UE NEWS Updates


Ralston Food Workers Unanimously Vote UE

January 22, 2008

Lancaster, OH 

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.

Stepan Workers' Fightback Strengthens Union, Increases Wages

December 8, 2007

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.

Local 1174 Beats Lockout, Limits Temps, Raises Pay

October 17, 2007

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 Adds Therapists to Contract, Wins Raises, Limits on Work Hours

October 17, 2007

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.

New Contract with Flex-Y-Plan Brings 9% in Raises to Local 697

October 16, 2007

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.

Federal Judge Halts Bush "No-Match" Policy

October 14, 2007

On September 17, during the UE National Convention, delegates demonstrated against the Bush administration’s "no-match" policy of ordering employers to fire workers when there are discrepencies in their Social Security records. UE members in Chicago have also joined in protests against the Bush rule and have reached out to unorganized workers who have been threatened by their employers under the policy.



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