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UAW and Mitsubishi agree to 8-day contract extension

08/22/08

NORMAL, Ill. -- Representatives of the UAW and Mitsubishi Motors North America continue to meet to negotiate a new labor agreement.

Both sides have agreed to extend the current contract for eight days until 11:59 p.m., Sept. 5, 2008, to facilitate arriving at an agreement that is in the best interests of both parties. The original agreement was due to expire at 11:59 p.m., Aug. 28, 2008.

Both parties have continued their agreement that neither the union nor the company will make any additional public comment regarding our ongoing negotiations.

5,000 University of California post-doctoral researchers want union; state labor board verifies majority support

08/20/08

SAN FRANCISCO -- The California State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) has verified that a majority of the 5,000 post-doctoral researchers (postdocs) working at the University of California (UC) have signed union authorization cards with their union, Postdoctoral Researchers Organize/United Auto Workers (PRO/UAW), establishing their right to bargain collectively with their employer.

"We are ecstatic that PERB has verified our majority mandate to have PRO/UAW be our union," said Zhaowei Liu, a postdoc in mechanical engineering who works on nanoscale imaging at UC Berkeley. "We've been preparing for this and look forward to beginning bargaining with the university as soon as possible."

The UAW currently represents more than 11,000 teaching assistants, readers and tutors on UC campuses, as well as more than 6,000 teaching associates, graduate assistants, tutors and graders on California State University (CSU) campuses.

PERB's confirmation followed PRO/UAW filing a petition with the labor board on June 30 to have the union certified. With majority status confirmed, postdocs now have the right to bargain with UC over wages, working conditions, and terms of employment.

"This is a historic moment," said Dilnawaz Kapadia, a postdoc who does research in immunology at UC San Francisco. "The UC is a world-renowned institution and we look forward to working productively with the administration to address our concerns around wages, benefits, workload, and our workplace rights. We are confident that this will prove to be a long and fruitful relationship with mutual benefits to the university and to the postdocs on all UC campuses."

After receiving a PhD or equivalent degree, researchers work as postdocs at UC and other institutions for up to five years in a faculty supervisor's lab, making up a large and influential portion of the nation's non-tenured academic research workforce. Certification of PRO/UAW will be a major development in the academic labor movement, as UC's postdocs make up about 10 percent of all postdocs working in the United States.

Postdocs perform complex research in diverse fields, ranging from AIDS and cancer research to developing more sophisticated electron microscope technology. Postdocs also publish scholarly articles and write grant proposals, helping to bring in billions of dollars in grants and contracts to the 10 UC campuses each year. Given the significant contribution these workers make to the university's research mission, their fate is crucial to the continued success of the university.

"It's great that the PERB has verified the decision of the postdocs at UC to become part of the UAW," said UAW Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Bunn, who directs the union's Technical, Office and Professional (TOP) Organizing Department. "Academic workers in California and elsewhere who have made the decision to join the UAW and bargain collectively with their employers have made significant economic gains and enhanced their working conditions. Postdocs at UC will now have the same opportunity."

"We always welcome workers who want to stand up for themselves and join thousands of other workers who have chosen to be part of the UAW," said Jim Wells, director of UAW Region 5, which includes California and other states between the West Coast and Missouri.

One of the nation's largest and most diverse unions, the UAW has more than 1 million active and retired members, with active members working in manufacturing as well as public service, higher education, health care, gaming and other industries. The UAW represents workers at more than 40 universities and colleges nationwide, including 25,000 academic student employees (ASEs) -- teaching assistants, research assistants, graders, tutors, and others -- at the University of California, California State University, University of Washington, and University of Massachusetts.

 

 

Statement of UAW President Ron Gettelfinger on Obama, McCain and the U.S. auto industry

08/18/08

DETROIT -- UAW President Ron Gettelfinger released the following statement today regarding the policies of Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain towards the U.S. auto industry:

"When it comes to supporting the U.S. auto industry and the U.S. manufacturing sector, the choice in this election could not be clearer.

"Sen. Barack Obama is taking action to support American workers and American companies. As a senator, he is supporting our effort to fund the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Incentive Program (ATVMIP), which will help automakers build the cars of the future here in the United States. And as president, Obama has pledged $4 billion in investment and low-interest credit for America's auto companies to help them re-tool facilities to build the next generation of fuel-efficient vehicles in the U.S.

