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Two Year Agreement  —
Henry Mayo Staff
Gain First Contract

Henry Mayo staff gain first contract!

Only one day before a scheduled strike date, a majority of the nearly 500 employees of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital represented by UE Local 1004 voted to accept the terms of their first collective bargaining agreement. The new UE members had mobilized to show their opposition to an unacceptable "final offer" by the Santa Clarita, California hospital's management in September and worked hard to build community support for a fair settlement The struggle for a first contract grew in intensity in recent months ... ALSO: "Our Work is Not Yet Done" — 75 housekeeping and food service workers employed by ISSI, a subcontractor at Henry Mayo Hospital, as still engaged in their own first-contract struggle ... (12/00)

Concludes 25 Month Struggle —
First UE Contract
Ratified at Glastic

By a margin of more than 95%, workers at the Glastic Corporation plastics factory have ratified their first UE contract, successfully concluding a 25-month struggle which featured protests from Jefferson to Japan. The new pact includes a union shop, a solid grievance and arbitration procedure, limitations on the use of temporary workers, an improved shift differential and many other gains and protections for the approximately 120 workers at the northeast Ohio factory ...

Early Talks Net
Big Gains for Local 243

Sargent Manufacturing workers, members of UE Local 243, have ratified a new contract with the giant, world-wide lock manufacturing company ASSA ABLOY — achieving all of their major goals, and six months before the deadline. Local 243 has been mobilizing its members for a big fight for the past year or so. Both sides knew that negotiations were going to be tough ... (12/00)

World of Work:
World Labor News Roundup

INTERNATIONAL: German Mega-Merger Falls on Last Hurdle - Rift in Canadian Union Movement - ILO Slams Venezuelan Interference in Union - Rolls Royce to Axe 5,000 Jobs - European Union Warns of Need to Raise Retirement Age ... (12/00)

UE Represented in Massive Protest —
School of the Americas:
'Torture U'

School of the Americas: 'Torture U'


More than 10,000 people from all over the Americas gathered at the gates of Ft. Benning to protest the U.S. Army’s counterinsurgency training program and demand the closing of the School of the Americas. More than 3,600 risked arrest by crossing onto the base in a massive act of civil disobedience, and more than 2,100 protestors — including UE members — were arrested and processed. In its 50-year history, the U.S. Army School of the Americas (SOA) has trained some 60,000 Latin American troops in commando tactics, military intelligence, psychological operations and sniper fire. The targets of these military tactics have been labor organizers and religious leaders, students and teachers, peasants and workers ... (12/00)


Rank-and-File Initiative
Secures Bus, Builds Coalition

Other delegates were still on their way home from the 2000 UE Convention when John Thompson, Local 690 was already busy carrying out one of the recently adopted convention resolutions, with a convention speaker in tow ... (12/00)

A Name on a Cross, The Story of a Victim
Protestors who march on Fort Benning carry crosses, each inscribed with the names of victims of graduates of the U.S. Army School of the Americas. John Lambiase became curious about the name on the cross he carried in last year’s protest — Myrna Mack — and took steps to uncover the story. Myrna Mack Chang was Guatemala’s leading anthropologist. She was internationally known for her study of the effects of her country’s civil war on indigenous people ... (12/00)

Upgrades Plus Wage Increases
Light Up Wood River Settlement

Wood River Industries workers, members of amalgamated UE Local 155, have ratified a new three-year agreement. By a vote of 74-55, union members accepted a pact which calls for wage increases totaling 85 cents — plus wage upgrades for 15 of the 26 job classifications. These UE members produce electrical lighting fixtures ... (12/00)

Local 420 Members
Insulate Conditions, Benefits
With Star Porcelain Contract

Star Porcelain Co. workers, members of UE Local 420, have ratified a new three-year agreement. Star workers produce a variety of specialty porcelain electrical insulators. Employees with 20 years of service will see an increase in vacation pay, up one-half percent from 9 to 9.5 percent of their prior year’s earnings ... (12/00)

Local 221 Members Beat
Concessions, Win Improvements

When management at Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) sat down to bargain with members of amalgamated UE Local 221 who work at their Community Action and Head Start programs, they came wanting concessions. The union committee had to repeatedly explain to management that UE members were not going to give away important on the job protections and union rights just because management wanted them ... (12/00)

Local 714 Involvement
In Judicial Race Proves
A Winner for Working People

Local 714 took an active role in the November election for Erie County, Ohio, domestic relations judge, bucking the Democratic Party and disagreeing with the decision of the AFL-CIO. And the UE-endorsed candidate won — demonstrating the effectiveness of the grassroots political action. For these UE members, the race involved issues that all-too-often hit close to home ... (12/00)

District Two Celebrates UE History
— With a Local Angle, Too 

Delegates to the District Two Council meeting here Oct. 20-21 celebrated UE’s 65th birthday in a special way — remarks by Genl. Pres. John Hovis that highlighted the contributions of working people here in this famous whaling port ... (12/00)

Lots to Consider
For District 6 Leaders

Delegates to the District Six Council here Oct. 21-22 had much to say about collective bargaining (mostly successful), shop conditions (mostly busy) and political action (also busy), and heard reports about organizing (lots to do) and the elections (oh, brother!) ... (12/00)

"Electric Valley" History Tour
PHOTO: UE Archivist David Rosenberg describes the artifacts and records housed at the UE/Labor Archives at the University of Pittsburgh to an Elderhostel group who spent Nov. 8 exploring the legacy of "Electric Valley" near Pittsburgh ... (12/00)

District 1 Officers Sworn In
PHOTO: Intl. Rep. Bruce Klipple gives the oath of office to the recently elected officers of District 1 ... (12/00)

Local 924 GE Retirees
Hold Annual Dinner

PHOTO: More than 200 retired members of Local 924 and guests held their annual dinner Oct. 3 ... (12/00)

Worked Hard to Reestablish Haskon  —
Local 204 Settles 'Best
Contract in Decades'

Overcoming the effects of repeated plant sales and bankruptcy on working conditions and unity, UE Local 204 has achieved a come-back contract at Haskon in Taunton, Mass. Local 204 has represented Haskon workers for more than 60 years; in recent years, the members had given a lot to help keep the rubber sealing plant from closing permanently. Now, times are better: business is booming and employment is up. Looking forward to new negotiations, the local leadership made a conscious effort to rebuild the unity that had been the hallmark of Local 204 ... (11/00)

