Joint Board News
Bleyer workers end 2-day strike!
Members of Workers United, Local 9, Mid-Atlantic Regional Joint Board employed at Bleyer Industries, Mount Union, PA, walked off the job on Tuesday morning, May 11, 2021. The approximately 21 workers had been in negotiations with their employer since December 2019 that included working during the Covid Pandemic for all but approximately 4 weeks that the facility was shut down.
Despite the Corporate tax breaks of 2017 that were sold to US taxpayers on the basis it would permit employers to increase the wages of their employees and the $350K in PPP loans provided to the Company, the average wage at the Mount Union plant is $8.50 an hour, with many dependent on the minimum wage of $7.25. The Mount Union plant celebrated its 55-year anniversary in 2018 and is spotlighted by the Company as the only remaining manufacturer of Easter basket grass and Halloween spider webs in the U.S.
Giorgia Norris, President, Local 9, shares the frustration of her fellow union members. “We have been beat over the head with the competition of our industry”, she said. “Knowing that money was given to our employer but not given to us was the last straw. Everyone has a breaking point.”
By Wednesday afternoon, the Company and Union officials had reached a deal that increased employee wages, added lump sum ratification bonuses, and secured monthly labor-management meetings with oversight from FMCS. These Union members stood strong, fought, and got what they wanted! All employees returned to work on Thursday morning and walked in with a renewed sense of pride and were UNITED as ONE!
June 2021 - The Mid-Atlantic Regional Joint Board donated hamburgers and hot dogs to members of Local 2069, United Auto Workers (UAW), who are on strike at the Volvo truck factory in Dublin, VA. They negotiated for weeks, but the company still refuses to agree on a fair contract. This company employs 3,000 workers and the strike is in its second week. The MARJB of Workers United represents the Aramark Cafeteria workers within the same plant. Regional Director, Patrick Jones Sr., says "we stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters here in southwest Virginia". To the left is our Joint Board Representative, James Sayers, pictured with Matt Blondino, UAW Local 2069 President. To the right, James is pictured with Kathy Mathena, a member of our Local 15-7, who works in the cafeteria at the Volvo plant. Her husband is also on the UAW Local 2069 By-Laws Committee.
Regional Director Patrick Jones Sr. (pictured) doing his part and getting the 2nd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Director Jones encourages all members of the Union to get the vaccine in an effort to bring this pandemic to an end.
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine could prevent you from spreading the virus to others, add to the number of people in the community who are protected from getting the virus - making it harder for the disease to spread, and prevent the COVID-19 virus from spreading and replicating, which allows it to mutate and possibly become more resistant to vaccines.
Brigade Mfg. North LLC takes over Gitman facility in Ashland, PA
On October 20, 2020, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Joint Board was invited to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony for Brigade Manufacturing North LLC. In attendance were Regional Director Patrick Jones Sr., Associate Director Patrick Jones Jr., Joint Board Representative Ines Vargas and various public figures within the Schuylkill County and Ashland Community.
Brigade Manufacturing decided they wanted to take over the Gitman Brothers facility along with all their employees just a few weeks after Gitman made an announcement they were closing the facility in Ashland, PA, and relocating to Tennessee. Brigade was willing to accept and continue to honor the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Union.
As a special surprise Brigade Manufacturing decided to publicly sign the new CBA at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
2020 Scholarship Winners
Bruce Dunton / Peter Nadash
is a member of our
Local 1398 -
in Elkton, VA
is a member of our
Local 131A -
Berkley Medical Resources
in Smithfield, PA
Elsa Lopez Monroy
Elsa is a member
of our Local 4 -
in Bridgewater, VA
AFL-CIO Workers First Caravan
for Racial and Economic Justice
On June 17, 2020, MARJB staff participated in the AFL-CIO Workers First Caravan for Racial and Economic Justice, an all-out action of national solidarity calling for racial and economic justice and equality, implementation of America's Five Economic Essentials, and passage of the HEROES Act. Staff participated in the Caravan in Richmond, VA, but additional caravans from across all 50 states and Puerto Rico participated in solidarity actions.
Workers United statement in support of Black Lives Matter
Now more than ever, America, in the eyes of the world, is a country deeply divided by race, class, and culture.
Throughout our history, racial inequality has led to inequities that we can’t allow to continue.
Workers United stands alongside all the brave men, women, children, and LGBTQ communities who believe that Black Lives Matter.
Workers United condemns the injustices that people of color face every day. We condemn structural racism. And we condemn police brutality.
Workers United believes that the Black Lives Matter movement speaks to the social activism that has shaped our union over the past 100 years.
We believe that Black Lives Matter is a human- and civil-rights movement. We are committed as a union steeped in activism to play our role in ending structural racism.
We stand in solidarity with our black and brown families, who are our neighbors, our colleagues, and an integral part of our community. Within our membership, 70% are people of color. Our diversity has always been our strength as a union.
Words alone cannot change what has happened over the past 400 years. We cannot erase the past, but we can work toward the future. Let us be the generation to end this divide.
Workers United leadership is committed to keeping our eyes and ears open, and our hearts and our minds, to fully appreciate the pain and trials that black people endure every day. We will accept the discomfort this knowledge brings, knowing that white people have played an integral role in this injustice. With this knowledge, we will systematically work to effect change, through our communities, the workplace, and in the halls of government. We call on law enforcement to accept responsibility in the role they have played thus far, and to implement meaningful change that reflects respect for all human life.