"Sen. John McCain, judging by his campaign statements while in Michigan, is content to rely on the failed policies of President Bush, which have resulted in the loss of millions of good-paying manufacturing jobs. In a newspaper article published today, McCain claims he will open overseas markets to U.S. goods -- but he has supported all of the flawed trade agreements negotiated by President Bush, which have led to the largest trade deficits in U.S. history.

"First, McCain said NAFTA was a good idea; then he said jobs are not coming back to Michigan. And now he has slammed the door on any real support for the domestic auto industry. Senator McCain is offering 'prizes,' which will not bring any jobs or production to Michigan or anywhere else, while Senator Obama is offering real solutions.

"Our industry is adapting and focused on building advanced technology vehicles that will free us from our dependence on foreign oil while creating good-paying American jobs. Barack Obama is committed to making these changes happen; John McCain has nothing to offer but more of the same -- which means more lost jobs."

 

 

Casino workers hail National Labor Relations Board ruling to overturn unfair election result

07/29/08

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Casino workers in Atlantic City said today that a decision by a federal labor board judge to overturn an unfair election vote is "right on the money."

"The judge got this one exactly right," Mario Spina, a Trump Marina dealer, said of the ruling by U.S. National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge Earl E. Shamwell. "The company broke all kinds of rules and interfered with our right to vote -- and we're not going to allow them to get away with it."

Full- and part-time casino dealers, as well as dual-rate supervisors, keno and simulcast employees, and slot techs at four major Atlantic City casino properties voted last year to join the UAW, including workers at Caesars, Trump Plaza, Bally's and Tropicana.

The votes in favor of unionization were by strong majorities, with two-thirds or more workers voting in favor of UAW representation.

Union supporters narrowly lost a vote at Trump Marina on May 11, 2007, by only eight votes. According to a finding of fact by Shamwell, the election was tainted by illegal behavior by Trump Marina management and supervisors, including:

-- Interrogation of employees about their union sympathies.

-- Threats of retaliation against union supporters.

-- Threats that workers would lose their jobs if a majority supported joining the UAW.

In response to the employer's illegal actions, Shamwell recommended that the May 11, 2007, election be set aside and a new election be held.

"Whether casino owners like it or not, workers want to organize," said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. "The law is clearly on our side in this case -- and workers are going to stand together and win the contracts they deserve in Atlantic City."

"It's just plain wrong to interrogate and threaten working people when we stand up for our basic rights," said Joe Ashton, director of UAW Region 9, which includes New Jersey, as well as parts of Pennsylvania and New York.

"This kind of behavior cannot be tolerated anywhere -- especially not in Atlantic City, where gaming has been a union industry from day one."

"What we're seeing, unfortunately, is a pattern of illegal behavior by casino operators," said UAW Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Bunn, who directs the union's casino organizing campaigns. "At Trump Marina, the company interfered with the basic right to vote. At other properties, management is refusing to bargain in good faith, even though our election majority has been certified by the NLRB. And in still other cases, they're using old-fashioned stalling tactics.

"None of their attempts to undermine democracy in the workplace will succeed. Casino workers are united, with strong support from our union, the labor movement and community leaders."

Thousands of casino workers, UAW members, trade unionists, political leaders and community supporters marched in Atlantic City on June 21 in support of the UAW campaign for fair contracts.

The UAW, one of the nation's largest and most diverse labor unions, represents more than 8,800 casino workers in Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

 

 

Casino dealers call for 'immediate bargaining' after bipartisan, unanimous labor board decision certifies UAW as Foxwoods union

07/03/08

Workers at Foxwoods Casino called for bargaining for a first contract to begin immediately following a unanimous, bipartisan National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) decision to certify the UAW as the elected representative for full and part-time dealers.

"We voted, we won, we've been certified," said Steve Peloso, a 16-year veteran dealer at Foxwoods. "It's way past time for Foxwoods to come to the table and work with us on a fair contract."