'We Don't Need More Speeches' —
Practice Acts of Actual
Solidarity, Kingsley Tells
International Conference

Speeches and resolutions are okay, but what unions around the world need are acts of real solidarity, UE Dir. of Org. Bob Kingsley told a conference in Hakone, Japan. He backed up this appeal by proposing a bold plan of cooperation between UE and Japan’s militant National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) ... (11/00)

Labor Party Ballot Questions
Approved in Massachusetts

Labor Party-initiated ballot questions on health care and education enjoyed wide support in selected electoral districts on Nov. 7. In one State Senatorial district and in two State Representative districts, voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot question initiated by the Labor Party calling for a single-payer health insurance system for Massachusetts residents. And in six State Representative districts, a Labor Party-initiated referendum calling for an end to required high stakes testing of high school students received 2-to-1 approval ... (11/00)

Dorothy Johnson Wows
Progressive Law Crowd

At a National Lawyers Guild convention workshop Dorothy Johnson brought gasps of amazement, gales of laughter and cheers, as she shared her experiences of being on strike for 17 months, told the story of how the local had blown the whistle on the company during their last set of negotiations, and explained what it means in the UE to be a democratic union ... (11/00)

‘Hands Off Our Health Insurance!’
Say UE Local 223 Members

Local 223 members at General Cable were ready for negotiations. Pres. Fred Garcia had his charts and graphs and the members knew what they wanted and they were united to get there. This year, issues were relatively simple: Maintain the same insurance plan and co-pays, increase the pension and get a decent wage increase ... (11/00)

Smooth Negotiations at
Antioch College Yield Results

Negotiations this year between UE Local 767 and Antioch College "were very, very good," reports Local Pres. Virginia D. Garrette. "This was the first time since ever that we have been able to reach an agreement in such a short time, and without the College having a lawyer," she says ... (11/00)

Industrial Alloys See
Wage Gains, Improvements

Industrial Alloys workers, members of amalgamated UE Local 1421, ratified a contract in early November that will raise wages by a total of $2.16 over five years, increase benefits and improve conditions ... (11/00)

Head Start Workers
Win Fairness on the Job

Over a year after they first organized, Head Start workers in three counties in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont have won a contract that ensures fairness on the job, a process for dealing with overwork, and increases in paid leave ... (11/00)

Halloween Picket Line
Says "Trick or Treat"

PHOTO: On a picket line the night before Halloween, members of UE Local 1004 and the California Nurses Association (and lots of union kids) had a message for management of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Santa Clarita, Calif.: ‘trick or treat.’  ... (11/00)

Local 893-IUP Leaders
Prepare for Bargaining

PHOTO: Leaders of Local 893-Iowa United Professionals meet to prepare for bargaining with the State of Iowa next year ... (11/00)

District One Council
Meeting Has a Lot to Say

Meeting only a few weeks before the November elections, delegates to the District One Council meeting in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., had plenty to say about political action. But there was also considerable attention to pressing union business ... (11/00)

Reports from First-Contract
Struggles at District 10 Council

Two first-contract struggles being waged by the newest local in District 10 created excitement at the district council meeting in the Local 1010 hall in Ontario, California where delegates, among other actions, elected their officers ... (11/00)

District 11 Council
Tackles Health Care

Discussions centered on skyrocketing health insurance premiums as District Council 11 delegates met at the Thunderbird Hotel here Oct. 14-15. UE leaders from around the North Central States looked at the impact premium costs have on contract negotiations around the District, and the political changes union members must demand to make universal health care a reality ... (11/00)

At Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital  —
Local 1004 Seeks
Fairness in First Contract

UE News Online ...

UPDATE: UE Local 1004 and CNA members overwhelmingly reject "final offer"; authorize actions aimed at winning a fair first contract ...

Local 1004 and California Nurses Association (CNA) members, family and friends gathered outside Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital for a candlelight vigil, one of a number of activities in support of the UE local’s campaign for a first contract. Just one week earlier, management made a "final offer" which failed to meet employees’ needs in a number of significant areas and contained takeaways. "Basically we are dealing with the management’s unwillingness to give up their power," says Terry Bucknall, an x-ray technician and negotiating committee member ... (10/00)

Bright Day, Historic Victory
As Berlin Rehab Workers Vote UE

The sun, shining brightly in the mountains hedging this central Vermont town, matched the mood of Berlin Health and Rehabilitation employees as workers’ boisterous cheers and bosses’ tears revealed that employees of the 150-bed, for-profit home had overcome a nasty anti-union campaign and voted for UE representation ... (10/00)

GATX Workers Prevail
In Vote for UE — Again!

The approximately 130 workers at the GATX Logistics warehouse in nearby Hodgkins, Il. voted to join UE for the second time this year, in an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. Employees won the first election but as result of a bureaucratic error on the part of the NLRB, they were forced to face the company in a second election. Given a second chance to beat UE, GATX poured tens of thousands of dollars into consultants and anti-union meetings ... (10/00)

Local 271 Convinces
USM: No Concessions

Going into negotiations with United Shoe Machinery, UE Local 271 members had made it very clear: "Don’t mess with our healthcare, and don’t expect any concessions." The company apparently didn’t get the message — at first ... (10/00)

Local 791 Brings Public Attention
To Nuclear Waste Transport Issue

Wasting no time, UE Local 791 took action this month on the resolution "Keep Highly Radioactive Waste off Our Highways and Railways" adopted by the UE Convention. Local 791 represents toll collectors and maintenance workers on the Ohio Turnpike. The UE local joined with environmental and safety activists to warn that turnpike workers could be vulnerable to cancer-causing radiation if the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is allowed to ship spent fuel from nuclear plant reactors through northwest Ohio en route to Nevada’s Yucca Mountain ... (10/00)

Back Nicaraguan Union —
UE Members Take
Action Against Sweatshops

Union members here and in western Pennsylvania have responded to repression of labor rights in Nicaragua with protests at Kohl’s department stores. Kohl’s is among the major U.S. retailers that purchase clothing produced in Central American sweatshops. Five maquila assembly unions in Nicaragua have been destroyed this year. Companies have targeted the largest and strongest union, which represents workers at the Chentex factory ... (10/00)

