Nearly 1,000 graduate workers at the University of New Mexico — a clear majority — have joined United Graduate Workers of UNM/UE, and have petitioned for recognition with the state labor board. But the university administration has filed a motion seeking to strip graduate workers of their right to form a union under state law, reneging on its prior public commitment to respect graduate workers’ right to organize.
UE NEWS Updates
When new managers at Portescap met with the UE Local 155 last fall to begin negotiations for a new contract, they declared their intention to make wages, paid time off, and even overtime dependent on improvements in productivity and attendance. They said they didn’t want to give raises to workers who were just doing “the bare minimum.”
UE Local 155 members who work for M Chasen and Son made it clear that they were willing to walk off the job if they didn’t secure significant raises — and instead they walked away from the bargaining table with a $1/hour raise.
A one-day walkout, followed by a petition and a strike vote making it clear that workers were willing to take action again, brought home a solid first contract for new UE Local 728 at the Kentucky Consular Center at the end of November. Workers ratified the new agreement on December 5.
UE Locals 625 and 626 ratified an agreement on December 11 that will require their employer, Hitachi ABB, to increase the company’s contributions to workers’ health reimbursement and health savings accounts amid new insurance plans being offered in 2021. Added costs of the proposed plans triggered a re-opener in both locals’ contracts which gave them the right to negotiate over the increases and strike if necessary.
On November 19, a dozen women leaders and members of UE participated in the “Advancing Women’s Leadership” workshop hosted by the UExtraordinary Women Caucus. Participants identified the qualities of good union leadership regardless of gender, such as being a good listener and involving other members in advancing union goals. After listing many obstacles that women sometimes face when they contemplate pursuing leadership positions, members discussed ways to overcome these challenges.
A new contract for Simsbury dispatchers, members of Local 222 Sublocal 41, will raise wages nearly eight percent over the course of three years, and adds a new holiday. The new contract, retroactive to July 2019, provides for wage increases of 2.25% in the first year and 2.35% in the second and third years. Improvements were made to holiday pay, and Veterans Day was added as a new holiday.
UE Local 155 members who work at the Stepan Company plant in Fieldsboro ratified a new three-year contract in mid-November that improves time off, clarifies job descriptions, and addresses a number of issues caused by short-staffing.
We are pleased announce the relaunch of the UE International website at www.ueinternational.org. The redesigned site highlights relationships with our many international union partners, and returns access to important tools like our bilingual dictionary of labor terms, available again in both English and Spanish.
Under an agreement in the national UE contract with Hallcon, any group of non-union drivers can organize and come under the contract by collecting cards from their co-workers. If they get a majority of drivers signed up, an independent mediator checks this to a list Hallcon provides, and the workers are then covered by the contract.
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