UE NEWS Features


Inflation, the Cost-of-Living Crisis, and the Danger of Recession

September 27, 2022

The economic situation working people find themselves in right now is, to say the least, confusing. All of us are paying higher prices for the basic necessities of life, especially at the gas pump and the grocery store. On the other hand, as reported in recent UE NEWS updates, many UE locals are negotiating the best contracts they have seen in years, and some locals have even been able to convince their employers to raise wages mid-contract.

What’s going on?

Local 150 Celebrates 25 Years of Struggle

August 26, 2022

Gathering at the historic Franklinton Center at Bricks in the eastern part of the North Carolina, UE’s statewide Local 150 held its 12th biennial convention on August 20 and 21. Nearly 70 delegates and guests gave reports on important victories and struggles across the state, discussed the role of community-faith-labor coalitions in winning broad social changes, and celebrated 25 years of struggle since Local 150’s founding in 1997. Bishop William J. Barber II of the Poor People’s Campaign gave the keynote address.

Seventy Five Years Later, Toll of Taft-Hartley Weighs Heavily on Labor

June 23, 2022

Seventy-five years ago, the labor movement suffered its greatest setback of the 20th Century: the Taft-Hartley Act.

Despite a valiant effort by millions of rank-and-file workers to prevent its passage, Taft-Hartley became law on June 23, 1947 when the Senate overrode President Truman’s veto. Taft-Hartley halted what had been a remarkable decade of progress for working people, tamed union militancy, and set the stage for the long decline of the U.S. labor movement. We are still feeling its effects today.

Refresco Workers Beat Company Union-Busting … Again

June 11, 2022

For more than two years, over 200 workers who bottle Gatorade, BodyArmor, Juice Bowl, Arizona Iced Tea, and Tropicana Juices for Refresco, the world’s largest independent bottling company, have been fighting to secure a measure of justice at work. With their second NLRB election win in less than a year, they are one step closer to winning it.

Worker-Led Campaign Brings Thousands of MIT Graduate Workers into UE

May 7, 2022

In one of the largest NLRB election wins for any union in recent years, 3800 graduate workers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology voted on April 4 and 5 to join UE. The MIT Graduate Student Union/UE (MIT-GSU) prevailed by a margin of almost two to one. Following the decisive 1785-912 victory, the MIT administration indicated their intention to begin bargaining with the union in an email to all graduate students.

“Them and Us” Unionism in the Deep South

February 1, 2022

In the 1930s, as rank-and-file workers in the electrical manufacturing industry were establishing UE in workplaces like the giant General Electric plant in Erie, PA (Local 506) and Sargent Lock in New Haven, CT (Local 243), a union with a similar “Them and Us” philosophy of unionism was building militant, interracial unions in iron ore mines in an area known as “Red Mountain” near Birmingham, Alabama.

A Life in UE: Director of Organization Gene Elk Retiring After 44 Years

October 1, 2021

UE Director of Organization Gene Elk will be retiring at the end of his current term, on October 31. Elk first joined the UE staff in November of 1977, and served the union as a Field Organizer, International Representative, and Secretary of the GE Conference Board before his election as Director of Organization in 2015.

75 Years Ago, NC Tobacco Workers Challenged Jim Crow with “Civil Rights Unionism”

September 3, 2021

September 5 marks the 75th anniversary of a National Labor Relations Board election that took place at the China American Tobacco Company in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. It was the first NLRB victory in eastern North Carolina for the Food, Tobacco, Agricultural & Allied Workers of America (FTA-CIO), part of a campaign that would bring nearly 10,000 tobacco “leaf house” workers, most of them African-American women, into unions.



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