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63rd National
UE Convention
 

Convention Backs
Reduced Working
Hours Without
Reduction in Wages

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Discussion of the resolution "Control Our Schedules — Shorten the Work Week" ranged from factory to public-sector workplaces.

The resolution had particular meaning to Rick Mong, Local 506, who builds locomotives in Building 10 of General Electric’s Erie, Pa. complex. The company’s goal of placing the plant’s paint shop on continuous operation was universally condemned in recent shop-floor meetings, he said.

"All the things spotlighted and brought to life on this is exactly what we discussed across the floor on all three shifts," Mong said.

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Deb Herman, Local 896

Deb Herman, Local 896, whose local represents teaching and research assistants employed by the University of Iowa, encouraged the public-sector UE members present to initiate a dialogue with their co-workers on working hours.

Teachers, social workers and other UE members who are regarded as "professionals" should insist on their right to control their work hours, she said. "It’s not un-American to say you don’t want to work 60 hours a week," Herman declared.

 

Dan Kelley, Local 893

 

When the management of Cedar County’s care facility insisted on 12-hour shifts, it also insisted on eliminating time and one-half after eight hours. Local 893 refused and made its position stick, reported Dan Kelley. "So we’re working 36 hours a week for more money than we were making before," he said. "If I were the County Board of Supervisors, I’d be scratching my head why I hired that labor relations expert."

Kelley further reported that Local 893 members employed by the State of Iowa in the Child Abuse Investigator/Social Worker III classification won a significant back-pay award, as a result of the state failing to pay time and one-half. The state is refusing to pay, "so we’re in the process of suing the State of Iowa for two years’ back pay for every dues-paying member of the union," Kelley said.


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