UE NEWS Updates
St. Albans, VT
On January 21 – Martin Luther King Day – Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I) was enthusiastically welcomed by workers at Stanley Associates, who are organizing to become members of UE. The union has petitioned the NLRB for representation elections for 400 workers in Vermont. Two days after the Vermont rally, UE petitioned the NLRB to represent an additional 600 Stanley workers in Laguna Niguel, CA.
Workers at Ralston Foods voted unanimously on January 23 to affiliate their independent union with UE. The vote was 140-0. Just a month earlier, these same workers had voted in an National Labor Relations Board election to leave a do-nothing union that had represented them poorly, and in which they did not have their own local union. By a better than 90 percent margin in the December 19 vote, more than 200 members opted to form the Independent Food Operators. There are 230 members in the new bargaining unit – they produce breakfast cereals.
South Boston, MA
Resisting a frightening list of company concession proposals, and in the wake of layoffs and the movement of some of the shop’s work to Mexico, UE Local 262 members at Cole Hersee – who manufacture electrical and electronic switches and connectors for the vehicle industry – have negotiated and ratified a new three-year contract.
UE Local 1421 members faced a very tough battle in their latest contract negotiations with chemical manufacturer Stepan, and they did not come out of the fight unscathed. But with more membership involvement than ever, they made some important gains and minimized the damage the company was able to inflict.
Making their situation more difficult was the fact that the California UE Stepan members were the last to negotiate after other unions in the company had already been battered into accepting pension freezes, and the other shops had worse health insurance.
The National Administrative Office (NAO) of Mexico's trade pact enforcement agency has issued an immediate call for answers to questions about progress in granting collective bargaining rights to public sector workers in North Carolina.
Local 1174 President Rich Nordholm didn’t get to the UE Convention until the second day, but the good news he brought with him more than made up for his unavoidable tardiness. He was able to report that his local had, over the previous two days, achieved a successful end to the eight-week lockout by their employer, Quad City Die Casting. "We beat the company on all their issues, and now they’re going to have to deal with us," Nordholm told the convention, thanking all the locals that had sent support.
Local 642 has negotiated modifications to its contract with Harborcreek Youth Services that bring improved pay and union protections to therapists who joined the union in May. The local had earlier negotiated a voluntary recognition agreement by which management accepted the therapists’ desire to join Local 642 in its existing bargaining unit, which had consisted of counselors at HYS, a facilty for at-risk adolescents.
UE Local 697 has reached a new three year agreement with Flex-Y-Plan, which raises wages by four percent the first year, three percent the second, and two percent the third year. The settlement was reached on September 18 and ratified by the members on September 19 – the day the old contract expired.
Disability income benefits are raised from $300 per week to a maximum of $350. Employee laid off two weeks or less before a holiday will now receive holiday pay.
Local 120’s bargaining committee reached a tentative three-year agreement with NGK Locke late on September 28. The next day the members ratified the agreement by a large majority. The new contract brings raises of 8.25 percent: three percent the first year, 2.75 percent the second, and 2.5 percent in the final year.
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