UE NEWS Updates

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Local 150’s 10th Statewide Convention Reviews Local Gains, Global Struggles

August 21, 2018

Workers from cities around North Carolina, the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the University of North Carolina and the Cummins Rocky Mount Engine plant gathered at the Teamsters Hall in Raleigh on August 18 and 19 to celebrate Local 150’s 20 years of struggle and to plan strategy for the next two years.

The Question of Unity: A UE Leader’s Lessons About Building People’s Power

August 21, 2018

The legendary Ernest Thompson was a rank and file UE leader in New Jersey, the first African-American on UE’s national staff, and the national secretary of UE’s Fair Practices Committee (FPC). A new edition of Thompson’s autobiography Homeboy Came to Orange: A Story of People’s Power, co-written with his daughter Mindy Thompson Fullilove, was published this year by New Village Press.

Homeboy Came to Orange tells the story of time in UE, but also his organizing for “people’s power” in the segregated northern city of Orange, NJ, where Thompson became active in community organizing after leaving UE. Beginning with a fight to desegregate the schools his daughter attended, Thompson built organizations which increased the political power of working-class African Americans in their city, based on a program called “A New Day for Orange” that addressed urban redevelopment, unemployment, improving the school system, civil rights, recreation and representative government.

Taiwanese Workers Win Back Pay from GE

August 21, 2018

Earlier this summer, UE participated in a “friends of the court” brief in solidarity with Taiwanese workers seeking compensation for being exposed to toxic chemicals at work. On August 16, the Supreme Court of Taiwan ruled that 262 workers at an RCA plant are owed compensation by the company. RCA’s assets are now owned, in part, by General Electric. The total amount of compensation for these workers is about $18 million.

General Executive Board Meets, Issues Statements on Climate Change, Palestine

June 11, 2018

The UE General Executive Board met in Pittsburgh from June 5-8 to review the union’s work and finances. They heard reports on the union’s organizing work, deepening relationship with Unifor, and work building international links between GE workers. After an extensive review of the union’s finances, the board passed a budget to carry the union’s work forward.

New Chicago Local Wins Paid Sick Leave, Wage Increases

June 1, 2018

Newly formed Local 1117 recently completed contract negotiations. The workers, who work at Ailey Solar, selling and installing residential and commercial solar power systems, voted unanimously to approve the new agreement. Workers are entitled to paid sick days for the first time, wages increases of $1.75 per hour, and guaranteed minimum work hours each week. The workers also won increased protection of bargaining unit work, additional employer-paid educational benefits and an agreement from the company's owners to explore transitioning the company to a worker-owned cooperative.

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