Worker-to-Worker Exchange
Builds International Solidarity

INTERNATIONAL: Five UE members participated in an "eye-opening" worker-to-worker exchange in Mexico that fostered international solidarity and increased awareness of shared problems. As Local 1111 member Sue Lukasik observed, "We all have the same problems internationally, with different levels of severity." Hosted by the Frente Autentico del Trabajo (FAT), the UE representatives were part of an international delegation of trade unionists that also included workers representing unions in Quebec ... (10/00)

World of Work:
World Labor News Roundup

INTERNATIONAL: 16 Million European Workers on "Low Pay" ... Chernobyl to Close This Year ... Germany to Abandon Nuclear Power ... Soccer Players Score High in France ...  (10/00)

Local 267 Hosts
Health Care Meeting

Political leaders and other members of the community joined the Local 267 for a slide-show presentation of the Labor Party’s ‘Just Health Care’ plan and a discussion of the health care crisis ... (10/00)

At Democratic and Republican
National Conventions —

In Philly and LA:
UE Marches for Justice

PHOTOS: Protesting corporate greed at both ends of the country, UE members were on hand for both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions earlier this year ... (10/00)

(W)rightly Reinstated
PHOTO: Bruce Moffitt was unjustly fired for poor attendance by Sodexho/Marriott at Wright State University; the boss had improperly counted Moffitt’s time off. But UE Local 792 stuck by Moffitt and got his job back ... (10/00)

UE in Attendance at First
ICEM Women's Meeting

Representatives of UE attended the first-ever meeting of the women’s committee of the International Confederation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM) here on Sept. 26. Participants, who came from seven unions in the United States and Canada ... (10/00)

On a Relay for Life,
And Her Union

is a cancer survivor and committed to the UE local she helped to found nearly three years ago — and those facts go a long way to explain the very obvious presence of the union at the annual Mills County Relay for Life, raising funds for cancer research. "There’s a lot of cancer in Iowa, so a lot of the money stays in the state," Briels says. Relay 2000 raised a total of $59,000 — $1,000.05, thanks to UE Local 865 ... (10/00)

Nader, Rally, Mural —
UE Convention
Electrifies Erie

From the moment the 65th Annual UE National Convention opened in Erie, it was non-stop action as convention activities grabbed headlines and delegates made their way through a tight agenda. Assembled from around the country, delegates heard from speakers of substance, rallied for workers embroiled in a first contract struggle, deliberated on more than 30 resolutions, inaugurated a vibrant, exciting mural celebrating working women and international labor solidarity, acted on constitutional amendments and elected UE's national officers and trustees. In the process, they also reaffirmed UE's historic commitment to militant, aggressive and democratic rank-and-file unionism and aggressive organizing. Here's our coverage of this unique event:


65th Annual UE National Convention —
Rally, Mural, Candidates,
Stewards’ Theme
Give an Edge to the UE National Convention
[Press Release issued 8.25.00]

First Nursing Home Organized in Vermont —
Berlin Health & Rehab
Workers Vote UE

In what may have been UE's hardest-fought election contest of the year, 110 nursing home workers in Vermont overcame not one but two unionbusters to win UE representation at Berlin Health and Rehabilitation in an election held Thursday, August 10th. In doing so, they also made history, becoming the first nursing home workers ever to organize in the state of Vermont  ... (08/00)

GATX Logistics Workers
Vote UE — Again

Defiantly persistent workers in Illinois have refused to be bullied out of their determination to have a democratic, rank-and-file union, by once again voting for UE representation, following an election in April that was marred by bureaucratic bungling  ... (08/00)

Respect — And $2.15
The First Year at Kenyon College

A sizeable wage increase, the absence of a management attorney and a healthy dose of respect for the union made negotiations this year between UE Local 712 and Kenyon College something to remember. "I’ve been here 15 years, and this is the best contract I’ve seen," says Local 712 Pres. Bob Smith. This is only the second UE contract ... (08/00)

Local 865 Reaches
Two Contracts
With Glenwood Schools

Two contracts, described by many UE members here as the best achieved since organization of their local union three years ago, were ratified overwhelmingly by Local 865 members on July 12. The one-year agreements with the Glenwood Community School District cover teacher associates and aides and kitchen and custodial staff ... (08/00)

UE-General Electric
Contract 2000 Ratified


Each time negotiations get more difficult," said Patrick Rafferty, the business agent of UE Local 506, describing what it’s like to bargain with the world’s most powerful corporation. That assessment seemed particularly true in 2000. Despite its publicized intention to negotiate a "fair and generous" contract, GE came to the table with goals that included major cost-shifting in medical insurance and a contract term of five or more years. Through rallies and shop-floor activities, UE members loudly and clearly backed their negotiating committee through four weeks of often tense bargaining ... (07/00)

Independent Steel Union
‘Takes Back Control’
With UE Affiliation

Declaring "it’s time to take back control," members of the Progressive Steelworkers union have decided to strengthen their organization through affiliation with UE. The Progressive Steelworkers union represents the approximately 220 employees of the Niagara LaSalle steel mill here. The long-established union enjoyed a good relationship with management, until LaSalle was acquired by the Niagara Corp. three years ago ... (07/00)

North Carolina Campaign Helps
Win Largest Pay Increase in 15 Years

Solidarity & Democracy in Action ...   

