In what was a record of only two days of negotiations, UE Local 642 and management at Harborcreek Youth Services (HYS) reached a tentative agreement on Wednesday, March 28. The three-year agreement was ratified overwhelmingly by the members on April 5 and approved by the HYS Board of Directors.
When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came to Memphis, Tenn., in support of striking sanitation workers 50 years ago, he was actually on his way to North Carolina. A few months after his assassination, in August 1968, sanitation workers in Charlotte, N.C., also went out on strike. This inspired many other sanitation worker strikes across the South in 1968, including in Atlanta, St. Petersburg, Fla., and Durham, N.C.
On March 12, UE Local 667 members overwhelmingly approved a new three-year agreement with the East End Food Co-op that will raise wages, lower members’ share of health insurance premiums, and protect the use of legally prescribed medical marijuana.
On the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., UE Local 150 members who work at the Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant in Rocky Mount, NC held a service to commemorate Dr. King and renew their commitment to fight for economic justice for all people at Cummins.
The service was part of a Cummins Inc Workers Joint Day of Action for Affordable Health Care and End to Medical Discrimination, and the workers wore stickers pointing out that the high deductibles for Cummins’ healthcare plan remain so large “they make us sick.”
UE fully supports the striking teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky, and teachers who are contemplating strikes in Arizona.
UE’s Western Region met the weekend of March 24 and 25 in Chicago. Delegates from Indiana to California gathered to share shop reports, assess what the economic and political situation of the country means for working people, and celebrate an organizing victory at the Frank D Lanterman Regional Center in Los Angeles.
Contract Talks Begin Soon
UE is organizing to prepare for contract bargaining with Hallcon this summer 2018
Drivers in many parts of the country are meeting to discuss workplace improvements they want to see in their yards and on their road boards. February and March of 2018, stewards and Contract Support Committee (CSC) members spent time handing out contract surveys to drivers. “My conversations with drivers has opened my eyes”, said Laura Johnson, President of UE Local 1077. “Drivers have good ideas about how to make improvements on the job”, she continued.
The Union also mass texted drivers an electronic form of the survey in order to broaden participation. As this news goes to press, the survey collection is still under way. If you have not filled out a survey and would like to, call your steward or the numbers on the back of this newsletter.
UE Local 255 Vice President Emma Paradis and UE Field Organizer Tara McCauley represented UE at the Trade Unions for Energy Democracy Climate Immersion program in New York on March 7 and 8.
Cummins workers and their union representatives participated in the annual Whitakers MLK Day March and other Martin Luther King Jr. commemorations to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to demand that Cummins stop medical discrimination against workers in its Rocky Mount plant and much of its U.S. workforce.
Drivers across the country who work for Hallcon Corp. have selected their bargaining committees for upcoming negotiations to renew UE’s national contract with the company. "Currently, we have surveys out throughout our different areas and we are having conversations with drivers on the priorities they are willing to fight for," said UE Local 1077 President Laura Johnson.