On May 14, workers at Merkle Korff, a factory producing sub-fractional electric motors, voted 41-32 to join UE. Together with the organizing win a few days later at Ferro Pfanstiehl in Waukegan, this brought nearly 120 new manufacturing workers into UE’s ranks in Greater Chicago.
In a tough fight for their second contract as UE members, Local 1110 members at Republic Windows & Doors showed that they still have the fighting spirit that helped them organize into UE in 2004. Workers defeated the company’s regressive bargaining tactics and, in an industry badly impacted by the depressed housing market, won a new three-year agreement that increases their wages by $1.60, and retains the gains they made in their first contact.
A few weeks after settling its contract with Republic Windows & Doors, UE Local 1110 has also reached agreement on a new contract with Ruan Logistics, Republic’s trucking contractor.
Picketing by UE Local 1008 members at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) Center in California paid off in early June when the negotiating committee for employees of lead contractor Stanley reached a tentative agreement with the company on its reorganization plan.
UE Local 150 members in the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are continuing their Mental Health Workers Bill of Rights campaign, and are gaining in both momentum and public recognition.
Workers at Lakewood Engineering and Manufacturing rallied outside the plant on May 29. The demands of the UE Local 1101 members were for jobs, and for a decent package of severance benefits for workers who are about to lose their jobs.
Raleigh - May 29
Over 200 mental health workers packed a public hearing to address the urgent crisis in North Carolina’s mental health system. The hearing, and the rally preceding it, were important steps in UE Local 150’s ongoing campaigns for collective bargaining rights for public employees; a one-year moratorium on the closing of Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh; and a statewide Mental Health Workers Bill of Rights.
Workers at a Chicago-area pharmaceutical factory here voted more than two-to-one for UE as their bargaining representative in a National Labor Relations Board election conducted over two days, May 22 and 23.
The victory came at the unorganized Ferro Pfanstiehl plant in Waukegan. The vote was 25-12. It was the second attempt at unionization at the factory, where workers narrowly rejected UE representation two years ago.