PHOTO: The "UE Campaign for Justice 2000" in North Carolina helped secure the largest wage increase in 15 years for public employees in the state. The Campaign was fueled by the members of UE Local 150, the North Carolina Public Service Workers Union who organized, phoned, lobbied and  petitioned as part of their drive to win decent pay and working conditions ... (07/00)

Wages Up, Health Costs Down
In Local 227 – Adirondack
Community Action Contract

Head Start workers in upstate New York have ratified their third contract with Adirondak Community Action Programs, Inc., as members of UE Local 227. The new agreement contains substantial improvements in wages, some relief on health insurance costs, additional vacation time and important education and training related language ... (07/00)

Union Gets Transportation
Authority Into Gear

Bus drivers and mechanics employed by the Greenfield-Montague Transportation Area, (GMTA), members of amalgamated UE Local 274, have been working since July 1, 1999 without a contract. Until now. They recently realized their goal of significant wage increases in a new contract, following a public campaign aimed at their public-sector employer ... (07/00)

Significant Language, Economic
Gains for Meisner Electricians

Local 888 members have ratified a new three-year agreement with Newton-based electrical contractor Meisner Electric, Inc. at worksite meetings throughout central and eastern Iowa. Through leaflets and regular communications, the bargaining committee kept members at the various worksites informed about the progress — or lack of it — at the table. So when the company failed to move beyond 1 percent wage increases or drop concessions on health insurance, workers voted overwhelmingly to give the committee authorization to call a strike ... (07/00)

Successful Settlement
To Northwest Automatic Strike

Union members at Northwest Automatic Products waged a successful three and a half-week strike to defend their contract and win important improvements. The 100 members of amalgamated UE Local 1139 in Minneapolis demonstrated 100 percent solidarity — not one scab crossing the line. A rally just days before the settlement gave added strength to the strike ... (07/00)

More Respect, Bigger Wage
Increase For UE Members
At Wright State University

Smoother negotiations, no concessions, a number of gains in contract protection, wages and benefits, including a new paid holiday: all in all, good news for UE Local 792 members, food service employees of Sodexho/Marriott at Wright State University. "It turned out better than we expected it to, but we fought hard for it," comments Local Pres. Gwen Talbert ... (07/00)

New Contract Reached
By Local 895, Perry Schools

A new two-year contract between UE Local 895 and the Perry Community Schools effective July 1 increases base pay rates by 45 cents an hour. Local 895 members voted overwhelmingly to ratify the agreement, one of the best in Iowa for school districts of this size ... (07/00)

Local 893-56 Wins Best-Ever
Contract with ADM Schools

Although the Adel-Desoto-Minburn School District will receive only 1.7 percent new money from the state of Iowa next year, the union negotiated a 4.8 percent wage increase. The union presented evidence that ADM had fallen behind on wages when compared with other organized school districts of its size in the area ... (07/00)

Local 893 Members Unanimously
Ratify Urbandale Schools Contract

The Urbandale School District used claims of declining enrollment and skyrocketing insurance premiums in an attempt to bully union members into concessions on benefits, but the UE Local 893-16 negotiating committee stood firm ... (07/00)

Local 893 Members at Storm Lake
Ratify Fact Finder’s Award

The members of amalgamated UE Local 893 employed by the Storm Lake Community School District have approved a fact finder’s recommendation after unsuccessful attempts at reaching a voluntary agreement with the school district ... (07/00)

Greenfield School Custodians
Settle New Contract

Greenfield school custodians, members of amalgamated UE Local 274, unanimously ratified a new two-year contract containing a 3 percent wage increase in each year ... (07/00)

Local 799 Has Productive Meeting
With State Representative

State Representative Jon Peterson met with members of UE Local 799 employed by Delaware City Schools at the May membership meeting and promised to intervene in an ongoing dispute with the employer. Local 799 Pres. Nina Williams and Vice Pres. Shirley Thrush had met with Peterson’s aide during the UE political action day in Columbus Feb. 17. (07/00)

District 2 Council: UE Organizing
In Northern New England

Here on the New Hampshire-Vermont border, where unorganized workers are responding to UE’s message of organizing, delegates to the District Two Council meeting heard first-hand reports of those efforts — and their results ... (07/00)

Free Radio Takes Aim
At Corporate Media

UE NEWS FEATURE: The free radio movement is one that has exploded across the country in recent years. It is estimated that there are currently over 1,000 "pirate" radio stations operating in the U.S. Free radio is largely a response to the growing corporate control of media, and the lack of access to the airwaves for voices of dissent ... (07/00)

As Contract Deadline Nears  —
GE Workers Rally
For Fair Contract
GE workers have been rallying in recent weeks in support of the union’s demands for a decent, balanced and fair new contract with General Electric — including substantial wage and benefit improvements. High levels of in-plant activity, in support of union negotiators, has been reported at all UE-GE locations; here's our report on rallies that have been held in California and Pennsylvania ... (06/00)

UE Moves Forward In
Negotiations With Circuit-Wise

New Contract at Circuit-Wise ...    Members of amalgamated UE Local 299 employed by Circuit-Wise have voted to accept a new four-year agreement with Circuit-Wise. UE members had to let the company know from day one that they refused any givebacks — and they did: through strong, militant and loud rallies both inside and outside the plant, informational picket lines, stickers and buttons, newsletters, honking car horns and blowing loud whistles throughout the shop ... (06/00)

First UE Contract Brings
Change To Highland Schools

Members of the newly formed UE Local 741 at the Highland School District in central Ohio  have unanimously accepted a first contract that contains solid seniority and grievance language, major wage improvements, relief from overstaffing, lower cost for health insurance, and many other gains. These bus drivers, aides, custodians, secretaries, and cooks voted by a two-to-one margin to join UE in October 1999 ... (06/00)

Local 715 Members Gain
With Three-Year Contract

A new three-year agreement with the Edon operations of Simpson Industries, a manufacturer of automobile parts, provides UE Local 715 members with increased compensation and pensions, and creates a skilled trades program that will add work to the bargaining unit. The company came into negotiations insisting it must have a "zero cost contract" ... (06/00)

General Executive Board Meets
For Two Days of Intensive Discussions

After an "exciting four months," UE seems to be "on its way to a better than average year on the organizing front," reported Dir. of Org. Kingsley, as the union's General Executive Board met in Pittsburgh for two days of intensive discussions ... (06/00)

International Solidarity




Globalize Solidarity!
A Rank-and-File Approach

Mexican union members who toured the United States last month helped put the slogan "Globalize solidarity" into action as they met workers, students and other concerned citizens in California, Iowa and Wisconsin, recounting their stories in union halls, universities, churches, community meetings and private homes ... (06/00)

UE Local and Iowa Students
Take a Stand Against Sweatshops

The revival of the coalition between student and labor activists became dramatically evident on the University of Iowa campus this spring as students here became involved in Students Against Sweatshops (SAS). This student movement is pressing university administrations to withdraw from a corporate-dominated factory monitoring group ... (06/00)