In a 2-0 decision issued on June 30, NLRB Chairman Peter Schaumber and Board Member Wilma Liebman affirmed a March ruling by Administrative Law Judge Raymond Green, certifying the results of the union representation election at Foxwoods. Casino dealers at Foxwoods voted to join the UAW in November by an overwhelming 1,289 to 852 majority.

"Workers have spoken, the labor board has ruled, and it's time for Foxwoods to obey the law and bargain a contract," said UAW Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Bunn, who directs the union's Technical, Office and Professional (TOP) Organizing Department. "Casino dealers formed their own union because they have concerns about wages, tokes, benefits, working conditions, and other issues that can and should be resolved at the bargaining table."

The NLRB affirmed previous findings that under relevant case law -- San Miguel Indian Bingo and Casino, 341 NLRB 1055 (2004), affirmed by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in 2007 -- workers at tribally owned casinos have the right to organize and bargain under federal labor law.

"Foxwoods Casino is a very successful business that has made a significant contribution to our community and our state," said Bob Madore, director of UAW Region 9A, which includes Connecticut, other New England states, New York City and Puerto Rico. "Foxwoods workers have decided to form a union so they can talk about how to share in the success they helped to create.

"Workers made their decision last November, and the labor board has now issued its final decision. There's no excuse for further delay."

The UAW, one of the nation's largest and most diverse labor unions, represents more than 8,800 casino workers in Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

 

 

Thousands march to support Atlantic City casino workers

06/21/08

Obama joins call for 'fair treatment in the workplace'

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Thousands of casino workers and supporters from New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania -- and some from as far away as Maine, Indiana and Michigan -- filled the streets of Atlantic City for more than three hours today.

The spirited demonstration -- which included a strong message of support from presidential candidate Barack Obama -- was called to back union members at four of the city's biggest casinos. Dealers, slot technicians and keno and simulcast employees voted by large majorities to join the UAW starting more than a year ago, but still do not have signed labor agreements.

"What a great day!" said Chun Zhu, a casino dealer at Bally's. "For everybody working in the casinos fighting to get a contract, it means a lot to see thousands of people marching with us."

"I think the casinos really got our message," said Sharon Masino, a dealer at Caesar's. "We voted, we won -- and now it's way past time to negotiate a contract that delivers good wages and decent health care, so we can take care of ourselves and our families."

A long parade of marchers, stretching for several city blocks, streamed past the city's major casinos following a rally which featured New Jersey Gov. John Corzine, Sen. Robert Menendez and a wide range of elected officials, labor leaders and community representatives.

A highlight of the event was the message from Obama, which drew loud cheers when it was read to the marchers by Sen. Menendez.

"I encourage the employers in the gaming industry and the UAW negotiators to come together," said Obama, "and to recognize that work should be rewarded with a few basic guarantees, such as quality, affordable health care when you get sick; fair treatment in the workplace and wages that can raise a family; and a dignified and secure retirement."

"We marched with a united labor movement today, to stand up for democracy in the workplace," said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. "We also had tremendous support from community leaders and elected officials from both political parties. Casino owners heard us loud and clear. Our members in Atlantic City will have the backing and the resources they need to win the contracts they deserve."

"When the casino owners of Atlantic City decided to stonewall the dealers and slot technicians who voted overwhelmingly to join the UAW," said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, "they had no idea they would be confronted with unions and workers from all over the Northeast -- workers from New York City who have their own struggle, union members from as far away as Detroit and Buffalo and Indiana."

"You can count on this: One million union members in New Jersey are going to stand with Atlantic City casino workers until all workers are covered by a union contract," said New Jersey AFL-CIO President Charlie Wowkanech.

The presidents of four international unions also joined the rally, backed by strong contingents of their respective members: Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers union; Terry O'Sullivan, general president of the Laborers' International Union of North America; Harold Schaitberger, general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters; and Jimmy Williams, general president of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.

Members of Congress attending the rally included Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, New Jersey Reps. Rob Andrews and Bill Pascrell, both Democrats, and Reps. Frank LoBiondo and Chris Smith, both Republicans from New Jersey.

Since March 2007 casino dealers, slot technicians, keno and simulcast workers have organized and won six union representation elections at four major Atlantic City casinos: Caesars, Trump Plaza, Bally's and Tropicana. Casino workers, who are members of UAW/AC Dealers, have also successfully lobbied for the first-ever comprehensive smoking ban in a casino community, and have joined with their co-workers to advocate for workers' rights on the casino floor.

