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Why the UAW Lost Again in Chattanooga

June 14, 2019 / Chris Brooks<?
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?>It was a bad sign. On the day voting began at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the shift change suddenly turned blue.
Throngs of workers were passing through the factory turnstiles in both directions, as the day shift ended and the night shift began. On the preceding days, handfuls of union supporters in bright green shirts were there to hand out flyers and banter with their co-workers.

Happy father’s day to all the fathers and father figures of the IBEW!
Thank you putting your family first, being someone for your kids to look up to, and providing for you family. Family is the reason you get up in the morning, and you try to be the best version of yourself everyday. If you work on cool projects that you’re proud to be a part of, you can show your kids that their dad built that.
We appreciate your care, love, and support today and everyday. We can’t thank you enough.
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The post Father’s Day 2019 appeared first on IBEW Hour Power.

A top employee representative in Volkswagen’s Global Works Council was denied entry into the company’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory today as the union election began.
The plant’s 1,700 eligible hourly employees began voting this morning on whether to form a union with the United Auto Workers. The results will be announced Friday night.
According to a statement from the Global Works Council, Johan Järvklo arrived at the plant to be an election observer. Workers confirmed that he was booted.

On Eve of Union Vote, Chattanooga VW Workers Describe Rampant Workplace Injuries

June 11, 2019 / Chris Brooks<?
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?>“I’m only 33 and I can’t see myself working here for another 10 years,” said Ashley Murray. “I would be disabled by then. We need a union because they are a multibillion-dollar company and they treat us like shit.”
Murray is a production employee at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, one of 18 hourly employees there I interviewed for this story. Comments like hers were almost universal.

On-the-job injuries are rampant in auto factories, where many dangerous tasks are still done by hand and in a hurry. It’s one of the main reasons why workers are organizing a union at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The vote begins June 12. Here plant worker Kim Onofrey describes what happened to her. –Eds.
I was working on the metal finish line that repairs defects on the bodies of the vehicles before they go to the paint shop.

IBEW member Rod demonstrates how to easily install wire and short runs with conduit.
Step 1 – Find a 3M wire nut that has a solid metal cap on the inside.
Step 2 – Using a knife, cut the end of the wire nut and peel away the plastic that’s around the metal bullet inside.
Step 3 – Screw the metal bullet onto the wires to push it into the pipe.
Step 4 – Feed the bullet into the connector and push it through the pipe. The sound it makes as it hits the other end lets you know it’s hit the box. Pull it out of the box and unscrew the metal bullet back and go back to the beginning to do the same thing over again.
This method is really efficient because you don’t have to keep a roll of tape with you. You can screw it onto the wire without bending or stripping it, or making some kind of a head. Plus, you can reuse it when you’re done.
For more helpful tips, visit IBEWHourPower.com.
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The post Job Tip: Wire Pulling appeared first on IBEW Hour Power.

Steward's Corner: Pennies for Evelyn

June 06, 2019 / Patrick Weisansal II<?
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?>An issue doesn’t need to violate contract language to spark a winning fight, as this story from my union demonstrates.
Just before Christmas last year, management told one of our members at Buffalo General Hospital that as of the first of the year, she would no longer receive a $1.50-an-hour pay bump as the department lead.
Evelyn is a file clerk in the imaging department, where patients go for X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. She had been receiving this pay differential since the late 1990s in exchange for taking on extra duties as the lead.

You’re at a union meeting, brainstorming for a campaign, when a hand shoots up. “What we need is better messaging. Can we get a billboard? Maybe we could make a meme.”
We’ve all been there. Maybe you’ve said it yourself. It seems like common sense that if we can just find the right words and the correct medium, we’ll win over our fellow workers, or the community, or politicians.
I was frustrated daily by this logic when I was president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, leading the campaign against a ballot question that would allow for more charter schools.

Baltimore Teachers Unseat Incumbents, Who Demand a Do-Over

May 31, 2019 / Samantha Winslow<?
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?>What happens when new leaders run for office and beat an eight-term incumbent? In the Baltimore Teachers Union, it seems, the incumbent tries for a second bite at the apple.
A slate called “The Union We Deserve,” backed by two rank-and-file caucuses, ran for office this spring. Its platform was to open the union up to its own members and join with parents to fight for fully funded public schools.

As VW Election Nears, CEO Stokes Fears over Plant Closing from 1988

May 31, 2019 / Chris Brooks<?
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?>The new head of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant led two all-plant captive-audience meetings on Tuesday, a day before the National Labor Relations Board announced it has scheduled a union election.
Labor Notes has obtained audio of the speeches by CEO Frank Fischer. Both times he insinuated that the United Auto Workers were to blame for the closure of Volkswagen’s plant in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, in 1988.
All 1,709 hourly employees at the plant will be eligible to participate in the election June 12, 13, and 14.