UE NEWS Updates

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Action and information on COVID-19

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March 20, 2020
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As our nation and our world takes measures to mitigate the impact of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, workers need effective rank-and-file unions more than ever, to make sure workers’ voices are heard as decisions are being made which impact our health, our jobs, and our ability to provide for our families. Visit UE's COVID-19 information page for suggestions for maintaining local union functioning, demands locals should consider making on employers, and highlights of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), which includes measures to cover COVID-19 testing, provide paid sick leave, strengthen unemployment insurance benefits, and keep working people from going without food.

Local 150 Rallies Demand Medicare for All, Union Rights

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March 3, 2020
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UE Local 150 held rallies for Medicare for All and union rights in six cities across North Carolina yesterday, the day before that state’s presidential primary. UE members who work for city governments, the state of North Carolina and the Cummins Rocky Mount Engine Plant were joined members of the Southern Workers Assembly, Raise Up for $15, the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and community supporters in “pickets for health.”

The Forgotten Role of Medicare in Desegregating US Healthcare

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February 28, 2020
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The passage of Medicare in 1965 was a great victory for the US working class. Prior to Medicare, less than half of the elderly had any kind of medical insurance, and most working people struggled to pay for hospitalization and other major medical costs after they retired. Less well-known is the fact that Medicare also dealt a serious blow to racial segregation.

Local 170 Holds President's Day Political Action Day

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February 26, 2020
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UE Local 170 members went to the West Virginia state capitol on President's Day (February 17) to meet with legislators. They checked on the status of bills written by the union, which include pay increases, safer working conditions, and fighting back against privatization of state jobs.

Depart of Highways (DOH) workers wore their neon yellow uniforms in support of a mass grievance they are involved in right now.

Public Campaign Helps Local 255 Maintain Premium-Free Healthcare

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February 13, 2020
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After seven months and more than 100 hours of negotiating, UE Local 255 ratified a new three-year contract in December. Management's initial economic proposals either included no wage increases for employees with five or more years seniority or required that employees give up a paid holiday in order to receive a seven-cent increase.

Hundreds of Concessions? Local 269 Says No

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February 13, 2020
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On the day before their contract expired on May 1, Local 269 and their employer, Erving Industries, were still “miles apart” on contract proposals. Management had come into negotiations with hundreds of proposals to change virtually everything in the contract. They demanded concessions on health insurance, cost-sharing, and retiree benefits, and proposed eliminating holidays, freezing wages, and cutting overtime, report and call-in pay.

Local 248 Holds the Line on Health Care

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February 13, 2020
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Local 248’s new three-year contract for cafeteria workers and custodians at the Old Rochester Regional High School was a textbook case of an informed and involved membership successfully resisting management concessions. Over half of the members came to observe negotiations and would sit at the conference table and participate in the bargaining, demonstrating to management their support for the negotiating committee.

International Solidarity and Collaboration in Erie

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February 13, 2020
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In November, UE Local 506 hosted a tri-national labor solidarity gathering at their hall in Erie, PA. The event, entitled “Overcoming Fear: Creating a Trinational Workers Toolkit,” was organized by UE’s Director of International Strategies Kari Thompson, the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, and the Canadian Steelworkers. Participants gathered from across Mexico, Canada, and the US, including UE allies from the FAT and the CSN. Members of the Local 506 Executive Board participated in the two-day event, as did Young Activist Sarah Vukelich, Local 150. 

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