October 03, 2019
UUP members have been front and center at rallies to support two major strikes by fellow unionists across New York in recent weeks.
Dozens of members from UUP’s Western New York chapters—as well as President Fred Kowal, above, VP for Professionals Tom Tucker and Secretary/Treasurer Jeri O’Bryan-Losee—have joined local picket lines with the General Motors employees from the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW). UAW workers went on strike midnight Sept. 15 at GM plants around the country, including those in Buffalo, Lockport and Rochester.
The nearly 50,000 UAW members are fighting for fair pay, essential health benefits, and job security—including a path for temporary workers to achieve permanent seniority.
“Powerful to see the solidarity of our union out there supporting the UAW,” tweeted Buffalo HSC Chapter President Phil Glick, above right, with fellow chapter presidents Fred Floss of Buffalo State, second from right, Ezra Zubrow of Buffalo Center, left, and two UAW members.
U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who was in Rochester to support the striking workers, took time out to meet with Brockport Chapter President Alissa Karl, above right.
Nurses strike in Albany
In Albany, a more local strike by newly organized nurses at Albany Medical Center touches on issues of importance to any union that represents health care professionals, including UUP—which is why statewide Membership Development Officer Thomas Hoey, above, addressed striking nurses Sept. 25 outside of the hospital.
Albany Med nurses voted to unionize under the New York State Nurses Association, and are still negotiating their first contract. They want the hospital to address what they call unsafe staffing levels, which has become a national issue of concern for nurses.