Even though Local 170 has suffered significant losses with dues deduction being ruled illegal, we have had weekly meetings with members and national staff to come up with plans to re-sign up members. We have also started going into locations to sign up new members, and have had several Zoom steward trainings and an in-person steward and officer training.
UE NEWS Updates
In a written summary of their most recent contract negotiations, the UE Local 792 negotiating committee reported to the members that they “came into these negotiations with a singular focus on getting significant wage increases” — a focus that paid off with increases of almost 15 percent during the course of their new three-year contract.
Local 792 members are food service workers at Wright State University, a public institution, but are employed by the private, for-profit Chartwells, a division of the giant British multinational corporation Compass.
After four days of contentious negotiations, members of Local 274 who work for Kennametal ratified a new contract in late March that keeps health insurance cost increases to a minimum, provides for wage increases far above the company’s paltry proposals, and goes a long way towards eliminating the current two-tier system.
Members of UE Local 243 voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new three-year contract with Sargent Lock in early March. The new contract includes no cost increases to health, dental or vision insurance for the duration of the three-year contract — marking nine years running that Local 243 members will see no increases to their 100-percent company-paid medical plan. Local 243 President Wayne Morrison told the UE NEWS that the company no longer even proposes healthcare concessions.
UE Local 1186 of the Willy Street Grocery Co-op won and ratified our second two-year contract in February, 2022.
As a union, we started strong by involving our membership right off the bat. Before bargaining began, the union organized and sent out a comprehensive survey to all bargaining unit members. Union officers sorted through piles of paper responses to generate the data then used to formulate our bargaining platform. It was important to us to make sure we represented as much of our bargaining unit in our platform as possible.
Custodians for the Glastonbury Board of Education, members of UE Local 222 Sublocal 27, negotiated a new four-year contract this spring that will increase wages by three percent each year. Longevity pay will increase by $25 at 10 years, $50 at 15 years and $100 and 20 years.
The pension will increase by 0.25 percent each year of the contract, and the life insurance benefit will increase from $125,000 to $175,000. Health insurance increases were held to half a percent each year.
Amalgamated UE Local 222’s Sublocal 37 negotiated a new three-year contract covering workers at the Norwich Housing Authority. Wages will increase three percent each year, and the health insurance contributions will remain at 18 percent for all three years of the contract. Pension contributions will increase half a percent for each year.
Members will continue to receive a stipend of nine hours of straight-time pay for each week they are on beeper duty, and will now receive one hour of pay at time-and-a-half when responding to a call.
The new UE Local 275 contract at Viking Kitchen provides wage increases of 50, 55 and 60 cents in each of its three years, with an additional ten cent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in the first year and additional COLAs in the second and third years if inflation continues to be high.
On March 2, members of UE Locals 1008 and 208 employed by the Sciolex Corporation in both California and Vermont held press conferences and picketed to demand that the company be removed from its contract with United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and be prohibited from future participation on federal contracts, due to its failure to respect its union workers. Local 1118, which represents Sciolex workers in Chicago, sent a solidarity photo.
On April 20, 2022, members of the Virginia Beach City Workers Union/UE rallied outside and spoke at the City Council’s budget hearing, demanding that the city provide its workers with living wages and recognition for years of service.
“On this evening we’re standing in unity for change,” said street maintenance worker Eric Ellerbe. He noted that according to a market analysis done by the union, “the midpoint for a maintenance worker is current $9,991 below market average.”
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