The proposed replacement of NAFTA, now known as the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), remains a tool for corporate interests and provides insufficient relief to address the problems for working people embedded in the original agreement. At their core, these trade agreements serve to guarantee corporate investments in foreign countries and stop elected governments from passing measures that might impact corporate profitability while offering no real guarantees to workers in exchange.
UE Political Action Updates
On Human Rights Day, December 10, join UE and unions throughout the world in taking action to support the working people of the Philippines, where trade unionists and activists are facing increasing repression and violence — send a letter to Philippines President Rodrigo Roa Duterte demanding he stop the attacks on union organizations and labor activists.
Retired UE Director of Organization Bob Kingsley joined labor rights activists at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, November 20 to demand justice for recently murdered Mexican unionists, and that labor-rights provisions in the renegotiated NAFTA 2.0 be strengthened before it is sent to Congress.
On Saturday, September 21, members of the Charlotte City Workers Union Chapter of UE Local 150, the National Nurses United, the Southern Workers Assembly, Healthcare Justice NC and others held a picket in front of the Government Center to launch their campaign for affordable healthcare, including passage of the Congressional bill for Medicare for All. They were adding to the numbers of working people, including local and state employees, who see Medicare for All as the way to comprehensively insure themselves and families and to contain skyrocketing healthcare costs.
Last Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Raise the Wage Act, which would raise the federal minimum wage to $15/hour over six years. It would also phase out the degrading “tipped minimum wage” of $2.13 for tipped workers, and ensure that the minimum wage would continue to keep pace with inflation by automatically increasing the minimum wage in line with the median wage increase of all workers.
On June 28-30, UE leaders and staff participated in the 3rd Labor Network for Sustainability Climate Convergence in Chicago. General President Peter Knowlton, Northeast Region President Autumn Martinez, and Western Region President Carl Rosen were joined by Local 506 President Scott Slawson, Local 1177 President Larry Hopkins, and Local 1118 President Delores Phillips.
Weak labor laws, employers’ ability to break what laws there are with impunity, and anti-worker courts and labor boards have made it all but impossible for American workers to organize strong unions. As members of recently-organized UE shops know, it takes a heroic effort to withstand the barrage of company propaganda, captive audience meetings, one-on-one sessions and other techniques that bosses, advised by a whole industry of professional union-busters, use to convince, bully or bribe their workers into staying non-union (and exploited).
Two new bills in Congress would go a long way to redressing this unequal power balance between workers and bosses.
UE members, leaders, and staff attended a packed Labor-Environment forum on Saturday, June 8 at the historic Pump House in Homestead, just outside of Pittsburgh.
Over a hundred local union leaders, members, retirees and representatives of community and environmental organizations spent the afternoon discussing the Green New Deal and how to work together to demand that this be a worker and union centered new deal. State Representatives Summer Lee and Sara Innamorato and US Congressman Mike Doyle were also in attendance.
The 2020 presidential primary and general elections will be of historic importance for workers, our union, the labor movement, and our country. The issues that will define these elections are already becoming clear. Union members and locals need to inform ourselves about the issues and the candidates, their records and visions for the community and the country.
The UE General Executive Board encourages UE members and locals to participate fully in discussions about the challenge of climate change and the eventual replacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy, and participate in the movements and organizations proposing solutions. We have an incredible opportunity to transform our society to a more worker-supportive and community-controlled economy and nation. We must not waste this opportunity.