“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 NEWS Updates
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.
A number of features of the current recovery — somewhat higher inflation and the perception of a “worker shortage” — are being used by employers and many Republican politicians as arguments to roll back unemployment compensation and block further stimulus.
From March 20 through June 9, the North American Solidarity Project (NASP) held the Worker Power Online Exchange series. Each event was a Zoom webinar featuring rank-and-file workers from UE and our NASP partner unions, as well as a few notable guest speakers.
UE Local 222, which represents a wide variety of school and municipal workers throughout the state of Connecticut, settled a number of contracts this spring.
Sublocal 80 has negotiated a new contract covering custodians, administrative assistants and food service workers who work for the Woodbridge Board of Education.
The theme of the 77th UE Convention, to be held from September 19-23 in Pittsburgh, will be “Leading Through Tough Times.” In a letter to UE locals accompanying the official convention call, UE Secretary-Treasurer Andrew Dinkelaker wrote that this theme “reflects the incredible challenges that UE members, leaders and staff have faced and prevailed over during these difficult times.”
The leadership of UE Local 267, which represents service and maintenance workers at the University of Vermont, had spent months preparing for their next round of negotiations — and then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, leading to what Local 267 Vice President Charity Dugener called an “unprecedented bargaining experience.”
With the employer taking advantage of the uncertainty caused by the pandemic to demand concessions, the local pivoted to protecting, preserving and maintaining their contract.
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