On June 19, voters in Colombia made history by electing Gustavo Petro as their next president. Backed by virtually all of Colombia’s labor movement, Petro ran on a pro-worker program aimed at reducing inequality in one of the most unequal economies in the world.
UE NEWS Updates
Meeting over Zoom on June 9 and 10, UE’s General Executive Board reviewed the union’s work over the previous five months, including organizing that has brought in thousands of new members, and debated and passed a budget for the upcoming fiscal year (July 2022-June 2023).
When UE General President Carl Rosen, Director of Organization Mark Meinster, and Director of International Strategies Kari Thompson met with a high-level delegation from our Japanese ally Zenroren in June in Chicago, they presented them with a new UE publication celebrating “three decades of Japan-U.S. working-class solidarity.”
The booklet tells the story of how “For three decades, the bond between UE and Zenroren has grown stronger through exchanges, sharing of experience and analysis, support for each other’s struggles and joint efforts to win justice for working people and a peaceful world.”
Local 170 Recording Secretary Leslie Riddle reports that her local is slowly gaining back its membership after the state legislature outlawed dues deduction for public-sector workers — and still fighting for its members.
For the first time since 2018, labor activists from around the country and even some international guests gathered for the Labor Notes Conference in Chicago. More than 60 UE activists were among the conference’s largest crowd yet of 4,000 participants. For many UE members, this was their first in-person union event outside their home local since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of UE Local 1018 will see potential pay increases of almost 20 percent over the next three years, thanks to their second UE contract — plus a one-time bonus equal to three percent of their annual wages. Local 1018 members work at the Lanterman Regional Center, coordinating critical services for individuals with developmental disabilities by providing social work, advocacy, and services that help support their clients as they work towards independence in the community.
On Saturday, June 18, UE members from North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania traveled to Washington, DC to join tens of thousands of people demanding that Congress address the needs of the 140 million poor and low-income people in the U.S. by insuring that everyone has access to livable wage jobs, housing, healthcare, and freedom from discrimination.
Going into negotiations with UE Local 329 in May, Kennedy Valve was demanding concessions. After an unanimous strike vote and action on the shop floor, members won a new contract which will raise wages by 21.65 percent over the life of the three-year agreement, includes many other improvements, and contains none of the concessions the company was demanding.
On May 18, the membership of UE Local 119 ratified their second UE contract with education contractor ESS. The one-year agreement builds on the gains of their first contract with a new paid holiday, paid training, more protections against discipline and discharge, and stronger job posting language.
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