Connecticut Union Members Affiliate with UE - The National Home for Independent Unionism

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An affiliation vote was conducted across the State of Connecticut, and 2300 union members voted overwhelmingly to join a national rank-and-file independent union.

The custodians, maintenance and drivers for the Danbury Public Schools are now members of a national rank-and-file union.

The 74 members of CILU Local #35 were part of a state-wide affiliation vote in which the 2300 members of the Connecticut Independent Labor and Police Unions decided by secret ballot that their union should affiliate with UE – the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America.

The CILU/CIPU represents municipal and school workers in over 60 locals across Connecticut.

The voting was conducted by the Labor Education Center at UCONN in Storrs, CT. Almost 50% of the state-wide members of the Connecticut Independent Labor and Police Unions, based in Glastonbury CT, participated in the mail ballot vote. They chose by an overwhelming 936 to 121 margin to affiliate with UE – "The National Home for Independent Unions."

CILU/CIPU will become UE Local 222 effective August 1st, 2005.

"This is an incredible day for working families throughout Connecticut" said John Woodruff Jr, Vice-President of Local #35 and former Council President, who was the first to recognize the similarities between UE and CILU/CIPU and begin exploring an affiliation.

"We began with our ground-breaking 'Solidarity Pact,' which allowed us almost one year to realize the strength, resources and experience that UE could bring to our membership. It also gave UE an opportunity to learn about CILU/CIPU, and if we would be a good fit in their national structure."

Both unions agree that they share the same principles and beliefs, making affiliation the natural next step for both of them. "The strength of the vote indicates the rank and file character already exhibited in the CILU," said UE District Two President Peter Knowlton, to whose New England region the new local will be affiliated. "Local 222 will be a wonderful addition to UE’s influence in building our rank-and-file movement in the public sector."

Ray Sherwood Jr, the President of Local #35 is thrilled with the outcome. "Both Unions hold to the same philosophy - that independent, rank-and-file, democratic unionism is exactly what’s needed to revitalize the labor movement in this state."

Sherwood further observes that the full affiliation came at a perfect time for the Danbury Board of Education members, as they are currently in negotiations for a new contract. "They have already been a big help to us at the bargaining table. We look forward to bringing it to the next level," he said.

For more information contact:

Ray Sherwood Jr at (203) 994-8151

or

John Woodruff at (203) 240-2615 / (203) 790-4013

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