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.

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.

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.

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.