As the strike by almost 50,000 General Motors workers heads into its fourth week — with UAW officials reporting that talks have “taken a turn for the worse” — a UE delegation visited the UAW Local 1005 picket lines in Parma, Ohio on Saturday.
UE NEWS Updates
Shortly after UE’s 2017 convention, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico. While most U.S. news outlets lost interest in the story after a month or two, the island has yet to fully recover. In May, Northeast Region President Autumn Martinez spent two weeks on the island as a volunteer, helping to repair homes. The UE NEWS spoke with her in July about her trip and the conditions she found there.
Over the two weeks of their fall membership drive, UE Local 896-COGS volunteers and organizers signed up 40 new members in this right-to-work state. Local 896 represents the graduate employees at the University of Iowa.
Sheila Wanzer, a teaching aide in Winslow and a member of the UE organizing committee at the private contractor ESS, told the UE Convention in August, “We're fighting this battle and we're not giving up until we win!” On Tuesday, September 24, Wanzer and her co-workers voted to join UE in a National Labor Relations Board election.
ESS employs approximately 200 paraprofessionals, bus aides, and after-school aides under contract with the Winslow School District. Winslow paraprofessionals were at one time public employees who had decent wages, benefits, and working conditions as school district direct hires.
UE supports the more than 8,000 nurses represented by National Nurses United (NNU) who are on strike today. Nurses are striking for safe staffing, optimal patient care and improved recruitment and retention at 16 different facilities in Arizona, Florida, California, and Illinois.
In mid-September a UE delegation, including General President Peter Knowlton and rank-and-file members of UE Local 150, joined National Nurses United’s Global Nurses Solidarity Assembly in San Francisco. Nurse unions from 27 countries gathered to address the global crisis of health care and the attacks union nurses are facing throughout the world.
UE stands in full solidarity with the rank-and-file UAW members on strike against General Motors’ corporate greed.
In an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on September 3 and 4, workers at the Willy Street Co-op in Madison, Wisconsin voted by 249-40 to join UE. “We won by a landslide, because we united and worked hard! This is proof that, together, we can affect real positive change, and we will continue to do so,” said Willy Street Co-op worker and organizing committee member Mourning Dove Wochos.
Delegates to UE’s 76th Convention, meeting in Pittsburgh, elected Western Region President Carl Rosen to be the next General President of the union.
Rosen has been a member of UE since 1984 when he joined UE Local 190 in Chicago upon being hired at Kerr Glass. He worked at Kerr for 10 years as a maintenance electrician and served in various positions for the local including steward. During that time he was elected to the UE District 11 executive board and then, in 1990, to the position of secretary-treasurer, at which point he began serving on the UE General Executive Board. In 1994, Rosen was elected as UE District 11 President and went to work full-time for the union. When District 11 was succeeded by the Western Region in 2006, Rosen was elected as regional president, the position he continues to hold today.
UPDATE, AUGUST 15: Local 274 members returned to work at 11pm last night after a successful three-day “warning strike,” and the company has agreed to come back to the bargaining table to negotiate on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
UE members at Kennametal's Greenfield Tap & Die plant in Greenfield, MA are on strike today against the company's unfair labor practices. They are also protesting the company's demands for healthcare concessions, mandatory overtime, and allowing temp workers to do union members' jobs.
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