Food service workers at the Wallingford school district were holding their first membership meeting as new Sublocal 92 of amalgamated UE Local 222 on March 12, 2020, when they learned that the schools they worked in were being closed for an indefinitely amount of time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
UE NEWS Updates
A new agreement negotiated by Local 221 with Northeast Kingdom Community Action (NEKCA) will bring significant wage increases for workers at this Head Start agency which serves Vermont’s northeast counties, one of the poorest parts of the state. The most underpaid workers will see increases of up to 28 percent.
As COVID-19 cases dropped in the early summer, and before the surge of the Delta variant in late summer, UE’s two elected regional presidents took the opportunity to get out and visit locals in person.
State workers who were on the front lines through the pandemic are frustrated at the current budget proposals coming from both chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly.
“I’ve worked here for 22 years and have the scars to prove it,” said Licinia Ochoa, a machine operator, explaining why she “jumped into” the UE organizing campaign at the Refresco bottling plant. “I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what I did all these years.”
“CJ Automotive has been crying poverty and demanding cuts and concessions for years.This time we said no more, we stuck together and fought off concessions, won wage gains and eliminated the two-tier wage system. Now we’ll spend this year building for our next contract.”
UE Local 683, whose members process and transport scrap metal, ratified a one-year contract extension on Saturday, July 24. Negotiating with an exiting employer amid the recent sale of their plant, and with a majority of their members on layoff since last March, the local secured a $1,000 lump sum for all bargaining unit employees and took zero concessions.
Over the past several months, UE Local 150 chapters have waged campaigns which won wage increases for municipal workers in cities across North Carolina. Although the state of North Carolina bans collective bargaining in the public sector, Local 150 members circulated petitions, held press conferences, and spoke at city council, winning significant improvements for municipal workers.
Over 2,500 graduate workers at the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University are making history as the first graduate worker unions to seek recognition in the state of New Mexico. They are also the first large bargaining units to unionize under New Mexico’s new “card check” union laws for public-sector workers, which provide for union recognition after a majority of workers have signed cards indicating their desire to join the union.
Meeting over Zoom on June 10 and 11, the UE General Executive Board reviewed a proposal for a program to encourage the development of rank and file members from racial and ethnic backgrounds who are currently underrepresented in UE leadership or on the UE staff. The program would help members to gain experiences and develop skills to attain higher leadership positions, and to seek employment on UE staff when openings become available.
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