Members of UE Local 770 ratified a new five-year agreement with Hendrickson International in January. The new contract reduces the years of service required to reach top pay from ten to three. Top pay will increase by an average (among classifications) of 10.3 percent over the life of the contract, while starting pay will increase by an average of 12.5 percent.
UE NEWS Updates
UE Local 1421 members who work at the Stepan Chemical Plant negotiated a new three-year contract in November which secured gains in wages, severance and language clarification while beating back concessions on benefits and health care costs.
The company came to the table demanding that the union give up its right to negotiate over health care changes, and cost increases of as much as 10 percent without a significant raise to offset the cost.
By bargaining together, UE Locals 208, 1008 and 1118 were able to put the best pieces of each contract on the table and leverage upwards, resulting in significant wage increases and improvements in benefits and language for federal service contract act workers.
Members of UE Local 1004 ratified a new three-year agreement with Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital on February 6. The new contract includes wage increases, improvements to differentials and bereavement leave, and significant improvements to the ability of union officers and stewards to carry out their duties so that the local can better represent its members and build the strength needed to win more gains in the future.
As the shameful lockout of Coop Refinery workers in Regina, Saskatchewan enters its tenth week, UE reaffirms our full solidarity with Unifor Local 594. The very right of workers to have an organized voice and a say in their workplaces is at stake in this dispute. We are encouraged by the solidarity shown to Local 594 by their national union and the rest of the Canadian labor movement, and we encourage all US unions to close ranks with our brothers and sisters in Canada to defeat this attack on our rights.
UE Local 221 members who work for the Head Start program at Northeast Kingdom Community Action (NEKCA) ratified a new two-year agreement this fall. The new contract updates the wage scale for the first time since 2002, when workers agreed to freeze the wage scale and only take cost-of-living adjustments in order to help the agency through some difficult financial times.
UE stands in full solidarity with the members of Unifor Local 594 who have been locked out by Co-op Refinery in Regina, Saskatchewan, and the members of Unifor who have come from across Canada to support them. We unequivocally condemn the heavy-handed and aggressive tactics used by the Regina Police, including the arrest on Monday January 20 of Unifor National President Jerry Dias, Western Regional Director Gavin McGarrigle, and other Unifor members.
After running a militant contract campaign which included a one-day strike of their employer, ABB, UE Locals 625 and 626 ratified a three-year agreement on December 21. The vote was held in a crowded room of union members at the American Legion in Mt. Pleasant. The workers, who build high-quality circuit breakers and high-voltage equipment at locations in Greensburg and Mt. Pleasant, had been working without a contract for seven weeks.
Despite the company’s lawyer’s assertion early in negotiations that UE members’ “shenanigans” would have no effect on the outcome of negotiations, it was only at the last moment, with members taking action and the expiration looming, that the company began making wage proposals that members could begin to consider as fair.
Only a couple of months prior to negotiations with the 70 members of UE Local 1161, the manufacturing company Spartek, Inc. lost their second-largest customer. The health insurance industry’s greed compounded the situation, with premiums for the company set to increase by more than 15 percent.
Nonetheless, Local 1161 members demanded a fair contract and wore UE Local 506-inspired t-shirts reading, “The company whispers you can’t handle the storm” and “UE replied, WE ARE THE STORM.”
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