UE stands in full solidarity with the rank-and-file UAW members on strike against General Motors’ corporate greed.
UE NEWS Updates
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.
On Friday, July 26, UE Local 1009 ratified their first contract with their new employer ABB (ASEA Brown Boveri), a Swiss-Swedish multinational corporation headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. This was the local's third set of negotiations during the past year after their previous employer GE sold its Industrial Solutions business to ABB in June of 2018. Local 1009 members repair transformers for the electrical industry and large industrial facilities.
The new contract between UE Local 203 and the Flynn Center will increase wages significantly over four years, addressing a severe problem with retaining employees. Wages for new hires will increase by about 14 percent, and current workers’ wages will increase between 22 and 23 percent.
On July 5 and 6 the Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT), an independent, democratic Mexican union and one of UE’s closest international allies, hosted a forum in Mexico City entitled “Federal Labor Law Reforms: Perspectives and Challenges” to discuss the labor law reforms enacted on May 1, 2019. Manuel García Urrutia, a former leader of the FAT who now holds a prominent position within the Secretariat of Labor, commented that “many of our dreams have been captured in this law.”
Working-Class Heroes: A History of Struggle in Song, by Mat Callahan and Yvonne Moore is a collection of pre-WWII labor songs. The lively, contemporary arrangements are a reminder that these songs were written to bring the union message to other workers in the popular styles of the day. They were part of the organizing process — many of the songwriters featured on this album, like textile worker Ella May Wiggins and tenant farmer John Handcox, were active leaders in their union, and numerous choruses simply urge the listener to join the union or a picket line.
For 650 drivers at Hallcon Corporation, the vote for a new union at the end of August 2018 was a great relief. Drivers in eight states had been put into a fake company-dominated union called NPWU Local 707. Drivers stood up to their do-nothing union as well as their boss and won UE as their new union in an NLRB election. NPWU wasted drivers’ time through the end of the year, and held up certification of UE, by filing fake charges that the National Labor Relations Board would end up dismissing entirely.
After 128 days of tough contract negotiations, including a nine-day strike, 1,700 members of UE Locals 506 and 618 voted to ratify a four-year contract with their new employer Wabtec on June 12. UE members were able to preserve most of the gains that they had won over 82 years of contract negotiations with their former employer General Electric. But it was one hell of a fight.
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