The Glass Molders, Pottery, Plastics, & Allied Workers International Union (GMP), a union with a history reaching back 175 years, has found that a merger with the United Steelworkers (USW) “will give the GMP the strength, resources and ability to continue to serve its membership throughout this century and hopefully well beyond.”
Last year, union leadership stated that without a merger, diminishing membership numbers “would require an immediate and dramatic dues increase,” and even then, “any downturn in our major industries or another recession could easily devastate” the union.
The GMP was already an amalgam of unions formed by various mergers over the years, with a current membership of only about 25,000 members, while the USW currently boasts a membership of about 850,000.
French National Assembly member Christian Hutin
The UAW just won’t back down when it comes to the Nissan plant in Canton, Mississippi. After years of no success attempting to organize that plant, the Auto Workers are teaming up with allies in Europe, specifically the French government—who is Nissan’s largest shareholder. One French parliamentarian is expected to visit the plant himself in order to “persuade” Nissan to support unionization at the plant.
A little further north in Kentucky, the Steelworkers are working on getting employees at Pilkington North America’s Versailles plantContinue reading Whistlin’ Dixie
In this article on the World Socialist Web Site, locked out members of the USW at several smaller mills are finding out first hand that the USW has an agenda beyond that of helping its members. Although allocated strike pay stands currently at $200 per employee per week, the striking employees are only seeing $100 per week, as the rest is held by the local for “emergencies.” Meanwhile, the USW appears to be considering reducing that pay even further.
In an interesting analysis of the events by the article author, the USW seems to be trying to isolate the workers from these smaller plants to get them to toe the line and prevent a “unified struggle against the steel manufactures.” Pretty compelling
Continue reading Steelworkers Learning The Hard Way
When the United Steelworkers attempted to make a Buckeye Florida Corp. employee pay to be represented in a grievance case, although he was in a right-to-work state and had opted out of paying dues to the union, an administrative judge ruled that the USW violated the NLRA. The USW appealed to the NLRB, which gave the board the opening it needed to request briefs as to whether it should change the rules, to allow unions to charge “fair share” fees for such representation.
Fortunately, the case was settled (in the employee’s favor), and with the impetus no longer existing, the NLRB suspended the request for briefs. One can imagine that the unions are frantically looking now for another case to push this question back onto the board agenda.
Teamsters Central States Pension Fund has been in trouble for a long time and it doesn’t look like they’ll be getting out of it anytime soon. Currently serving roughly 410,000 participants, the fund is not making as much as it’s paying out. If the situation continues as is, the fund’s trustees believe it will become insolvent within a decade. In order to stay afloat, Central States is looking to cut the amount it pays out to retirees – you know, the people who paid into it for 30 years and have planned their retirement around it.
This was made possible by a federal law passed last year that allows struggling multi-employer pension funds to cut benefits for retirees younger than
Continue reading Dire Straits
The current Steelworkers strike, which has extended to 12 refineries, 2 chemical plants, and 1 co-generation facility across 6 states, is the union’s largest since 1980. The strike, which is supposedly focused primarily on safety concerns, began when two weeks of contract negotiations between the union and Shell fell through. Taking place against the backdrop of a record drop in oil prices, industry leaders are caught between cutting back on spending and providing sufficient safety standards for their employees.
The support in Houston, Texas has sparked some debate over whether or not this will give Big Labor more of a foothold in a state that has historically showed little interest in union representation. Steve Roppolo, an employment attorney with Fisher & Phillips, believes “It’s not like they can’t make headway…but there are significant cultural and other barriers, including Texans’ independent streak that leads many to be wary of
Continue reading Steelworkers Strike Oil Industry
The Teamster-Uber fight has been plastered across the media with Local 922’s claims that Uber and Lyft’s success has created an unlevel playing field for DC taxis. However, in spite of all their protests, traffic jams, and pressure on political officials, IBT failed to convince the Washington D.C. City Council of this. Last month, the council approved a bill establishing a framework for UberX to operate legally in the city. On the West Coast, other Teamsters locals are taking a different tact – choosing instead to side with these ride-sharing drivers in hopes of organizing them later on.
On November 7th, the Telecommunications Workers Union (TWU) voted to merge with the United Steelworkers (USW). The Telecommunications Workers will remain intact as a USW local, but
Continue reading For What It’s Worth
A stalemate between the Community Action Agency (CAA) and the Steelworkers, Paper, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy Workers (USW) over driver wages at Community Action Rural Transit System (CARTS) has turned ugly.
The CAA filed an unfair labor practice complaint against Dave Cramner, a USW member and CARTS driver, for repeatedly approaching a CAA board member outside the presence of their attorney and designated bargaining representative. During that time, Cramner allegedly “threatened” the board member stating that he would “raise issues supposedly damaging to the CAA’s reputation in the community if the board member did not agree to meet with him.” Cramner followed through with that statement when he “accused the CAA of fraudulently administering one of its largest transportation contracts.”
Not satisfied with damaging remarks toward the company’s reputation, the USW proceeded to plan a work stoppage. While
Continue reading Union Threatens Release of Company Information
Current charges or sentences of embezzling union officials:
Graciela Jiminez – AFGE: $7,944 Robert Hill – IAM: $8650 Rosalin Dukes – APWU: $18,598 Rickey Harper – USW: $20,953