Workers at the Lanterman Regional Center in Los Angeles ratified their first UE contract on June 6. The tentative agreement was reached on May 29, just over fourteen months after workers voted to join UE and form Local 1018.
UE NEWS Updates
In May, UE Local 150 President Bryce Carter traveled to Japan to participate in an international conference addressing the privatization of public work entitled “International Symposium on Public-Sector Workers’ Struggles against the Destruction of Public Services under Neo-Liberalism.” Carter was hosted by Jichiroren, the Japanese public sector workers’ union affiliated with UE ally Zenroren.
The conference was held in Tokyo on May 19. Other participants included representatives from Unite the Union in the United Kingdom and the Korean Federation of Public Services and Transportation Workers’ Unions, in addition to many Japanese public sector workers.
From June 9-14, over 40 UE and Unifor members gathered in rural eastern North Carolina for an organizing blitz, reaching out to non-union workers in 10 different workplaces to talk to them about joining the union.
On Thursday, UE Locals 506 and 618 signed a tentative agreement for a four-year contract with Wabtec, to cover 1700 workers at the former GE Transportation facility.
The agreements maintains current wage rates for existing Wabtec employees, and provides for a ten-year progression to full wage rates for all newly hired employees. The company has made a contractual commitment to create new work equivalent to 100 full-time employees by the end of the contract.
Former UE General Secretary-Treasurer Amy Newell will be the featured speaker at the inaugural Florence Criley Luncheon at this year’s UE Convention. The luncheon will be held on Monday, August 26 during the lunch recess.
UE joins the rest of the progressive labor movement in mourning the passing of ATU President Larry Hanley earlier this month.
Hanley addressed UE's 2015 Convention, sharing with UE members his admiration for UE and gratitude to UE for publishing Labor’s Untold Story, which his union uses extensively.
Chanting “One Union, One Tier” and carrying a banner reading “Don't Derail Our Future,” over 50 UE members and allies picketed Wabtec's shareholder meeting in downtown Pittsburgh on Friday, May 17. Wabtec continues to demand a “two-tier” wage structure at the Erie locomotive plant where members of UE Locals 506 and 618 are in negotiations for a new contract.
UE’s General Executive Board met in Pittsburgh from May 8-10 to discuss and approve a budget for the coming fiscal year, review the union’s work, and prepare for the national convention in August.
Retired UE cartoonist Gary Huck and his long-time partner-in-crime Mike Konopacki have produced another book of political and labor cartoons, their seventh: TORN.
Delegates to UE’s Northeast Region demonstrated their commitment to direct action and solidarity on the first day of their council meeting, driving to nearby Greenfield to join members of UE Local 274 who are locked into a difficult contract battle with their employer, Kennametal.
“Workers here bust their backs to give a good product to this company,” UE Northeast Region President Bill Ladd told the spirited picket line and rally, “and the company wants to break their backs by taking every penny they can from them.”
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