June 15, 2016

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UUP join hundreds at rally for UAW workers

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UUP members joined hundreds of Capital Region unionists in a June 15 march and rally in support of United Auto Workers in Green Island, who have refused to accept a punitive contract offer from Honeywell Aerospace.

The 42 members of UAW Local 1508 walked out five weeks ago, and have watched while replacement workers were bused into the factory as they picketed outside. Pictured above are Negotiations Team members Mike Lyon, left, Tom Tucker, right, and Albany Chapter member Vincent Commisso, center.

Chants of "Scabs go home!" rose in front of the block-long brick building as unionists from UUP, NYSUT and dozens of other labor organizations gathered.

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"We don't believe in locking workers out," said UUP Membership Development Officer Tom Hoey, above, second from left. "Replacement workers are not the way to go."

The presence of UUP and NYSUT members was cited by speakers at the podium as a long list of supporters was read.

"Out of solidarity, we have to stand with our brothers and sisters in all the unions. When support is needed, UUP is there," said Tom Tucker, who co-chairs the UUP Outreach Committee.

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Outreach Committee Co-chair and Negotiations Team Assistant Chief Negotiator Pamela Malone, right, was at the rally, along with a dozen other UUP members, many of them from UUP's Negotiations Team. Pictured with Malone are Negotiations Team members Paula White, left, and Anne Wiegard. UUP Chief Negotiator Philippe Abraham also took part at the rally.

The striking workers, who make brake pads at the factory, have turned down the company's latest offer because it hiked health insurance costs considerably, froze the pension plan and provided no cost-of-living increases.

A number of federal and state lawmakers pledged their support for the strikers. Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, told the strikers that his staff remained ready to provide assistance to the Honeywell workers. He also told them he fully understood how stressful it was to be on strike.

"You fought for a fair contract, and now it's everyone's fight," Cilento said. "You'll be successful because we stand together. We just have to outlast them for one day."

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