In late October, UE Local 690 reached agreement with Kenson Plastics for a new three-year contract, which members ratified by a more than two-to-one margin. The local succeeded in retaining the existing healthcare arrangement, whereby the employer fully pays the premium for single coverage, and employees with family or dependent coverage contribute $75 a month toward the premium.
UE NEWS Updates
Frankilin Park, IL
Local 151 ratified a new contract on October 1 with Aetna Ball Bearing including yearly wage increases of 3 percent, which translates to hourly increase ranging from 50 to 90 cents in the first year, and more in subsequent years. The new agreement freezes worker healthcare costs, increases the pension, and improves job security.
After 16 months of negotiations, Sub-local 11 of UE Local 222, representing Norwich City Hall employees, achieved a three-year contract settlement. The new agreement increases wages each year, by 3.5 percent, 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent. In addition 95 percent of employees also will also receive upgrades which will be implemented incrementally every 6 months and which will bring the average wage increase to 5.6 percent in the second year of the contract. Overall, including the classification upgrades, wage increases will average 3.7 percent a year.
For the first time ever, each department elected its own rank-and-file representative to serve on the bargaining committee.
At Charlotte City Council’s September 2 meeting, its privatization committee presented a recommendation to privatize 25 percent of solid waste services. Most solid waste workers knew nothing about this effort until a few days before the recommendation. But UE Local 150’s Charlotte chapter immediately sprang into action, with Chapter President James Al Locklear speaking to the council against privatization, just before the recommendation was announced.
Early this year on February 4 – just one week after the Ralston production workers voted to affiliate with UE – some of the maintenance workers contacted UE and requested a meeting to find out how they could also join the UE.
Local 222 held its annual convention on September 13, three years after the Connecticut Independent Labor Union-Connecticut Independent Police Union afflilated with UE and became a statewide UE local. Delegates for 17 sub-locals attended.
Delegates to the Western Region meeting on September 27 and 28 discussed the presidential election and the national financial crisis. But there was also time to discuss negotiations and other battles in their workplaces, celebrate the conclusion of Local 1008’s first contract negotiations at USCIS in California (see page 3), and to build support for the tough first contract struggle at Arc Bridges in Gary, Indiana.
In late August, members of UE Local 1008 employed by federal government contractors Northrop Grumman, Studley Professional Services (SPS), and Stanley Associates at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service Center overwhelmingly ratified their first union contracts. The three-year contracts bring pay raises, establishment of basic union rights, better working conditions, and protection against future changes whether or not there are changes in the contractors operating the center.
On September 12 workers at Northrop Grumman at the Vermont Service Center in St. Albans, Vermont voted to ratify their first union contract. The three-year agreement comes after months of struggle by the members of new UE Local 208. Besides solid contractual protections and benefit improvements, it provides 9 percent increases in wages that they employer resisted granting right to the end.
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