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MAY DAY: The Forgotten Labor Day

April 30, 2007

Most Americans who came of age during the Cold War grew up believing that May Day was some sort of communist holiday, invented by the Russians. Every year on May 1, television news would show us official parades through Red Square in Moscow, the leaders of the USSR standing in review atop Lenin’s Tomb as soldiers marched in formation and tanks and missiles rolled past. Few Americans were aware that May 1 each year was the occasion for general strikes and mass parades by labor union members in other foreign capitals such as Paris, Rome, and Mexico City.

UN Labor Panel Finds U.S. in Violation, Calls for Repeal of NC Bargaining Ban

April 13, 2007

APRIL 3, 2007

In a strongly-worded decision made public today, the International Labour Organization (ILO), an agency of the United Nations, issued an unprecedented call for the United States to “promote the establishment of a collective bargaining framework in the public sector in North Carolina,” and called specifically for the repeal of North Carolina General Statute §95-98, the state law that prohibits public employee collective bargaining.

Wages Increase 10%, Other Gains In Sargent Local 243 Contract

April 13, 2007

UE members at Sargent have ratified a new three-year agreement by a vote of 376 to 30. The agreement includes 10 percent in wage increase over three years, with 3.5 percent in each of the first two years and three percent in the third. The weekly employee share of health care premiums will increase by $5 over the life of the contract. The employee health insurance contribution will be $20 per week in the final year of the contract.

Historic Thousands March in Raleigh For North Carolina People's Assembly and March

March 6, 2007

On Saturday, February 10, over 3,000 people from all over North Carolina joined a People’s Assembly and March in support of a 14-point progressive agenda. That people’s platform included collective bargaining for public workers, living wage, education, health care, housing, environmental justice, immigrant rights, and ending discrimination, racism and the Iraq war. The “HKoJ” (Historic Thousands on Jones Street – the location of the State General Assembly) was sponsored by the State NAACP and over 60 other organizations, including UE Local 150, the NC Public Service Workers Union.

New Local 642 Contract Means 12% Raises in 3 Years

March 4, 2007

Members of UE Local 642 have ratified a new 40-month contract with their employer, Harborcreek Youth Services. The new contract will bring workers six wage increases of two percent each, twice a year starting in September 2007. They will get a two percent raise each September and each March, through March 2010. Employees recently received a four percent raise on September 23, 2006.

Simsbury DPW Workers Ratify 3-Year Contract

March 4, 2007

UE members in the Simsbury Department of Public Works have reached a new three-year agreement, with general wage increases of 3.5 percent, 3.5 percent and 3.25 percent.

The union faced tough bargaining, especially on the health insurance issue. The union ended up agreeing to pay increases in employee contributions 11.5 percent the first year,

13.25 percent, and 15 percent in the third year, as well as an increase in co-pays. Tentative agreements were twice rejected by the members and following rejection,

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