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UE News Updates

Climate Change and Jobs: Why Are We Talking, But Not Doing Anything About a Just Transition?

22 July, 2016

I recently attended a two day conference on food justice in Bridgeport, Connecticut, one of the most marginalized cities in the middle of one of the richest counties (Fairfield County) in America. Bridgeport seemed a fitting place to hold the conference; a place rich with racial and cultural diversity going through the all too unfortunate struggles of poverty and gentrification. Statistically, 18.4 percent of the residents live below the poverty line, and Fairfield county is the most “economically uneven region” in America.

Local 610 Stops Givebacks, Wins Gains in Tough Negotiations

01 July, 2016

After a tough round of negotiations, UE Local 610 members on May 4 approved a new three-year agreement with their employer, Wabtec.  Wages will increase 50 cents each year, and there is a slight increase in the night shift differential, from 85 cents to 90 cents. For workers at the rubber plant in Greensburg, the union won an increase in the set-up rate from $17.84 to $18, before the general wage increases were added.

Field Organizer Omar el-Malah Dies at Age 39

01 July, 2016

Field Organizer Omar el-Malah died in his sleep on June 26 at age 39. Doctors gave the cause of death as acid reflux.

He joined the UE staff in 2003, with previous experience working for several other labor unions. His primary assignments in UE were in New England and the Mid-Atlantic area, although he frequently worked in other parts of the country to assist UE campaigns.

New Members Join UE in Two NLRB Elections in Ohio

14 June, 2016

UE Local 716 has gained 50 new members through National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) elections at two rail yards in Ohio. Local 716 is the new statewide local of rail crew van drivers in Ohio employer by Hallcom (formerly Renzenberger.) These two wins bring to seven the number of rail yards represented by the Local 716. The NLRB counted the ballots on June 13.

Recently Retired UE Organizer Jim Ermi Dies at 60

28 April, 2016

Retired UE Field Organizer James "Jim" Ermi died Saturday at Virtua Memorial Hospital, Mount Holly, NJ, following a heart attack. Jim served as a UE organizer for 26 years in the Eastern Region and before that, District 1, organizing and assisting UE locals primarily in Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Ermi became involved with UE some 30 years ago as a worker at Stryker Machine Shop in Trenton, NJ, which he helped to organize into UE Local 155. After the union was established in the shop, Jim was elected chief steward.

Member Activism Enables Local 770 to Negotiate End to Wage Tiers

15 March, 2016

By a 2 to 1 margin, with 106 members in attendance, Local 770 voted to ratify a four-year contract  with Hendrickson Truck Suspension that breaks the two-tier wage system the company had imposed in the previous round of negotiations. While it will take 10 years for a new hire to reach top scale, the new agreement provides a pathway to the top for all employees. Ten workers were restored immediately to top wage; these members had been laid off in 2009 and later recalled at second-tier wages, which had cut their pay by $3.57 an hour.

Sargent Workers Win Solid Agreement In Just One Day of Bargaining

03 March, 2016

On February 8, members of Local 243 voted 187 to 5 to ratify a new three-year contract that increases wages and the pension, and maintains the existing health insurance. Maintaining the medical benefits with no increase in costs to workers was one of the most important elements of the agreement, and members were extremely pleased about it. “We’re ecstatic our medical is unchanged,” 27-year employee Gina King told the New Haven Independent.

Another Back Pay Win for Republic Windows Workers, Result of 2008 Plant Occupation

21 January, 2016

Seven years after their six-day sit down at Republic Windows and Doors, which received national and worldwide attention and support, that courageous action of UE Local 1110 has brought them another victory. They will receive two weeks’ back pay from their former employer Republic Windows and Doors.