Building International
Solidarity In Montreal

Members of Locals 221and 267 joined UE International Labor Affairs Dir. Robin Alexander in Montreal for a conference celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Center for International Workers’ Solidarity (CISO). The UE members compared notes with the Quebecois unionists on bargaining in the education sector, welfare reform, and resisting corporate globalization ... (06/00)


District 1 Council Grapples
With Basic Questions

In word and deed, delegates to the District One Council grappled with how to gain power — in the workplace and in society, to improve the lives of working people — when Mid-Atlantic UE local leaders met here May 6. Delegates took to the streets for a march and rally in support of the Labor Party’s Just Healthcare campaign ... (06/00)

Thanks to UE Persistence,
Iowa Social Workers
Receive Overtime Checks

Carol Watchorn
, a member of UE Local 893, Iowa United Professionals, has reason to smile. She received the largest individual backpay check from the State of Iowa as a result of the overtime settlement negotiated by the union. More than 100 state employees in the Social Worker III classification share in an award totaling in excess of $300,000 ... (06/00)

Good Samaritan Solidarity
On the picket line at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles in a show of solidarity and support for the California Nurses Association ... (06/00)

Lou Kaplan, Veteran
UE Organizer, Dies at 84

Louis L. Kaplan
, an organizer with a reputation for toughness, energy and fast-thinking, died May 6 at 84. He served on the UE staff from 1946 to 1970 as a field organizer and international representative, through years when the union both faced terrific attacks and experienced renewed growth ... (06/00)

Second Victory at Henry Mayo  —

Hospital, Food,
Housekeeping Staff Choose UE

ISSI workers join UE ...

Employees of Integrated Support Solutions Inc. (ISSI), the for-profit subcontractor providing Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital with housekeeping, food and linen services have voted by a two-to-one margin to join UE, less than two months after some 500 hospital employees chose UE representation. The workers cited low wages, irregular raises, unaffordable health insurance, under-staffing and lack of training as their reasons to organize. In addition, they are seeking recognition of their years of service, and greater job security ... (05/00)

Call Issued to the 65th Convention
The 65th UE Convention has been mailed to all local unions and district councils. The convention will take place at the Avalon Hotel in Erie, Pa. from Sunday, Aug. 27 to Thursday, Aug. 31, 2000. Complete convention information can be found year-round on our Convention Information page. (05/00)

Retirees Rally, GE Pension Hike Follows
The hard work and perseverance of General Electric retirees and union members in demanding a pension increase got results as GE announced that a pension hike, the first since November 1996, would go into effect May 1. The company’s announcement came just days after a series of retiree demonstrations ... (05/00)

Bureaucratic Bungling
Temporarily Denies UE Representation

130 workers employed by the GATX warehouse near Chicago are gearing up for a high-profile fightback campaign in the shop and the community to force their employer and old union to acknowledge their UE victory. A Labor Board error has led to legal wrangling over the April 14 election in which UE prevailed ... (05/00)

UE Members Say,
‘Close the IMF, Not Factories!’

For many of the dozens of UE members who traveled long hours and miles to be in Washington, D.C. on April 16, the slogan on the placard proudly carried by Mike Schwertz, UE Local 690 recording secretary, summarized why they were there: "Close the IMF Not Factories." UE had the largest and most visible union contingent among the 10,000 or more gathered in Washington to protest the International Monetary Fund and World Bank ... (05/00)

Union Members from 5 Countries
Pledge Freudenberg Chain Solidarity

Trade unionists from five countries representing several thousand employees of the Freudenberg Group pledged "support and solidarity to each other" in efforts to organize and improve conditions throughout the German-based chain. European workers employed by Freudenberg were shocked and angry by their employers’ anti-union activity, and the long hours of American workers, in meeting with unorganized workers in Indiana ... (05/00)

Tour for Justice
Two Mexican trade unionists toured the Midwest and West last month, to tell their stories of struggle in union halls, universities, churches and community meetings. (05/00)

North Carolina Responds
To Protests by UE Local 150

In response to protests by UE Local 150, a task force appointed by Gov. Jim Hunt last month issued a series of recommendations for elimination of racial discrimination at the Eastern Carolina School for the Deaf ... (05/00)

For CDC Workers, Paid
Holiday Proof of Strength in Unity

Workers employed by Consolidated Diesel Corp. are pressing management for wage increases and other improvements, through the CDC Workers Unity Committee affiliated with UE. They know from their own experience that united action can bring results ... (05/00)

Package Printing Workers Gain 3%
Each Year, Hike in Shift Premium

The members of amalgamated UE Local 264 employed at Package Printing overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year agreement on March 31. The leverage created by the strike three years ago, energetic new shop leadership and a mobilized membership saw negotiations through to a satisfactory conclusion ... (05/00)

As Business Improves, So Does
Local 259 Contract with Atlas

Negotiations between UE Local 259 and Atlas Copco coincided with an upswing in business that allowed for a swift and successful conclusion to bargaining. Total wage increases over three years will average $2.06 an hour ... (05/00)

Rank-and-File Political Action

Pennsylvania UE Demands
New Priorities in Harrisburg

May 8 was not a day for business-as-usual in Pennsylvania’s capitol, as the first UE Political Action Day here in more than 20 years featured both education and lobbying. In more than 30 meetings with lawmakers, the UE members raised their concern about the loss of manufacturing jobs, Gov. Ridge’s attacks on the unemployment compensation system, high prescription drug prices, the lack of affordable health care, privatization and the need for a living wage. Legislator's responses ranged from "outstanding" to absolutely outrageous and cold-hearted ... (05/00)

Bay State Locals Push
Legislative Program

Union members from around the Bay State gathered here on April 25 at the New England Labor Party headquarters for the first UE Massachusetts Political Action Day in many years. Delegates discussed and educated themselves on issues of concern to working people before walking across Boston Common to the State House to lobby their state legislators. In particular, delegates considered the Labor Party campaigns on health care and public education, as well as the workers’ compensation system and paid parental leave. (05/00)

Local 731 Meets
With State Representative

The rank-and-file leaders who attended the UE Ohio Political Action Day in Columbus on Feb. 17 were encouraged to set up meetings with lawmakers back home. Two UE Local 731 members did just that ... (05/00)

(In addition to the stories above, UE Political Action days have also been held this year in Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin and Vermont.)

