EFCA adds sponsors

The Employee Free Choice Act recently added to its support in Congress. In the House, Republican Rep. Joe Schwarz (Mich.) and Democrat Rep. Bobby Rush (Ill.) are now co-sponsors of HR 1696. In the Senate, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) has signed on as a co-sponsor to the companion legislation S 842.

There are now 201 co-sponsors to the House legislation and 38 co-sponsors to the Senate version of EFCA. The bill would require employers to recognize a union after a majority of workers sign cards authorizing union representation.

Autoworkers sign with Mitsubishi

NORMAL, Ill. (PAI) — By a 77 percent to 23 percent margin, Auto Workers Local 2488 ratified a 31-month contract extension with Mitsubishi Motors covering workers at its plant in Normal, Ill., the union said.

The pact gives the 2,400 workers there a 2 percent raise next March and a 3 percent increase in March 2007. They also get raises and/or lump sum payments based on the next round of bargaining between the UAW and DaimlerChrysler in 2007. The agreement has no increases in health insurance co-pays or out-of-pocket expenses, and no increases in prescription co-pays.

Two wins at Quebecor

VERSAILLES, Ky. (PAI) — The Graphic Communications International Union’s neutrality agreement with Quebecor is starting to pay off at North America’s second-largest publisher, the union reports. Three-fourths of the workers voted for GCIU/IBT at the Versailles, Ky., facility Sept. 1. In July, a majority at the Fernley, Nev., plant voted in the union. Together, the plants employ 500, said GCIU Communications Director Herald Grandstaff. “We didn’t get neutrality with Quebecor” (where the management agreed to stop anti-union campaigning) “until after the merger” of GCIU with the Teamsters earlier this year, he noted. “The proof is in the pudding.”

Key issues among the pressroom and materials workers in Versailles were health care, retirement and respect on the job. “To my fellow Quebecor workers across the country, I say: ‘Come join us,’” said Versailles pressman Rich Woods.

Labor Update is compiled by Roberta Wood (rwood@pww.org).