The UAW, one of the nation's largest and most diverse labor unions, represents more than 8,800 casino workers in Connecticut, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

 

 

Bally's violates workers' rights, dealers tell N.J. Casino Commission

06/18/08

Union workers call for continued monitoring and new hearing in six months

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Dealers from Bally's in Atlantic City described critical violations of workers rights' today, including a refusal to bargain, forcing casino dealers to work without pay, abuse of seniority rights, and failure to provide adequate security and safety procedures.

The testimony from members of UAW/AC Dealers was delivered to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission during a licensing hearing in Atlantic City.

Given the serious nature of the violations -- including a decision by the National Labor Relations Board to prosecute Bally's for repeat violations of federal labor law -- workers called on the commission to monitor activities at Bally's and hold a new hearing in six months.

"I call on the commission to hold Bally's accountable for its behavior," said Ken Lorch, a dealer at Bally's. Bally's refusal -- delivered in writing -- to bargain with the union formed last year by an overwhelming majority of casino dealers, Lorch said, is a plain violation of federal labor law.

The commission, Lorch said, should "demand that Bally's cease its illegal activity immediately ... and impose appropriate sanctions if it does not comply with the law."

Casino workers, Lorch said, are subject to an unfair double standard: "If I, as a casino license holder, [was] accused of violating the law," he told commissioners, "I would stand to lose my license and my livelihood until the matter [was] resolved."

Other casino dealers, along with Joe Ashton, director of UAW Region 9, noted several other "troubling practices" at Bally's, including:

-- Forcing workers to attend meetings and report early to their shifts without pay.

-- Breaking a promise to honor seniority rights of employees who worked at Claridge before it was acquired by Bally's -- also a violation of federal labor law.

-- Failure to account for tokes -- a substantial portion of dealers' income -- in a transparent manner.

Robert Beck, a dealer at Bally's for eight years and a member of the toke committee, said that unlike other casinos, Bally's does not report the hours worked by each dealer. "The lack of transparency," he said, "raises questions about the fairness with which tokes are distributed."

In addition, he explained, the casino does not adequately safeguard the tips that customers set aside for casino workers. As a member of the toke committee, Beck said, "I bring bags of chips through the halls of the casinos with no security officer." Ken Mondillo, a 28-year dealer at Bally's, described the unpaid time the company demands of its dealers. "Each week each dealer must attend one or two 'buzz' meetings ... mandatory meetings. These meetings start 10 minutes before shift and we are not paid for them. On every other day, dealers are required to be at our posts five minutes before our shifts. Again, we do not get paid for this time."

Noting a decline in tips at Bally's due to casino policies, inadequate health care, and other negative impacts on the quality of life of casino workers, the UAW's Ashton called on the commission to enforce the standards of the New Jersey Casino Control Act.

The law, passed when New Jersey voters approved gambling in 1976, requires the gaming industry to provide "a substantial contribution to the general welfare, health and prosperity of the state and its inhabitants." The commission, Ashton said, should "use its power and influence over Bally's Atlantic City to demand that the casino bring itself into compliance with the intent of the Casino Control Act."

More than 70 percent of dealers at Bally's voted to join the UAW in June 2007, joining a growing movement of casino workers. In the last 15 months, a majority of workers in six bargaining units at four Atlantic City properties -- Bally's, Caesars, Tropicana and Trump Plaza -- have voted to form their own unions.

Thousands of casino workers in Atlantic City have now voted to become part of the UAW, and in March union members played a major role in lobbying for and passing the first-ever comprehensive smoking ban in a casino community.

The UAW, one of the nation's largest and most diverse labor unions, represents more than 8,500 gaming employees in Detroit, Atlantic City, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Indiana.

 

 

UAW endorses Barack Obama for president

06/10/08

The UAW International Executive Board has unanimously voted to endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president, the union announced today.

"After a historic primary campaign which activated and mobilized millions of voters, our union is proud to endorse Sen. Barack Obama," said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. "He has inspired our country with a positive vision for a better America -- and with concrete plans to turn that vision into reality.