Local 123  —

'Thumbs Up' To
Contract; Solidarity

Thumbs up ... for Solidarity at UE Local 123 ...

Local 123 members in Verona, Virginia have given "thumbs up" to a new three-year contract, approving the agreement with McQuay International by a vote of 188-88. Throughout the six weeks of negotiations, UE members at the air conditioning plant gave "thumbs up" to renewed solidarity, using the gesture to indicate support for the union’s bargaining goals. Solidarity was strengthened by improved communications, several rallies and meetings and in-shop activity. Concerns about outsourcing and an inadequate retirement plan fueled the Local 123 campaign for a decent contract ... (04/00)

UE Adopts Bargaining Demands
The leaders of UE locals representing General Electric workers have adopted bargaining proposals calling for across-the-board contract improvements from a wealthy, successful company uniquely positioned to pay ... (04/00)

Local 1193 Reports Gains in Contract
With St. Mary’s Nursing Home

Local 1193 reached a new two-year agreement with St. Mary’s Nursing Home on March 20 launching a training program and provides an immediate 4 percent wage increase, as well as raises of 4 percent the first year and 5 percent the second year ... (04/00)

Stalled Talks at Western Dubuque
Schools Conclude with Settlement

After months of stalled talks, UE Local 893 concluded negotiations with the Western Dubuque School District with the assistance of a mediator ... (04/00)

No Detours Here: Cedar County
Road Crew Approves Steady Gains

The Cedar County Secondary Road Crew, members of amalgamated UE Local 893, voted heavily in favor on negotiated contract gains following completion of bargaining. The new three-year agreement includes across-the-board wage increases of 40, 45 and 45 cents, effective July 1 of each year covered by the contract. The wage increases will average 3 percent ... (04/00)

UE Member Beaten
By New York Cops
While Doing His Job

Errol Maitland
, a radio journalist, was doing his job — covering the funeral of yet another unarmed immigrant shot to death by New York police — when he himself became a victim of police assault. Police pummeling put Maitland in the hospital — where he was shackled to his bed and placed under guard. The assault was actually heard live on New York's WBAI ... (04/00)

World Bank Protest
PHOTO: UE boasted a visible presence and the largest union contingent at the April 16 rally against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, D.C. ... (04/00)

Wisconsin UE Members
Demand New Legislative Priorities

Wisconsin UE’s second annual Political Action Day brought UE local representatives to the State Capitol to meet with legislators on a range of issues of vital importance to their co-workers and neighbors. They insisted on a new set of priorities, placing the needs of working people before those of big business ... (04/00)

UE Makes Impression
In Vermont’s Capital

Gathered from all over Vermont for their union’s state Political Action Day, UE members learned about current state issues and lobbied their state legislators for a working-class agenda. Among the workers’ issues before the legislature are raising the minimum wage, giving workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave which could be subsidized by the overfunded unemployment fund, and controlling the price of prescription drugs. By coincidence, Chamber of Commerce lobbyists spent the day in the state capitol as well, arguing for a very different agenda. UE members stood out ... (04/00)

World of Work:
World Labor News Roundup

INTERNATIONAL: Russian Unions Fight Low Pay ... Guatemalan Unions Fight Goodyear ... Irish Unions: Three-Year Pay Deal ... Italy Set to Pass Strike Curb Law ... British Government Lets Down Part Timers, Says TUC ... (04/00)

Essay Contest Builds
Mural Project Awareness

INTERNATIONAL/PHOTO: Erie school children are being invited to participate in essay and poster contests in connection with the Cruzando Fronteras/Crossing Borders mural project. Two internationally known mural artists will collaborate on a mural to be created at the UE Local 506 union hall in August 2000 ... (04/00)

New Local 751 Officers
PHOTO: The officers of UE Local 751 for the year 2000. Local 751 represents workers at General Electric’s Niles and Mahoning Glass lighting plants in Niles, Ohio. ... (04/00)

Al Quinto, 71, Local 212
Leader, Passes Away

Alfred A. Quinto, 71, a long-time leader of UE Local 212, died April 9. Brother Quinto went to work for the Beloit-Jones Corp., a major manufacturer of paper-making machinery, in 1956. There he became a member of UE Local 212, serving the membership for many years as president, and retiring in 1992 ... (04/00)

Loretta Hopke Simmons,
Former UE Organizer, Dies at 88

She traveled the country organizing for UE, and went to jail, at least once, as a result. Julius Emspak, a UE general secretary-treasurer, referred to her as "The Polish Lioness." Long-time friend Frank Rosen says "The world is a better place wherever Loretta passed through." ... (04/00)

Finding Chapters
From America’s Story
In Eastern Iowa

FEATURE: For Czechs and Slovaks, footloose Easterners, African-Americans from the South, Muslims and Jews and many, many others, Iowa was the end of the road, the final destination. That was true, too, for the Native American people best known as the Fox tribe ... Our story is filled with the places you can go to learn more about the peoples who have made the history of eastern Iowa ... (04/00)

'Couldn't Be Anything Better' —
Mayo Hospital Staff
Unites Through UE

Quality Care and Quality Jobs ... at Henry Mayo

Fueled by a growing concern over patient care, understaffing, declining benefits and a five-year wage freeze, the staff at the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Santa Clarita, Calif. votes for UE representation by a nearly four-to-one margin. They had the active support of registered nurses at Henry Mayo, who voted last August to join the California Nurses Association. The approximately 510 employees — licensed vocational nursing staff, technicians in Radiology, Lab and Respiratory, clerks and support staff — represent roughly half the hospital’s total work force.  Here's the story ... (03/00)

First UE Contract
With Penske Logistics
For New Local 112

The members of newly established UE Local 112, Bethlehem Drivers and Dockworkers, have ratified their first contract with Penske Logistics Inc. since affiliating their independent union with UE. Prior to organizing their independent union, these Penske workers had been stuck in a large business-type union which provided no assistance in enforcing a vague contract they didn’t have the right to ratify. Upon affiliation with UE the nearly 60 members began immediately participating in contract meetings, preparing their contract demands and electing their committee ... (03/00)

