Maintaining Aggressive Rank-and-File Unionism

It is important to maintain functional, democratic rank-and-file unions while protecting the health of our members and doing our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Therefore:

  • We urge all UE locals to take CDC and other government recommendations about meetings and in-person contact very seriously;
    • In accordance with these guidelines, UE urges you to cancel or postpone union social events, fundraisers, and other nonessential union events where 10 or more people would gather for the remainder of the spring.
  • The General Executive Board postponed regional council meetings scheduled for March and April;
  • Locals are strongly encouraged to find ways to continue democratic governance by:
    • Using alternative means of communication such as phone calls, texting, and where appropriate email and social media to keep members informed about workplace issues and union activities;
    • Using alternative means to meet and make democratic decisions, including conference calls, video conferencing, and online voting;
    • Seeking the assistance of UE national staff as appropriate to assist with the technology described above.
  • The national officers have encouraged the union’s field staff to minimize travel and non-essential in-person meetings.  Grievance meetings should be held by conference call whenever possible.  We recommend that locals explore short-term extensions of expiring contracts wherever possible;
  • Due to the order by the governor of Pennsylvania closing most workplaces in the state, the UE National Office staff is working remotely and can be reached via email or through voicemails left at the national office phone number; 
  • We encourage UE locals to monitor the UE website for further updates on recommended actions.