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Business

Strikes like the one underway at General Motors are rare, but not unheard of, in the Buffalo Niagara region in recent years. The strike by the United Auto Workers at GM was in its second full day on Tuesday, with no sign of an immediate resolution. The walkout impacts GM's facilities in the Town of Tonawanda and Lockport, which combined have more than 3,000 employees. …

Business

Union issues have made headlines lately, from Spot Coffee to Tesla. The Buffalo Niagara region has one of the highest union membership rates in the country — nearly 20% — when counting both public and private sector workers, according to researchers at unionstats.com. Richard Lipsitz Jr. keeps close tabs on the labor scene, as president of the Western New York Area L…

Business

A new labor-backed study says unions are effective at boosting wages for all workers in the region, but cautions that a changing economy is altering the outlook for the region's jobs and what they pay. The Partnership for the Public Good's study notes a shift from traditionally unionized jobs like manufacturing to nonunion jobs in sectors like retail and personal servic…

Erie County

The Hourly Employees Association of the Town of Tonawanda, the town's largest union with nearly 200 members, has voted 112 to 69 to ratify a contract after six years without a contract. The contract, approved last week by hourly workers in the town's highway, parks water and sewer departments, will include raises each year through 2024. Retirees will have free health ca…

Business

Richard Lipsitz Jr. of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters was re-elected to a three-year term as president of the Western New York Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. The federation is an umbrella group representing 165 affiliated unions and more than 140,000 union members in the region. Also re-elected were Florence Tripi, of CSEA, as vice president, and Michael…

Business

The New York State AFL-CIO has more than 2.5 million members and 3,000 local unions. But to its president, Mario Cilento, those big numbers mean little unless unions are coordinated and motivated about pressing issues. "The numbers are great, but unless everyone is working off the same page and working out of the same playbook, the numbers don't really mean anything,…

Business

Manufacturers in the Buffalo Niagara region are facing a labor shortage. But they’re not just wringing their hands about it. As many of their older, experienced manufacturing workers head toward retirement, manufacturers say they don’t see enough younger people coming along with the right skills to take their place. They call it the “gray tsunami,” and say if the proble…

United Auto Workers Region 9, which is based in Amherst, will choose a new director, after Terry Dittes was named a UAW vice president. Dittes had served as regional director since 2014, overseeing a territory that covers Western and Central New York, New Jersey and parts of Pennsylvania. A vote on a new Region 9 director, by representatives of locals that make up t…

Erie County

About 70 members of the Hourly Employees Association of the Town of Tonawanda picketed outside of the Town of Tonawanda board meeting Monday to express frustration of being without a contract for the past six years. Once inside, the union president threatened to oust the Town Board, which the union has supported for election. "We put you in your seats and we can put …

Erie County

The National Labor Relations Board issued a summary judgment last week ordering the Elderwood at Grand Island nursing home to bargain with the collective bargaining unit 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East, which employees joined in October 2016. The NLRB stated that Elderwood of Grand Island has "engaged in unfair labor practices" by refusing to recognize the barg…

Erie County

Members of the largest union representing Town of Tonawanda workers, who have worked without a contract for six years, erected a billboard this week to pressure the town into negotiating a new deal. The Hourly Employees Association of the Town of Tonawanda represents 195 workers in the town's highway, water, parks, water and wastewater treatment departments. On Monda…