UE Backs Students Fighting
Sweatshop Conditions World-Wide

University of Wisconsin students protesting the use of sweatshop labor in the production of university-licensed clothing had UE-backing during their demonstration — and when the university administration had them forcibly evicted and dragged off to jail ... (03/00)

Successful Political Action Day
In Ohio Gets Message Across

From General Electric plants and college campuses, school districts, the Ohio Turnpike, a plastics factory and foundry, UE members from around Ohio gathered in the state capitol to bring their union’s message to state legislators ... (03/00

Local 319 Settles Three-Year
Contract with Battenfeld Grease

Battenfeld Grease and Oil Workers, members of UE Local 319, have ratified a new three-year agreement that will raise wages 30 to 34 cents each year of the contract. Spirited, in-plant struggle thoroughly defeated management attempts to have employees pay health-care premium increases and to eliminate the one-week July plant shutdown ... (03/00

Contract Reached At Seagull
Lighting, Philadelphia Glass

By a three-to-one margin, UE Local 168 members voted on Feb. 2 to ratify a new contract with Seagull Lighting and Philadelphia Glass Bending. The two shops have the same owner ...

Mondo Paper Workers Gain
$1.15 in 1-Year Agreement

Mondo Paper Co. employees, members of amalgamated UE Local 404, have ratified a new one year agreement. The contract will raise the average rate by $1.15 this year. Right up to the final hours of negotiations, the company pushed hard for givebacks ... (03/00

District 6 Welcomes TEMCO
Workers And Local 684

A new local charter for a proud delegation of TEMCO workers ... global, national and local political issues ... shop reports ... and even a "volleyball grievance" ... were all on the agenda at the February UE District 6 Council meeting ... (03/00

District 11 Discussion:
From Global Economy
To Shop-Floor Organizing

Shop-floor organizing, politics and economy filled reports and discussion as leaders of UE locals from Nebraska to Wisconsin gathered in Milwaukee for the February, 2000 UE District 11 Council meeting ... (03/00

Remembering The Nation’s
Struggle For Its Soul

Nearly 32 years ago, on April 4, 1968, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated while in Memphis, Tennessee to assist striking sanitation workers. The story of the sanitation workers’ strike and the events of 1968 are told by a permanent exhibition at the National Civil Rights Museum, located, appropriately, in Memphis — in the Lorraine Motel, site of Dr. King’s assassination ... (03/00)

Henry Mayo Hospital Workers
Vote Resoundingly for UE ...
Winning by more than a three-to-one margin, UE scored a resounding victory on Thursday, February 24th, when ballots were counted in the NLRB election at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Santa Clarita, California. The vote was 288 to 77 in in favor of UE in a unit of approximately 510 service, maintenance and technical workers at the hospital. The results were phoned in to the national union at about 12:30 am EST on Friday ... (02/00)

Call for Reinvestment, Too —
Local 218 Members Ratify
New Contract; Gain $1.78 Average
Strength in unity at Fellows ...

Members of amalgamated UE Local 218 employed by Fellows Gear Shaper Co. (the Fellows Corp.) have ratified a new three-year contract following negotiations marked by sharp in-shop activities in support of the negotiating committee. The union gained strengthened protection against subcontracting and issued a clear demand for reinvestment in the business ... (02/00)

Local 770 Members
Approve New Contract;
Major Pension Increase

Workers at the three Hendrickson Truck Suspension Systems plants in Kendallville and Butler, members of UE Local 770, have voted to approve a new three-year contract. The pension multiplier, which was $23.50, immediately jumps to $28. Wages are increased by 3.5 percent, 3 percent and 3 percent over the three years of the contract ... (02/00)

Local 279 Improves
Wages, Benefits;
Fends Off Givebacks

The members of UE Local 279 have ratified a new three-year contract with Atwood & Morrill Co. Inc., a manufacturer of large valves and control equipment. Atwood & Morrill is owned by the Weir Group, based in Glasgow, Scotland. In-shop solidarity sent a clear message that Local 279 members were determined to maintain fully company-paid insurance and 10 percent shift differential, despite the employer’s takeaway demands. The agreement contains wage increases of 3 percent each year; the average hourly wage at the expiration of the previous agreement was $16.93 ... (02/00)

Harowe Workers Gain $1.15
Over 3 Years, Defend Past Benefits

API Harowe workers, members of amalgamated UE Local 155, have ratified a new three-year agreement that will increase wages by $1.15 an hour while protecting past benefits. UE members mounted a concerted — and successful — effort on the shop floor to prevent modification of s long-established earned time policy ... (02/00)

Lamson Workers Hold
Insurance Costs;
Make Pay, Benefit Gains

Lamson and Goodnow workers, members of amalgamated UE Local 274, have reached a new two-year agreement with the new owners of the more than 100-year-old cutlery manufacturer. The contract includes a 20-cent wage increase in both years, higher sickness and accident benefits, an additional step in the discipline policy and a lid on health insurance costs ... (02/00)

Local 1010 Fights GE's Plans
To Move Jet Engine Jobs

UE Local 1010 is fighting back against General Electric’s plan to transfer 125 jobs to company facilities in Scotland and Brazil. Local 1010 members, nearly all of whom are highly skilled mechanics, overhaul and maintain GE aircraft engines. Local 1010 protested the pre-Christmas announcement with demonstrations outside the plant on all three shifts ... Scottish Workers Contend With GE's Anti-Union Hostility
Meanwhile, GE's best-laid plans to exploit aircraft engine workers have run smack into a union organizing drive in Scotland. In typical fashion, GE is not only resisting union recognition, but is threatening its workers as well ...  (02/00)

UE Urges GE
To Increase Retiree Pensions

John Hovis
, the union’s national president, made a holiday appeal to General Electric for an immediate and substantial increase in the pension benefits received by the company’s retired workers. Hovis also called on GE to substantially increase the minimum pension multiplier. (02/00)

Upbeat Iowa UE Activists Advance Agenda
The seventh annual Iowa UE Political Action Day was 'upbeat ... and terrific' with UE members attending workshops, holding extensive discussions with legislators and meeting with Gov. Tom Vilsack. The governor, unlike his predecessor,  promised state workers that his administration would do something about their plight of of having to work in a system that is "often tragically underfunded" ...  (02/00)

