UE’s 76th Convention: The Union for Everyone Looks to the Future

October 23, 2019

Under the slogan, “UE: The Union for Everyone,” delegates from UE locals across the country met in Pittsburgh from August 25-29 for UE’s 76th National Convention. UE members made several historic decisions: unanimously endorsing Bernie Sanders for President, becoming the first union with significant manufacturing membership to endorse the “Green New Deal,” and reaffirming UE’s long-held support for single-payer healthcare, now commonly referred to as “Medicare for All.”

Organizing Report Demonstrates UE in “Fighting Shape”

October 23, 2019

“We live in dangerous times,” declared UE Director of Organization Gene Elk as he introduced the organizing report to the Convention on Monday afternoon. “The National Labor Relations Board, which was originally established to help organize unions, has been turned over to the union-busters that seek to destroy us” and “income inequality is skyrocketing, as stock prices continue at record levels and good-paying jobs disappear.”

UE Members Take a Strong Stand For Unity and Against Discrimination

October 23, 2019

UE convention delegates debated and adopted resolutions on Wednesday morning committing the union to a strong stand against racism, sexism, and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The resolutions declare that racism “has always been a roadblock to building a strong labor movement,” that “until women have full and equal rights, all workers are held back,” and that “homophobia and transphobia keep us divided and weaken the labor movement.”

Convention Hears Youth Climate Leader, Endorses Green New Deal and Climate Strike

October 23, 2019

Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement, addressed the convention on Wednesday morning. The Sunrise Movement is the youth-led climate justice organization that put the concept of a “Green New Deal” on the political agenda with an audacious occupation of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s office in November of last year.

State Rep. Summer Lee Tells Delegates: “Take the Power”

October 23, 2019

The first guest speaker on Sunday morning of UE's 2019 convention was State Representative Summer Lee, who represents a working-class district southeast of Pittsburgh. She was introduced by Local 610 President Antwon Gibson, who told his fellow delegates that Lee was “leading the next wave of folks that are standing up to fight injustice.” During the nine-day strike against Wabtec last winter, Lee “was there at our rallies, fighting right there with us.” Gibson noted how rare it is for a politician to do that.

Leaders, Young Activists from North American Solidarity Project Unions Join Convention

October 23, 2019

UE’s 76th Convention was joined by more guests from other unions than any other UE convention in recently memory. Leaders and young activists from the other U.S. and Canadian unions that make up the North American Solidarity Project — Unifor, the Utility Workers Union of America, National Nurses United and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union — joined the convention in various capacities, as did Chris Townsend of the Amalgamated Transit Union.