernest Thompson “The Train” because of his ability “to deliver” in negotiations. In 1943 Thompson came out of his shop, American Radiator in New Jersey, to become the first African American organizer on the UE staff. In March of 1947 he took a leave from the national staff to become business agent for UE Local 427, and he was elected vice president and later executive secretary of the Hudson County CIO Industrial Union Council.

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