Michigan Public Workers Save the State $16 Million—and More Bargaining News

by Belinda Boyce, Mar 22, 2010 (from the AFL-CIO blog)

Michigan public employees save the state nearly $16 million, and more news from the “Bargaining Digest Weekly.” The AFL-CIO Collective Bargaining Department delivers daily, bargaining-related news and research resources to more than 1,200 subscribers. Union leaders can register for this service through our website, Bargaining@Work.

SETTLEMENTS
UAW, State of Michigan: Michigan state workers have ratified a new contract designed to save the state nearly $16 million. Members of UAW Local 6000 will forgo 26 hours of pay during this fiscal year and will instead receive that time as banked leave, which can be used as vacation or cashed out at retirement.

 

Multiple, Public Service Enterprise Group: More than 5,000 workers at New Jersey’s largest utility company, Public Service Enterprise Group, agreed to forgo contracted wage increases to avoid layoffs. The members of five unions, including Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 94 and Plumbers and Pipe Fitters (UA) Local 855, had 18 months left on their current contract but extended it for two more years through 2013.

GMP, Owens Corning: After rejecting a contract offer earlier last week, workers at Owens Corning approved a revised three-year agreement on Thursday. The 560 members of Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers (GMP) Local 244 had rejected the earlier proposal mainly due to changes in the company’s seniority policies.

WORK STOPPAGES & LEGAL ACTION
OPEIU, La Clinica: A Washington State health center has reached a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) stemming from charges filed by Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU) Local 8. During negotiations, La Clinica allegedly threatened to lay off workers unless they agreed to reduce or eliminate benefits, refused to negotiate personnel policies and failed to provide the union with relevant information.

AFM, Honolulu Symphony Society: The Musicians’ Association of Hawaii/AFM is petitioning a bankruptcy court to alter, appoint a trustee to, or throw out the Honolulu Symphony Society’s bankruptcy case. The union contends management’s decision to end fundraising and file for bankruptcy undermined donor confidence and created a self-fulfilling prophecy.

MNA-NNU, Borgess Medical Center: The Michigan Nurses Association-National Nurses United (MNA-NNU) last week filed an unfair labor practice charge against Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo, Mich. In its press release, MNA-NNU alleges that, among other things, the hospital has refused to bargain in good faith, harassed and intimidated nurses and removed all patient and employee protections from the collective bargaining process. The current contract was due to expire Friday.

UFCW, Shaw’s Supermarket: Shaw’s Supermarket warehouse and distribution workers have entered their third week on strike. The 310 members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 791 have set up picket lines at 16 stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The union says it has not yet heard from Shaw’s about returning to the bargaining table.

NEGOTIATIONS
UNITEHERE!, Westin Hotel: UNITEHERE! Local 217 members and supporters picketed in Providence, R.I., Thursday, after the Westin Hotel forced significant wage cuts and increases to workers’ health care contributions. The contract covering 200 hotel workers expired in October.

IBEW, City of Redding: IBEW Local 1245 is exploring its legal options after California’s Redding City Council voted to impose a one-year contract on workers at Redding  Electric Utility. Local 1245 members will receive a 3 percent wage increase but will have their health and retirement benefits cut. Negotiations had been ongoing since July 2008.

CWA, ACS/Xerox: Fourteen EZ Pass workers fired March 8, allegedly for their union activity, were rehired by ACS/Xerox after the Communications Workers of America (CWA) launched a public campaign on the workers’ behalf. The workers joined CWA in August, but Xerox has refused to bargain.

USW, Appalachian Regional Healthcare: The United Steelworkers (USW) has reached a tentative agreement with Appalachian Regional Healthcare, covering workers in West Virginia and Kentucky. If ratified, the agreement will cover 2,300 workers in jobs ranging from clerical to nursing.

Disclaimer: This information is being provided for your information only.  As it is compiled from published news reports, not from individual unions, we cannot vouch for either its completeness or accuracy; readers who desire further information should directly contact the union involved.

Longtime Union Label Board Member–John J. Murphy Dies

John J. Murphy, a USW official and longtime member of the Executive Board of the Union Label & Service Trades Department, died on March 18th following heart bypass surgery. John is survived by three sons and six grandchildren.

JP Morgan Chase Greed Brings ‘Guilty’ Verdict

by Mike Hall, Mar 17, 2010 (from the AFL-CIO Blog)

JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon was found guilty yesterday of conspiracy to wreck the economy, destroy jobs and the immoral use of taxpayer bank bailout money for millions in Wall Street bonuses.

