On February 8, members of Local 243 voted 187 to 5 to ratify a new three-year contract that increases wages and the pension, and maintains the existing health insurance. Maintaining the medical benefits with no increase in costs to workers was one of the most important elements of the agreement, and members were extremely pleased about it. “We’re ecstatic our medical is unchanged,” 27-year employee Gina King told the New Haven Independent.
Seven years after their six-day sit down at Republic Windows and Doors, which received national and worldwide attention and support, that courageous action of UE Local 1110 has brought them another victory. They will receive two weeks’ back pay from their former employer Republic Windows and Doors.
On January 12, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Region 6 dismissed an unfair labor practice charge brought by an Israeli law firm against UE over the union’s support of protests against Israeli policies.
“I am certain that all men of goodwill are eternally grateful to that section of the labor movement which is working so courageously to end discrimination on the job for all people.” Martin Luther King Jr. letter to UE Director of Organization James J. Matles, November 25, 1957
In the last several weeks, concluding on December 2, some 250 Renzenberger drivers in 14 rail yards in Nevada; Galesburg, Illinois; Ohio and New Jersey voted to join with 950 drivers in California and Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana in a national union contract. The new national agreement raises wages, adds paid time off days, and provides protections against favoritism and unfair discipline, including a strong grievance procedure and the right to union representation.
A little less than six months after voting to join UE, federal contract workers in Lincoln, Nebraska have their first union contract. The five-year agreement was reached in just three days of bargaining, which concluded on October 28, and ratified by the members on October 30. It includes substantial increases in compensation and strong language to protect workers’ rights.
Over 700 members of UE Locals 208 in Vermont and 1008 in California ratified new five-year agreements in votes held between October 21 and 23 – agreements that would not have been possible without the strong activism and solidarity of workers at both USCIS locations.
UE has filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against FCi Federal, the private contractor that now operates the Nebraska Service Center in Lincoln for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), in response to the company’s suspension of three union leaders for their union activity, and failure to bargain in good faith.
Workers at Pittsburgh's East End Food Co-op voted overwhelmingly on September 14 to join UE. The vote in the NLRB-conducted election was 47 for UE, 4 for no union, and 1 for another union.