UE Political Action Updates

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UE General Executive Board Condemns the Killing of Palestinian Protesters and Attack on First Amendment Rights

June 11, 2018

The UE General Executive Board, meeting in Pittsburgh from June 5-8, 2018, adopted a statement condemning the killing of Palestinian protesters and attacks on the First Amendment rights of Americans to engage in peaceful protest of Israel's military policies.

UE General Executive Board Calls for Support of the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future (OFF) Act, HR 3671, and the Clean Energy Worker Just Transition Act

June 11, 2018

The UE General Executive Board, meeting in Pittsburgh from June 5-8, 2018, adopted a following statement endorsing and calling for support of the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future (OFF) Act, HR 3671,  and the Clean Energy Worker Just Transition Act.

UE-Backed Candidates Oust Establishment Democrats in Pennsylvania Primary

May 21, 2018

Two UE-backed candidates, both women in their 30s, made history and shook up Pittsburgh’s political establishment by winning primary elections on May 15th against incumbent state legislators. Both of the defeated incumbents are members of the Costa family which has, until recently, played an outsized role in Democratic Party politics in Pittsburgh. Speaking to the UE Eastern Region, Local 610 President Antwon Gibson described the Costas as “a family of politicians who don't do anything for working people.” No Republicans have filed to run in either district.

Bernie Sanders (Re) Introduce la Iniciativa de “Democracia en los Lugares de Trabajo”

May 10, 2018

“Aplaudimos al Senador Sanders y al congresista Pocan por dar vida a esta iniciativa de la WDA”, señaló el Presidente General de UE Peter Knowlton, quien atendía una conferencia de prensa sobre esta propuesta legislativa.  “Los derechos de los trabajadores son valores fundamentales para toda democracia.  Es fundamental que los laborantes una robusta protección legal en sus derechos a la organización, negociación colectiva y acuerdos contractuales, estos son medios para la resolución de conflictos. Esta legislación proporcionará una mayor fortaleza en la protección legal de los derechos esenciales: derecho a la expresión, a reunión y a la organización”.

Bernie Sanders (Re-)Introduces Workplace Democracy Act

May 10, 2018

“We applaud Senator Sanders and Congressman Pocan for filing the Workplace Democracy Act legislation,” said UE General President Peter Knowlton, who attended the press conference announcing the legislation. “Workers’ rights are core values of any democracy. Providing strong uncompromising legal protection for workers to organize, gain a collective bargaining agreement, and resolve conflicts with their employer are fundamental. This legislation will provide workers with stronger legal protections to exercise their basic first amendment rights: to speak, assemble, and to organize.”

UE Welcomes Korean Peace Declaration

April 28, 2018

UE welcomes the “Panmunjom Declaration” agreement between South Korea and North Korea. In the early 1950s, delegates to UE conventions called for negotiations to end the Korean War. In a similar vein, we urge the U.S. government, which along with China will be a party to formal talks to end the war, to pursue the path of peace and diplomacy, withdraw its nuclear preemptive strike policy, and discontinue military exercises in the region involving nuclear strategic assets. UE delegates have consistently supported this approach as part of our convention resolution, “For Jobs, Peace, and a Pro-Worker Foreign Policy.”

Janus v. AFSCME: Supreme Court to decide if the financial impact of public sector collective bargaining is political speech

April 19, 2018

UE General Counsel Irene Thomas attended the February 26 arguments of Janus v. AFSCME at the U.S. Supreme Court.

On February 26, 2018, the long-awaited face-off between the American Labor Movement and the national right-to-work committee took place at the United States Supreme Court. The case: Janus v. AFSCME. At issue is whether public employee unions can collect “fair share” or “agency shop” fees from objecting non-members to defray the cost of collective bargaining, contract administration and grievance adjustment.  Regardless of whether the issue is one of free speech or freedom of association, a principled application of Supreme Court precedent means that plaintiff Mark Janus should pay up for the benefits he takes home on the backs of his dues-paying co-workers.

Defend Lula

April 16, 2018

The “conviction” and jailing of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, leader of the Brazilian labor movement and Workers Party candidate for President in the upcoming election this fall, is a travesty and crime against the people of Brazil and working people around the world. Lula, who served as President of Brazil from 2004-2012, has been jailed by a right-wing, anti-worker government without evidence or proof.

UE President Urges Mexican Senate to Withdraw Anti-Labor Bill

April 12, 2018

UE General President Peter Knowlton sent the following letter today to the president of the Mexican Senate, Ernesto Cordero, asking him to withdraw a bill that would make it harder for Mexican workers to organize independent trade unions. Improving wages and labor standards of Mexican workers is crucial to a North American Free Trade Agreement that improves the lives of working people in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

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