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News stories tagged with "union"

Self-portraits by Cindy Levean (above) and Ray Thibault (below) are a part of the exhibit in Massena.
Self-portraits by Cindy Levean (above) and Ray Thibault (below) are a part of the exhibit in Massena.

Portraits of blue-collar life & loss in Massena

2007 was a roller coaster year for Massena. It ended with the security of knowing Alcoa will keep almost 1,000 jobs in the company town. But in May, hundreds of people's lives were turned upside-down. General Motors announced it will close its plant there, laying off about 500 workers. A new art project aims to make those people more than statistics in the global shift of manufacturing. A half dozen workers and family members used photography and journaling to tell their stories as their lives change forever. Their exhibit is up at the local union hall in Massena through January 17th. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article
GM workers wave to supportive vehicles yesterday.
GM workers wave to supportive vehicles yesterday.

On the UAW picket line in Massena

It's back to work this morning for tens of thousands of rank-and-file members of the United Auto Workers. Union negotiators reached what's being called an historic agreement on a three-year contract with General Motors. Details are still sketchy. But both sides confirm the deal would create a trust fund to cover GM's $50 billion retiree health care obligation. A person briefed on the contract tells The Associated Press that GM would pay about 70% of the massive fund. It would be administered by the union. UAW president Ron Gettelfinger says the contract will protect jobs. The contract must be reviewed by local union presidents and then voted on. The deal sends 382 members of UAW Local 465 back to work in Massena this morning. But they still face an uncertain future likely not affected by the new contract. GM announced several months ago it will close its operations in Massena next year, laying off almost 500 people. David Sommerstein visited the picket line yesterday, as the rank and file were hunkering down for what they thought was going to be a long strike.  Go to full article

Massena GM workers join national strike

General Motors workers in Massena are among the thousands nationwide who walked off the job this morning. United Auto Workers president Ron Gettelfinger says the union launched the strike after what he described as ``one-sided negotiations.'' The union is seeking more job security and better benefits. The picketing comes as General Motors prepares to close its Powertrain plant in Massena next year. David Sommerstein spoke with UAW local 465 president Tony Arquette Monday afternoon.  Go to full article
United Auto Workers Local 465 lines up for what could be its last Labor day parade
United Auto Workers Local 465 lines up for what could be its last Labor day parade

Celebrating Labor in Massena

Labor Day is a big day in Massena. Ever since Alcoa built an aluminum smelter near the St. Lawrence River in 1903, Massena has been a town of blue-collar work and unions. The annual Labor Day parade draws more than a dozen unions from across the North Country. Yesterday's parade was clouded by last spring's news that General Motors will close its plant in Massena, laying off almost 500 people. David Sommerstein sent this audio montage from the parade route.  Go to full article

Contract troubles between union and ORDA

The union representing employees of the Lake Placid-based Olympic Regional Development Authority has declared an impasse in negotiations on a new contract. Union officials say ORDA's negotiating team has not responded to their demands for a raise. The Olympic Authority says it won't debate the issue in public. Chris Knight reports.  Go to full article
Gov. Spitzer spoke with each person, including Kim Smith...
Gov. Spitzer spoke with each person, including Kim Smith...

Spitzer offers Massena hope, but few details

Governor Eliot Spitzer offered sympathy and hope to about 100 General Motors workers and their families in Massena yesterday. But he had few details about what the future would hold. Spitzer's visit to the United Auto Workers Local 465 union hall comes a little more than a week after General Motors announced it will shutter its Powertrain plant in Massena by the end of 2008. Almost 500 people will lose their jobs. David Sommerstein reports.  Go to full article

Leaders strategize post-GM Massena

State lawmakers are making a last ditch effort to save the General Motors Powertrain plant. They'll huddle with union leaders in Massena tomorrow. But as David Sommerstein reports, the talks will focus on life after GM.

CORRECTION: Lieutenant Governor David Paterson is not visiting Massena today.  Go to full article
GM's Power Train plant near Massena
GM's Power Train plant near Massena

Local UAW chief says GM decision reflects "broken" global economy

Early this morning, Brian Mann caught up with local United Auto Worker president, Tony Arquiett, who spent the last twenty-four hours meeting with workers and union members at the Powertrain plant. Arquiett says this news should alarm all Americans.  Go to full article
GM's Power Train plant in Massena
GM's Power Train plant in Massena

GM's Massena factory to close at end of 2008, roughly 500 jobs lost

General Motors today confirmed rumors that their drive train manufacturing plant in Massena will be mothballed at the end of 2008. The news represents a devastating blow to the regional economy. Brian Mann spoke mid-day on Monday with GM spokeswoman Sharon Basel.  Go to full article

Legal battle may hold up jail construction

A labor dispute may delay construction of the new St. Lawrence County jail. A non-union contractor and a county resident are asking the state Supreme Court to stop the county from issuing any construction contracts, pending a review of its "project labor agreement," or PLA. As Jonathan Brown reports, these agreements define how governments award their lucrative building contracts.  Go to full article

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