Workers United’s legacy shows that organizing, unionization, and collective bargaining helps to ensure that there is no disparate treatment on the job. The current divide in this country brings that into focus even more. With only 6% of the private sector unionized, inequity has been allowed to flourish with the improper treatment of workers without any check and balances. We believe in fighting for our members to be paid based on their jobs and classifications, not what they look like or what gender they are or what language they speak.
Workers United affirms our support of the Black Lives Matter movement by:
- Working toward ensuring equity throughout our workplaces
- Fighting against policies that marginalize communities of color
- Standing in solidarity with black people, and acting against racial injustice
- Supporting policies and reforms that lead to real freedoms for black people
Workers United will lead by action, because Black Lives Matter.
Audit Committee - Hard At Work
Members of the Audit Committee of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Joint Board met on Thursday, June 25, 2020, to conduct an audit of the Joint Board's financial records for fiscal year 2019. Members of the committee are David Bailey (Member, Local 1034), Laticia Bradford (Member, Local 15-1), and Patricia Lester (Member, Local 15-8). The Committee examined checks, vouchers, and other financial records and found everything to be in order with no discrepancies. We appreciate the hard work this Committee puts forth each year to make sure the Joint Board is keeping accurate and responsible financial records.
Bowling for Gold Union Tournament
MARJB Strike Force
MARJB had two teams participate in the 28th Annual "Bowling for Gold" Union Bowling Tournament which took place on Sunday, January 26, 2020 at the Crofton Bowling Center, Crofton, MD.
This event is sponsored by the Community Services Agency of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO. Participants enjoyed spending a day of fun with other union brothers and sisters, family and friends while helping to raise money for the Community Services Agency and its Emergency Assistance Fund for needy working families!
This is the first time our Joint Board has participated in this event, but we are definitely looking forward to next year's tournament!
MARJB Holds Golf Scramble
to benefit the Scholarship Fund
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Joint Board and The Greenbrier Resort co-hosted a golf scramble on Monday, November 4, 2019, on the Meadows Golf Course in White Sulphur Springs, WV to raise money to benefit our Scholarship Fund. The event was well attended with registered participants totaling 108. There were 96 golfers making up 24 foursome Teams and the 12 remaining participants took advantage of a new option this year and enjoyed other resort amenities while the Tournament was in progress.
Leadership of the Mid-Atlantic Region was represented by Director Patrick Jones Sr., who addressed the attendees and expressed appreciation for everyone's support of the Scholarship Fund. In attendance representing the Executive Board were President Antoinette Brown, Vice President Larry Bryant, Secretary Jamie Rhodes and Associate Director Patrick Jones Jr. In attendance representing Staff were Ines Vargas, Kathy Glover, and Peter Bostic. Member Volunteer Pam Callison, Local 863 Vice President, also attended and helped with the event.
The Winning Team with a low score of 45 (-25) was the W.V. & Appalachian Laborers District Council, 2nd Place with a score of 47 (-23) was the Cook Family and 3rd Place with a score of 50 (-20) was the Southwestern District Labor Council.
The event raised approximately $14,000 for the Scholarship Fund and will go a long way to support our efforts to offer annual scholarships to our members and their children and grandchildren.
Delegates attend Joint Board Meeting in Gettysburg PA
Delegates to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Joint Board, Workers United, gathered at the Wyndham Hotel in Gettysburg PA on September 20-21, 2019 for its annual Joint Board Meeting. Delegates in attendance discussed the business and affairs of the Joint Board. Larry Bryant, Vice President, led the meeting due to the illness and absence of President Antoinette Brown.
Matt Areman, Attorney, made a presentation on the Duty of Fair Representation, former Joint Board President Bernard Fauntleroy led an education session on Leadership, Joint Board Representatives Diana Wingler and Ines Vargas spoke of the Membership Training they have been conducting across the Region, and Charly Carter, Political Consultant, spoke on the importance of voting and supporting strong pro-worker candidates.
On Friday afternoon, delegates boarded a bus and took a trip to the Gettysburg Diorama for a presentation on the history of the Civil War. That evening, they enjoyed fellowship with their brothers and sisters during dinner, karaoke and dancing.
The weather was perfect, the hotel was grand, our solidarity is strong, and...we even discovered we have some talented singers in the Region. ,
Do You Know Your Weingarten Rights?
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a worker is entitled to have a union representative present when a supervisor asks for information which could be used as the basis for discipline. Management has no obligation to tell workers their rights. Stewards should make sure all workers know their rights and know that they can request union representation before or during questioning by management.
If called to a meeting with management, read the following statement to management before the meeting starts:
If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative, officer or steward be present at this meeting. Without representation present, I choose not to participate in this discussion.
Doug Rolon, Local 4 President (Marshalls Distribution Center-Bridgewater, VA) presenting a donation to a representative of the Local Chapter of the American Cancer Society.
Some staff and members of the MARJB attended a week long training session called Union Camp on July 28—August 2nd, 2019 at Lock Haven University.
Training was sponsored by the PA Joint Board and focused on grievance handling, organizing, negotiations, and building strength among union members.
Attendees enjoyed meeting other leaders from across the Union and received training to further develop their leadership skills and knowledge of the Union.