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UE News Updates

Member Unity Wins Gains, Not Givebacks, in Freudenberg Contract

10 January, 2017

As their contract expiration neared, the bargaining committee of UE Local 1107 met with their employer, Freudenberg NOK, with a lot at stake. Wisconsin’s 2015 anti-union “right-to-work”, which outlaws union shop language in all new contracts, hung over the local’s head. A lot of new workers had been hired since spring, and almost half the work force was impacted by a divisive two-tier wage system forced on the bargaining unit during the deep downturn in the auto parts business in 2009.

Wage Increases, Language Improvements Negotiated by Local 120 at Locke Insulators

01 November, 2016

On October 1, members of UE Local 140 overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year agreement with Locke Insulators, Inc. The contract brings pay increases of 2.25 percent, 2.5 and 2.5, as well as a ratification bonus of $500 for each member. The union also won classification upgrades for the extrusion department, a pay upgrade of $1.14 for the affected workers. There were no major changes in healthcare.

Pay Raises, Improved Seniority Language In Berlin Blue Collar Workers’ Contract

14 September, 2016

Blue collar employees of the Town of Berlin have a new three-year contract that will run through June 2018. The workers are members of Sub-local 52 of UE Local 222. The union consists primarily of employees of the Public Works Department, golf course, Parks and Recreation, and the town’s custodians.

Climate Change and Jobs: Why Are We Talking, But Not Doing Anything About a Just Transition?

22 July, 2016

I recently attended a two day conference on food justice in Bridgeport, Connecticut, one of the most marginalized cities in the middle of one of the richest counties (Fairfield County) in America. Bridgeport seemed a fitting place to hold the conference; a place rich with racial and cultural diversity going through the all too unfortunate struggles of poverty and gentrification. Statistically, 18.4 percent of the residents live below the poverty line, and Fairfield county is the most “economically uneven region” in America.

Field Organizer Omar el-Malah Dies at Age 39

01 July, 2016

Field Organizer Omar el-Malah died in his sleep on June 26 at age 39. Doctors gave the cause of death as acid reflux.

He joined the UE staff in 2003, with previous experience working for several other labor unions. His primary assignments in UE were in New England and the Mid-Atlantic area, although he frequently worked in other parts of the country to assist UE campaigns.

Local 610 Stops Givebacks, Wins Gains in Tough Negotiations

01 July, 2016

After a tough round of negotiations, UE Local 610 members on May 4 approved a new three-year agreement with their employer, Wabtec.  Wages will increase 50 cents each year, and there is a slight increase in the night shift differential, from 85 cents to 90 cents. For workers at the rubber plant in Greensburg, the union won an increase in the set-up rate from $17.84 to $18, before the general wage increases were added.