The courtroom was on a Madison Wis., street in front a JP Morgan Chase bank branch and the jury included dozens of union and community activists. The street theater was part of the AFL-CIO union movement’s two weeks of action across the country to Make Wall Street pay to create jobs and fix they economy they ravaged.

Jim Cavanaugh, president of the South Central Federation of Labor which organized the curbside drama says:

We bailed out Wall Street now its time for Wall Street to bail out Main Street.

More than 200 “Good Jobs Now, Make Wall Street Pay” actions are planned through March 25. The rallies and marches will demand that the Big Six Wall Street banks–Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wachovia-Wells Fargo–take the following actions:

  • Pay their fair share to restore the jobs their actions destroyed.
  • Stop their multi-million dollar lobbying blitz to kill financial reform.
  • Start lending to communities, small businesses and others starved for credit.

Also yesterday, union members distributed leaflets in front of JP Morgan Chase branch in Baton Rouge, La., and rallied at a Bank of America office in Charleston, S.C. Today union activists in Butte, Mont., will march in the town’s St. Patrick’s Day parade carrying “Make Wall Street Pay” signs and banners. This afternoon, the West Virginia AFL-CIO, along with community allies, staged a rally in front a Wells Fargo/Wachovia Bank in Charleston.

Find out about events in your area here. If you take part in an event, be sure to send us your photo or video here.

You also can tell Wall Street executives to pony up and create good jobs by sending a letter urging them to do the right thing. Just click here.

30,000 CWA Members Ratify Contract with AT&T—and More Bargaining News

by Belinda Boyce, Mar 8, 2010

Some 30,000 Communications Workers of America members ratify a contract with AT&T, and more news from the “Bargaining Digest Weekly.” The AFL-CIO Collective Bargaining Department delivers daily, bargaining-related news and research resources to more than 1,200 subscribers. Union leaders can register for this service through our website, Bargaining@Work.

SETTLEMENTS
CWA, AT&T: Members of Communications Workers of America (CWA) District 3 last week ratified a three-year contract with AT&T. The contract covers 30,000 workers in the Southeast. CWA District 1 in Connecticut is now the only region still in negotiations with AT&T.

AFT, Detroit School District: The Detroit Federation of Teachers/AFT signed a letter of agreement with the school district that avoids the layoffs of 72 teachers and the transfer of another 50 teachers due to take effect March 7. The deal also preserves $46 million in federal funding of the early childhood program.

AFSCME, Columbus City Schools: 3,500 public school support staff in Columbus, Ohio, approved a new two-year contract on Tuesday. The contract provides a 3.55 percent wage increase over the term for the members of the Columbus School Employees Association (AFSCME-CSEA).

UFCW, Stop & Shop: Members of five United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) local unions in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island on Sunday ratified new three-year contracts with Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. The contracts cover nearly 40,000 workers and provide wage increases while maintaining pension and health care benefits.

NEGOTIATIONS
AFTRA and SAG, AMPTP: The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) last week announced it will join the Screen Actors (SAG) in negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, after bargaining separately during the last contract talks. The current contract expires June 30, 2011, and talks are scheduled to begin Oct. 1.

Multiple, City of San Francisco: Some 15,000 San Francisco city workers received layoff notices Friday as part of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s plan to cut costs by rehiring the workers to a reduced workweek. The workers are represented by multiple unions, including the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 21 and SEIU Local 1021, which have formed the Public Employees Committee to develop counterproposals. If no alternative to the layoffs can be agreed upon, the city unions plan to file a lawsuit.

NFLPA, NFL: The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) on Thursday shared with members details of team owners’ latest proposal, which could reduce players’ compensation by 18 percent. The union says this reduction in pay is “not justified given the NFL’s unprecedented growth and [the owners’] failure to provide meaningful financial data relating to their expenses.”

WORK STOPPAGES
UFCW, Shaw’s Supermarkets: Workers at a Shaw’s Supermarkets distribution center in Methuen, Mass., went on strike yesterday, after voting to reject the company’s latest contract proposal. The 309 workers are members of UFCW Local 791.

Disclaimer: This information is being provided for your information only.  As it is compiled from published news reports, not from individual unions, we cannot vouch for either its completeness or accuracy; readers who desire further information should directly contact the union involved.

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