"From the streets of Chicago to the state legislature in Springfield, Ill., to the halls of the U.S. Senate, Barack Obama has been a voice for dignity and justice for working people. He has a strong program for a safe and secure America, which will protect our citizens and help our country prosper in a new century.

"On every issue that counts, we can count on Barack Obama to stand with our members, our families and our communities. He has pledged to rebuild America's manufacturing base and to assist the auto industry as we re-tool toward a cleaner, more modern transportation system. "Sen. Obama supports free choice in the workplace; he will fight to deliver quality, affordable health care to every American; and he understands the need to change our trade policies so that U.S. workers and U.S. companies can compete fairly in the global economy.

"As president, Barack Obama will unite our country -- and the active and retired members of the United Auto Workers will be proud to work with him to change our country for the better."

The UAW, one of America's largest and most diverse labor unions represents more than 1 million active and retired workers in automobile manufacturing, aerospace, construction equipment, health care, higher education, public service, gaming and other industries.

 

This portion of this web site is paid for by the UAW V-CAP (Voluntary Community Action Program), with voluntary contributions from union members and their families, and is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Dealers win election ruling at Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino

06/03/08

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - The National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) has confirmed an election victory at Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and certified the UAW as the union chosen by a majority of full- and regular part-time dealers.

"I think it's great," said Trump Plaza Dealer Doug Migliore, of the board's ruling. "We've been trying to get to the bargaining table for over a year. Now we can move forward to get a contract."

The decision, said workers and union officials, will give an added boost to a major labor rally planned for Atlantic City on June 21, when trade unionists, community leaders, and supporters from throughout the tri-state area will demonstrate for a "Fair Deal for All Atlantic City Workers."

"Management's efforts to prevent workers from exercising their legal rights have failed," said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. "It's way past time for them to come to the bargaining table and negotiate in good faith with the union." Gettelfinger and AFL-CIO President John Sweeney will be among those speaking at the June 21 event.

"The NLRB ruling confirms what we already knew: This was a clean campaign and a clear victory for Trump Plaza dealers," said UAW Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Bunn, who directs the union's Technical, Office and Professional (TOP) Organizing Department.

Dealers at Trump Plaza voted 2-to-1 in favor of forming a union on March 31, 2007. But the company filed objections with the board claiming expressions of support by federal, state and local elected officials during the organizing drive had tainted the representation vote. The boards May 30 ruling upheld an earlier decision by Administrative Law Judge Robert Giannasi, who dismissed all of Trump Plaza's objections to the election and found the vote to be valid and binding.

Joe Ashton, director of UAW Region 9, which includes New Jersey, said the board's decision has further motivated Atlantic City dealers and other casino workers. "The dealers at Trump Plaza and throughout Atlantic City are geared up and moving ahead, and we're looking forward to a terrific event on June 21.

"We've won six representation votes over the last year, every major board decision, and a first-ever smoking ban to protect the health of casino workers," said Ashton. "Casino management needs to quit the stalling and give workers and families the respect they deserve."

Since March 2007, a majority of casino dealers, dual-rate dealers and other workers at Caesars, Trump Plaza, Bally's and Tropicana in Atlantic City have voted in favor of UAW representation. Bargaining is under way at Caesars and Tropicana; the union at Bally's has just been certified by the NLRB.

The UAW, one of the nation's largest and most diverse labor unions, represents more than 8,500 gaming employees in Detroit, Atlantic City, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Indiana.

 

American Axle workers ratify new labor agreement

05/22/08

UAW workers at five American Axle Manufacturing locations have voted to ratify a new four-year labor agreement. Seventy-eight percent of workers voted in favor of ratification; 22 percent voted against.

The agreement, approved by UAW members at Detroit and Three Rivers plants in Michigan, and Buffalo, Tonawanda and Cheektowaga plants in New York, covers 3,650 workers. Voting began on May 19 and concluded on May 22.

"Our members have had to make some tough decisions for themselves and their families and have done so with careful deliberation,' said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger.

"This has been a difficult process for American Axle workers and there is no doubt that they stood strong through it all," said UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles, director of the union's American Axle Manufacturing Department.

UAW members at American Axle have been on strike since Feb. 26.