UE NEWS Updates


Despite Heavy Layoffs at Graham, Determined Members Defeat Concessions

March 19, 2009

UE members at Graham Packaging have been hard-hit by the economic downturn, with two-thirds of them laid off, some since September. Yet when the company came after them in negotiations with a determined attack on their pension, healthcare, and their civil liberties, Graham workers responded with a high level of unity and militancy, and turned the tide of battle.

UE Local 170 Makes News Protesting Big Raise for Governor, Pay Freeze for Workers

March 9, 2009

UE Local 170 has been making news in West Virginia and nationally, and in the words of one local TV station, “making waves” over the state’s double standard on pay.

The local is protesting the fact that Governor Joe Manchin is about to receive a 58 percent pay increase while withholding raises for state workers. The union’s fight on behalf of public employees was the subject of a segment on CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight program on February 27.

Vice President Biden Praises Agreement To Reopen Republic Windows & Doors

March 4, 2009

The sale of the former Republic Windows and Doors Company to California-based Serious Materials has been finalized with the approval of the bankruptcy court. Serious Materials also reached agreement with UE Local 1110, ensuring that all former Republic employees will be rehired at their former rate of pay, and that UE will continue to represent workers at the factory.

Strong Community Campaign Wins Healthcare For Wallingford School Paraeducators

February 25, 2009

For the 190 paraeducators in the Wallingford Public Schools, the fight for health benefits started long before the recent round of contract negotiations began last July. In a contract survey conducted months earlier by their union, Sub-local 75 of UE Local 222, over half of the members said that gaining healthcare coverage – which their employer had never provided them – was the most important bargaining goal.

UE Site Voted "Labor Website of the Year"

February 25, 2009

UE’s website has been voted “Labour Website of the Year,” by users of LabourStart, the global labor news site based in Britain.

LabourStart has conducted the competition every year since 1997. Trade union websites from around the world compete and individual union members vote online to choose is the very best union website. This year’s winner was announced on February 11.

Motor City Labor Welcomes Republic Workers' Victory Tour

February 11, 2009

A crowd of 400 Motor City labor activists gathered at the IBEW Hall in Detroit on February 9, including the presidents of the Michigan AFL-CIO State Federation and of the Greater Detroit Labor Council. Members of the United Auto Workers (UAW), Steelworkers (USW), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), AFSCME, Musicians (AFM), American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) participated. This was the ninth stop on the two-week Republic Workers’ Victory Tour.

Trumbull School Sub-local 21 Raises Pay 13% Over Four Years

February 10, 2009
The members of Sub-local 21 of UE Local 222/CILU who work as supervisors for the Trumbull Board of Education have ratified a new four year contract. Members will receive a 3.25 percent general wage increase retroactive to July 2008, and a 3.25 percent wage increase each year though June 2012.

The employer and the union also agreed to consolidate various stipends that had been paid annually to certain members, which resulted in significant equity adjustments for food service and transportation positions.

Workers Win Wage, Benefit Gains in Second UE Contract at Stepan

February 10, 2009

UE Local 155 members at the Stepan Company, a chemical manufacturer, voted to approve, on December 12, the company’s final offer for a new three-year agreement. The new contract increased wages by 2.75 percent (retroactive to November 28), and will bring two additional raises of 2.5 percent each on November 28, 2009 and 2010. Workers in the classification of blended operators received an additional 50 cent and hour equity increase. The average hourly wage prior to the new agreement was $27.24.

Bailed-Out Bank Helps Stir Business Opposition to EFCA

January 29, 2009

Not only are recipients of the federal bank bailout using some of that money to pay big executive bonuses and to buy corporate jets. Some of them are also using that money – which is really our money – to attack unions and organize business opposition (including soliciting political contributions) against the Employee Free Choice Act, a bill that would make it easier for workers to organize.



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