UE NEWS Updates

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New Generation Lighting Contract Recognizes Workers’ Worth

November 23, 2021

Members of UE Local 155 who work for Generation Lighting, a warehouse for lighting equipment, ratified a new contract on November 11 with wage increases of four, three and three percent over the next three years. The contract provides for more vacation time, better attendance policies, and limits on mandatory overtime — which was a priority for members of the local.

The new contract will strengthen the union’s ability to represent its members by providing for paid union orientation, and pay for part of the bargaining committee going forward.

Refresco Workers Rally, File OSHA Complaints Over Unsafe Work Environment

November 16, 2021

Workers at the Refresco bottling plant, members of UE Local 115, rallied outside of the plant on Monday, November 15, to demand that the company begin negotiations with their union.

“We protested yesterday because these gentlemen from Refresco have not been able to accept that there is now a UNION at the company,” said Licinia Ochoa, a worker at the plant and Local 155 steward. “That's why we protested and we will do it again.”

Local 115 Members Take on Private Equity Industry in Struggle for First Contract

November 6, 2021

In June, 250 workers at the Refresco bottling plant voted to join UE in a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election, forming UE Local 115. Rather than beginning negotiations for a first contract, Refresco has instead filed a series of frivolous legal appeals.

The new UE members are not simply waiting on the legal process, however. They are taking action in the shop and have been working with the Private Equity Stakeholder Project to reach out directly to investors in Refresco parent companies, including various public-employee pension funds.

IndustriALL Hosts Third Congress Online

November 6, 2021

IndustriALL Global Union, a world wide union federation of industrial manufacturing unions including UE, held its Third Congress as an online event September 14-15. 

The Congress had originally been scheduled to be held in Cape Town, South Africa. In homage to this host country, IndustriALL put together a video on the militant history of South African labor struggles. The video included powerful examples of workers rejecting racism and sexism to build unity to overthrow the apartheid regime.

Delegates Reaffirm Support for Independent Political Action, Medicare for All

November 6, 2021

Convention delegates overwhelmingly approved resolutions on Independent Rank-and-File Political Action and Medicare for All, recognizing, as the resolution on independent political action states, that “We need to continue to fight and organize independently from both major political parties and unite all workers around our class interests as workers.” Both resolutions embody long-standing UE policy.

Delegates Take Strong Stand for Uniting All Workers

November 6, 2021

“It's very important that we unite and come together and have conversations and talk about [topics that] none of us should be afraid to talk about,” said Antwon Gibson, Local 610, speaking on the resolution “Fight Racism.” That resolution, along with resolutions on the rights of women, immigrants, and LGBTQ+ people, passed by overwhelming majorities. The resolutions inspired dozens of delegates to share their experiences and thoughts about the many ways that bosses use differences in skin color, gender, sexual orientation and national origin to divide working people, and how best to fight for working-class unity.

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