UE Leaders Hear Reports
Of Growth Since Convention

The UE General Executive Board (GEB), chartered two new locals at its recent meeting in Pittsburgh. Since the closing of the 64th UE Convention on Sept. 1 of last year, UE has scored with five organizing wins, covering about 550 workers, and experienced two losses, Dir. of Org. Bob Kingsley reported. The new UE members include factory, warehouse, school, corrections and nursing home workers and will contribute to the growth of four UE districts ... (02/00)

World of Work:
World Labor News Roundup

INTERNATIONAL: Giant German Union Fights for Higher Wages and Retirement at Age 60 ... Joblessness is Down in France as the Country Readies for the 35-Hour Week ... Japanese Union Protests Nissan/Renault Job Cuts ... South African Unions Protest Unemployment ... (02/00)

Local 715 Union Pioneer
Looks to Past And Future

Local 715 officers recently congratulated Jim Vandevoorde, one of the local union’s founders, on the occasion of his retirement. Jim began work at the small Edon plant of Simpson Industries in 1962 ... (02/00)

Joe Pagano Dies; Retired Leader
Of Local 155, District One

Joseph Pagano, 81, a tool and die maker, long-time leader of UE District One and former member of the union’s General Executive Board, died Jan. 18. He was, as the Philadelphia Daily News reported, one whose personality "could cross all generational, racial and cultural boundaries." ... (02/00)

June Bobich Dies; Local
610 Secretary for 43 Years

June Bobich, 77, retired secretary of UE Local 610, died Dec. 28, 1999. Hired in 1945, Bobich worked for Local 610 for 43 years. Bobich staffed the union hall during the height of the Cold War assault on UE, which included government and employer attacks on Local 610 leaders ... (02/00)

UE Local 112,
Pennsylvania Drivers
And Dockworkers Union

PHOTO: The most recent additions to the UE family in District One pose for the camera of Intl. Rep. Bruce Klipple: the members of Local 112, Pennsylvania Drivers and Dock-workers Union. These employees of Bethlehem, Pa.-based Penske Transportation Services Inc. voted in October to affiliate their independent union to UE ... (02/00)

Pig Whistlin’ Dixie,
Or Spring Ahead?

Just For Fun: Now here’s a news flash: There’s a lot of winter left. Or not. It all depends on what groundhog you ask ... (02/00)

TEMCO Workers Choose UE;
Reject Fear Campaign
TEMCO workers win a voice on the job ...

WELCOME TO UE! The 239 employees of The Electric Materials Company (TEMCO) will have UE backing as they insist on reversing a decline in wage and benefits at the specialty copper mill in North East, Pennsylvania. Rank-and-file volunteers from UE locals had a crucial role in a closely-fought election, offsetting the employers’ intensive anti-union campaign ... (01/00)

Local 893 Gets Back Pay
Award Totaling $300,000

Union persistence in making the boss do the right thing will result in more than 100 State of Iowa employees sharing in a settlement totaling in excess of $300,000. The settlement represents a second overtime payment victory for UE Local 893, Iowa United Professionals. The case began several years ago when UE persuaded the Labor Dept. to investigate the State’s failure to pay overtime to employees ... (01/00)

Local 258 Wins Nearly $24,000
For Member Unjustly Laid Off

A grievance fought by UE Local 258 on behalf of a Cone-Blanchard Machine worker unjustly laid off in violation of the union contract led to an arbitration settlement of nearly $24,000. (01/00)

Local 151 Continues
Struggle After Expiration;
Gains Decent Contract

Local 151 members conducted an in-plant struggle for nearly three months beyond contract expiration, succeeding in substantially improving the Aetna Bearing’s offer and gaining an acceptable new three-year agreement ... (01/00)

Local 796 Prevails
In ‘Hellish’ Talks
With McGregor School

After "a heck of a fight" and "hellish" negotiations with Antioch College’s McGregor School, UE Local 796 members finally concluded a new contract. The 16 union members faced an arrogant, highly confrontational administration unwilling to participate in real bargaining. In addition to their own determination to see justice done, the Local 796 members enjoyed the active support of students and UE Local 767, Antioch College staff. (01/00)

Vermont Members
Fight for Job Security,
Livable Wages For All

The current session of the Vermont legislature began on Jan. 4, but UE local leaders were already busy informing the legislature of their members’ needs well before the onset of the legislative season. Members have mobilized with other Vermonters around job security issues and the pitiful state of wages in our "booming" economy ... (01/00)

Japan’s ‘Lifetime’ Job
Security Under Attack

INTERNATIONAL: Japan’s "lifetime" job security system is under attack — and Zenroren, UE’s sister union, is taking a leading role in the fight against corporate restructuring ... (01/00)

Local 506 Receives
First Annual
‘Unity In Diversity’ Award

The UE Local 506 Unity Committee has received the first annual "Unity in Diversity" award from Citizens Against Racism in Erie (CARE) for its work in promoting tolerance and understanding within the workforce employed at General Electric’s plant here ... (01/00)

Remembering Karen Silkwood, Union Martyr
A New York Labor Party event brought out the stars including actress Meryl Streep, commemorating the life of Karen Silkwood, a union activist who is remembered as a martyr for giving her life in defending the rights of working people. Here's our story on the event, including an overview of the movie that recounts her story ... (01/00)

Local 712 Members Remember;
Show Solidarity
In Steelworkers' Struggle

PHOTO: Local 712 members at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio were locked out for nearly 50 days two and a half years ago, so when they heard that locked-out Steelworkers were having a rally in Mansfield, about 20 miles away, several decided to be there. (01/00)

'Pay Workers, Not Lawyers',
Local 799 Members Tell School Board

PHOTO: ‘Pay your workers, not your lawyers,’ UE Local 799 members told the Delaware, Ohio City School Board on Nov. 29. The School Board has refused to honor a contract provision providing annual step rate increases to employees not at the top of their pay scales in the case of 15 custodians and bus drivers ... (01/00)

District 10 Officers
PHOTO: Elected officers of UE District 10 at last October’s District Council meeting ... (01/00)

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