Site Map Icon
RSS Feed icon
September 23, 2014
Important Links
MT Public Employees Assoc.
Bldg & Const. Trades Dept.
Boilermakers Local 11
Electrical Workers Local 233
American Postal Workers Union
Electrical Workers Local 768
Electrical Workers Local 44
Office & Professional Employees IU
Montana Council of Fire Fighters
International Union of Operating Engineers
AFSCME Council 9
National Association of Letter Carriers
Laborer's International Union of NA
National Federation of Federal Employees
United Food & Commercial Workers
Sheet Metal Workers
UA of Plumbers and Pipefitters
United SteelWorkers
International Association of Machinists
International Association of Fire Fighters
National Association of Letter Carriers
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
United Brotherhood of Carpenters
Montana Nurses Association
Service Employees International Union
Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco, & Grain Millers
Assoc. of Federal Government Employees
Theatrical Stage Employees
IU of Painters and Allied Trades
Millwrights & Machine Erectors, UBC
Maintenance of Way Employees
United Transportation Union
Amalgamated Transit Union
UA of Sprinkler Fitters Local 669
United Mine Workers of America
National Assoc. of Letter Carriers
American Federation of Gov. Employees
What's New at the Montana AFL-CIO
Workers Unanimous in Support for Gibson

Where endorsements are concerned, some decisions are simple, others take a closer look. In House District 84, unions were faced with two candidates that had both been active leaders in their unions.

Steve Gibson negotiated the first union contract on behalf of the employees of the Pine Hills Youth Correctional Facility in 1978. He was an active union member for more than ten years and the only candidate with a proven record. Gibson won the endorsement of the largest unions in his district and he won the endorsement of the state federation of labor unions – Montana AFL-CIO - with a unanimous vote.

In the 2013 Legislative Session, Gibson was good on education. He opposed a bill that would use taxpayer dollars to subsidize private and religious-based schools that would not have been held to the same standards and criteria for quality education as public schools.  He opposed the creation of private, for-profit charter schools that would compete for funding with Montana’s public schools.

Gibson supported critical projects totaling $49 million to improve our school facilities that also created many high-paying jobs in communities across the state that opened opportunities for more trade union apprentices to break into the industry and begin their chosen career paths.

Gibson was instrumental in passing the state employee pay plan.  He protected secure retirements by opposing legislation that would have terminated all public employee pensions and replaced them with unstable 401K plans. Additionally, Gibson supported a critical increase in state contributions to stabilize the Teachers Retirement System, protecting many thousands of teachers from poverty in their senior years. He supported the Amanda Curtis bill to assure 75% of workers on public works projects be bonafide Montanans so our state’s tax-funded projects actually help reduce unemployment too. He also opposed legislation that would prevent employers from being held fully accountable for the wrongful discharge of workers.

Unions are not bound by political party. Labor-endorsed candidates must have the values, legislative skill and the political finesse to achieve measurable results. We look for those that can protect good laws, prevent bad laws, and be pro-active in passing and strengthening laws that help lift families into the middle class. 

On November 4th, please help elect the labor-endorsed, working families candidate in HD 84: Steve Gibson. 

By Tammy Pilcher, president of the Montana State AFL-CIO

Montana Named One of Top 5 Most Dangerous States to Work
New Report Here: Helena – According to a new report released by the AFL-CIO, Montana had the fourth worst workplace safety record of all states in 2012. This analysis, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that 34 Montanans lost their lives due to on-the-job injuries. Read More...
Download: MT Named One of Top 5 Most Dangerous States to Work.doc
Montana CEOs Paid 61 Times Average Worker, 135 Times Minimum Wage Worker
2014 Executive PayWatch exposes high paid CEOs in the low wage economy Helena, MT, April 15, 2014 – According to the AFL-CIO’s 2014 Executive PayWatch website, the average CEO of a company based in Montana made $2.2 million, 61 times more than the $36,294 earned by the average Montana worker. Read More...
Controversy and Warning: Gianforte and True Higher Ed Leadership
Greg Gianforte and True Higher Education Leadership By Eric Feaver, president of MEA-MFT Apparently this year Greg Gianforte has a corner on the higher education speaker circuit. Read More...
NAFTA after 20 Years/TPP Parallels NAFTA by Great Falls Tribune
Al Ekblad, executive secretary of the Montana State AFL-CIO, said, " in the end we are eliminating the middle class" and displacing that population into "people who need subsidies." Read More...
Download: nafta after 20 years GF trib march 2014.pdf
Community Medical Center Maintenance Workers Win 1st Union Contract as Operating Engineers!

A group of ten skilled workers at Community Medical Center in Missoula, Montana who won the right to collectively bargain through a union election held in August of 2013, ratified their first union contract on Thursday, March 13th.

The workers, now represented by the International Union of Operating Engineers Local #400 (IUOE), manage the maintenance of the heating & ventilation systems, electrical systems, and building maintenance at the facility as well as managing gas tanks related to patient care. 

"They are highly-skilled, licensed, and dedicated long-term employees who have been left behind when it comes to fair compensation for their work. They have been making $80 to $90 a week less than others doing the same type of work at other medical facilities in Missoula," said Craig Davis, Missoula-area representative for the IUOE. 

Tom Findlay, who has been working for Community Medical for twenty five years, said he chose union representation out of concern for, "a recent inability to create a safe and comfortable work environment". 

"I asked for uniforms to be cotton because we work with steam. They have been giving us polyester uniforms because it's cheaper but polyester shrinks, then melts and burns the skin when its exposed to steam," said Mike Behner, who has ten years of employment at the facility. Mike said he chose union representation because, "management hasn't been listening."

Among the top issues in contract negotiations for the ten Operating Engineers that are covered by the new agreement, was establishing a grievance procedure that would allow workers to address safety concerns that mandates steps to achieve resolution. The facility has underground tunnels that workers crawl through - some up to 100 feet - to reach structures to perform maintenance. The workers also perform maintenance on exhaust fans and air conditoning units which require the engineers to perform work dangerously close to the edge of the roof. 

Chris Cotten, who has been working at the Medical Center for four and a half years, said he voted for the union because, "The voices of employees didn't matter in decision-making and upkeep of preventive maintenance of the facility."

John Riordan, Butte representative for the IUOE who also worked on the contract negotiations which lasted seven months, said, "In the end the employer listened to workers and recognized their concerns, and their first contract is a great first step in developing a better relationship between labor and management, considerably better working conditions and a better operating facility."

Other employees at Community Medical Center are already represented by the Montana Nurses Association and American Federation of State, County, and Municial Employees (AFSCME). 

Montana State AFL-CIO
Copyright © 2014, All Rights Reserved.
Powered By UnionActive™

79926 hits since Nov 19, 2010

Top of Page image