Workers protest Kraft Nabiscos
attempt to contract out jobs
ATLANTAMembers of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 42 protested at the Kraft Foods Nabisco plant here September 27. The company is trying to contract out to Ecel, a nonunion outfit, the work of truck drivers and warehouse workers at its depot facility in Norcross.
They want to eliminate half the workforce and then hire others for half the pay, 16-year truck driver Edwin Martin told the Militant. These are workers with a minimum of 10 or 12 years with the company. Our contract isnt up until February, but theyre telling us if we dont accept this now, the workers wont get any severance pay.
This is straight blackmail, added Zack Townsend, Local 42 business agent, as the 35 unionists protested the union-busting move and held homemade signs saying, Contract violation and Say no to corporate greed.
Many workers were familiar with the lockout of the 1,300 sugar workers in Minnesota and North Dakota also organized by the BCTGM.
Minn. nurses approve contract
with Sanford Bemidji Hospital
MINNEAPOLISNurses in Bemidji, Minn., approved a three-year contract offer from Sanford Bemidji Medical Center September 13 after six months of negotiations. On July 28 the nurses had overwhelmingly rejected managements final offer. Although they continued to work they carried out informational picketing. They also extended solidarity to the locked-out sugar beet workers in the nearby Red River Valley in Minnesota and North Dakota with a $10,000 donation.
It was a long, tough road, Peter Danielson, chair of the Minnesota Nurses Association bargaining team, told the media. While to us this isnt a perfect resolution, it is a compromise that helps put our patients first. MNA represents 230 registered nurses at the hospital.
The contract includes a 3 percent pay raise over three years and requires nurses to pay a $750 deductible on their health insurance, according to Associated Press.
Postal workers protest closings,
layoffs, and end to Sat. delivery
DES MOINES, IowaDozens of postal workers rallied here September 27 as part of a national day of protest against proposals for massive cuts in service, the layoff of 120,000 employees, and elimination of Saturday mail delivery, to deal with the budget crisis the United States Postal Service is facing.
The Postal Service is using the economic crisis as an opportunity to get out of the contract, to get rid of older workers, Rene Charbonneau, a postal worker for 20 years, told the Militant. Charbonneau and some 70 others rallied outside Congressman Leonard Boswells office in Des Moines.
In Waterloo, 40 gathered outside Rep. Bruce Braleys office.
NEW YORKMore than 250 postal workers rallied outside the Varick Street post office in Manhattan September 27. This was one of 29 rallies in New York state that day.
Five days no way, six days the only way, workers chanted, referring to the threat to eliminate Saturday delivery.
Elimination of Saturday delivery would make some of us part-time, said John Bonno with 25 years seniority.
NY workers reject contract;
governor to lay off 3,500
NEW YORKIn spite of threats by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that he would lay off 3,500 workers if a proposed contract was voted down, members of the Public Employees Federation rejected the proposed five-year contract, which included wage freezes and benefit cuts.
Were going ahead with the layoffs, and it wasnt a bluff, Cuomo said September 30 after the 52,000-member union voted down the pact by 54 percent. Nearly 70 percent of union members cast ballots.
The union executive board had recommended approving the contract, which is similar to one agreed to by the largest state public workers union, the Civil Service Employees Association.