in February 2017, Republicans in the Iowa legislature rammed through legislation to gut public employees' union rights. Despite this draconian anti-union legislation, UE Locals in Iowa continue to fight for the rights of public-sector workers.
Leaders of UE and Unifor, Canada’s largest private-sector union, met in Durham, North Carolina on January 11th and 12th, to further develop the North American Solidarity Project and discuss new approaches to organizing. The North American Solidarity Project was created by a cooperation agreement between UE and Unifor, ratified by UE members at the 75th Convention in August, with the aim of revitalizing and renewing the labor movement in both countries.
UE’s General Executive Board (GEB) met in Pittsburgh for three days last week to review the work of the union since the 75th convention and make plans for 2018.
UE Local 155 members who work for M Chasen and Son, fed up with low pay and no health insurance, fought off takebacks demanded by the boss and won wage increases he had said he was unwilling to give.
M Chasen and Son is a family-owned company, and while the company claimed not to be doing well financially at the bargaining table, the family who owns the company is doing very well. UE members felt that they should at least have a decent standard of living while working for such a rich boss.
On the day their contract expired, UE Local 155 members at Portescap all wore red to demonstrate their unity and determination to win a fair contract. With almost all of the workers participating, management quickly got the message and settled the next day.
The three-year contract increases base wages by 3%, 2.75% and 2.75%. The wage progression was also improved so that new employees reach the top pay rate within a labor grade in 12 months rather than 18.
UE Local 250 members ratified a new five-year agreement with their employer, The Hertz Corporation, on Monday, January 15, 2018. Local 250 members drive Hertz rental cars between the company distribution center at Boston’s Logan airport and dozens of satellite locations throughout New England.
UE Local 279 members ratified a new four-year agreement with their employer, Weir Valve & Controls USA Inc., on November 13, 2017. UE 279 members manufacture nuclear valves at the company’s Ipswich, MA production facility.
A UE delegation delivered a message to a Kansas company that has locked out 32 workers at D-J Composites in a small Canadian town.
UE delivered flyers last week to the headquarters of D-J Composites, which owns the Newfoundland facility where aerospace workers, members of Unifor Local 597, were forced out of work and locked out a year ago, on December 19, 2016.
UE Local 170, the West Virginia Public Workers Union, is mobilizing union members, patients and families, and communities throughout the state to oppose the state’s plans to privatize five of the state’s seven state hospitals.
In a state with chronically inadequate rural health care, an aging population, and an opioid addiction crisis, this privatization scheme will degrade medical care, weaken local economies, and hurt communities throughout the region.
On November 29 and 30, UE Director of Organization Gene Elk and Local 506 President Scott Slawson traveled to Geneva, Switzerland to participate in a preparatory meeting to set up a General Electric Trade Union Network, the first international network of unions representing GE workers from around the world.