Third-shift workers at the Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant shut down production last week, winning a reversal of management’s plan to force them onto second shift.
UE NEWS Updates
John Paul Mejia, an activist and educator working with the Sunrise Movement, told delegates to the UE Eastern Region Council meeting last weekend that it is time to “change the definition of normal in society.” The Sunrise Movement is a youth movement dedicated to stop climate change and create millions of jobs in the process, through a “Green New Deal.”
State mental health workers across North Carolina, having worked more than a year through the pandemic, are now demanding relief. Over 700 Department of Health and Human Services workers have signed petitions demanding restoration of hazard premium pay, safe staffing levels, and other safety measures.
Despite the ongoing need to provide care for COVID-19 positive patients in the hospitals and developmental centers, DHHS ended hazard premium payments on January 31.
Despite having negotiated a one-year contract extension in June 2020, the Joint Bargaining Committee unions (UE, IBEW, IAM and UA) representing factory service technicians who work for GE Appliances Factory Services entered into early contract negotiations at the end of January. The unions secured a new 15-month contract with solid general wage increases, a freeze on health insurance costs through December 31, 2022, and other gains.
City employees who kept the city of Charlotte running through the course of the COVID-19 pandemic are now asking city officials to rescue them. The Charlotte City Workers Union, a chapter of UE Local 150, held a press conference yesterday to demand hazard pay, real raises, shift differential and daily overtime.
The city is scheduled to receive nearly $149 million from the American Rescue Plan Act, yet the raises planned in the City Manager's proposed budget do not reflect this.
The American Rescue Plan Act, Bernie Sanders Chief of Staff Misty Rebik told delegates, is “one of the most significant pieces of legislation to happen for the working class in this country” in decades. “And that is because of you,” she added. “That is because of people like you who have been organizing day in and day out for decades now, demanding that we have a government for the people.”
A group of 36 workers at Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania formed UE’s newest local, Local 696, when they voted overwhelmingly to join UE in February and March. “This campaign really helped to boost my morale and excitement for our work,” said Dana Soloff, a community educator. “Everyone was unified and united to advance the mission of Planned Parenthood in providing the best possible services to our community.”
Although their ability to negotiate contracts has been severely limited by anti-union legislation, the members of UE Local 896-COGS are still engaging in aggressive struggle to improve the lives of the 2,000 graduate employees at the University of Iowa. The Local 896’s executive board “has really been ... racking our brains” said Local 896 President John Jepsen, trying to figure out “if we can't get power at the bargaining table, because of the laws in Iowa, where do we get power? The answer of course is membership and organizing.”
John Miles, a member of UE Local 506’s executive board, addressed a “Thriving PA” Town Hall meeting held over Zoom on the evening of March 31. The topic was what the THRIVE Act, a plan to create tens of millions of good, union jobs while addressing the threat of climate change through a Green New Deal, means for the state of Pennsylvania.
UE joins Kilusang Mayo Uno, the independent and democratic labor center in the Philippines, in condemning the murder of KMU National Council member Dandy Miguel and the illegal arrest of KMU National Council member Florentino “Pol” Viuya.
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