“I am certain that all men of goodwill are eternally grateful to that section of the labor movement which is working so courageously to end discrimination on the job for all people.” Martin Luther King Jr. letter to UE Director of Organization James J. Matles, November 25, 1957
In the last several weeks, concluding on December 2, some 250 Renzenberger drivers in 14 rail yards in Nevada; Galesburg, Illinois; Ohio and New Jersey voted to join with 950 drivers in California and Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana in a national union contract. The new national agreement raises wages, adds paid time off days, and provides protections against favoritism and unfair discipline, including a strong grievance procedure and the right to union representation.
A little less than six months after voting to join UE, federal contract workers in Lincoln, Nebraska have their first union contract. The five-year agreement was reached in just three days of bargaining, which concluded on October 28, and ratified by the members on October 30. It includes substantial increases in compensation and strong language to protect workers’ rights.
Over 700 members of UE Locals 208 in Vermont and 1008 in California ratified new five-year agreements in votes held between October 21 and 23 – agreements that would not have been possible without the strong activism and solidarity of workers at both USCIS locations.
UE has filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against FCi Federal, the private contractor that now operates the Nebraska Service Center in Lincoln for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), in response to the company’s suspension of three union leaders for their union activity, and failure to bargain in good faith.
Workers at Pittsburgh's East End Food Co-op voted overwhelmingly on September 14 to join UE. The vote in the NLRB-conducted election was 47 for UE, 4 for no union, and 1 for another union.
The final session of the UE 74th National Convention on Thursday morning, August 20, discussed and approved several more resolutions, including "Stop the Dismantling of Public Education", "Build Union Co-ops", "Justice and Peace for the Peoples of Palestine and Israel," "For Peace, Jobs, and a Pro-Worker Foreign Policy", "Defend Civil Liberties", "Support the Family Farmer", "Fight Workplace Closings," "For a Safe and Healthy Workplace, Fix OSHA Now", and "Workplace Struggle."
Wednesday afternoon, August 19 at the UE Convention included discussion and approval of several amendments to the UE Constitution and a few additional resolutions, election of officers, and paying tribute to two longtime UE leaders who will be stepping down and retiring.
The Wednesday morning session of the 74th UE Convention on August 19 discussed and voted on a series of resolutions. Secretary-Treasurer Andrew Dinkelaker also gave a detailed financial report and answered delegates' questions on the union budget.