2021 was a busy year at UE’s Research and Education Fund, and we’re excited as we continue our work to create a better world in 2022. We are building new skills among diverse worker leaders to help them fight against economic and racial inequality, for a just transition for workers, and to unite working people across borders. We hope you’ll support us in this time of expansion in our activities.

Tackling economic and racial inequality in North Carolina and Virginia

Our Southern Worker Justice program has been helping workers in the Tidewater area of Virginia to understand their new rights at work after a partial repeal of Virginia’s Jim Crow-era ban on collective bargaining for public-sector workers, empowering new leaders to speak out about their working conditions. We’ve also been expanding our work in North Carolina to ensure that workers know about the benefits that have been available to them during the pandemic and to help advocate for safer working conditions.

Pursuing good jobs for workers impacted by our changing climate

UE members in Western Pennsylvania have been working with community environmental activists to develop the Green Locomotive project, which seeks to clean up the pollution in rail transit corridors through investment in cleaner locomotive engines built by union labor. This program provides a practical example of what a just transition should look like for these workers whose jobs are currently tied to fossil fuels.

Helping workers understand their workplace rights in this time of economic uncertainty

After the COVID-19 pandemic hit U.S. workplaces in spring 2020, UEREF joined forces with the Democratic Socialists of America to create the Emergency Workplace Organizing Committee (EWOC). Over the past year and a half, UEREF has worked with EWOC to create curriculum to help workers understand their rights. In the current economic environment, workers are well-positioned to demand more from their bosses, and EWOC will continue to help workers make the most of this moment.

Continuing our commitment to international worker solidarity

Despite the pandemic making international travel, UEREF has continued our historic commitment to building worker-to-worker ties across borders using video meetings. In the spring, UE members met with workers across Canada, Mexico and other parts of the U.S. as part of the North American Solidarity Project’s Worker Power Online Exchange series. The topics ranged from fighting for racial justice and climate justice to how workers have demanded better working conditions during the pandemic. We also held video meetings with unions in Japan, Quebec, and Italy to discuss our experiences during this challenging time.

UEREF would like to thank the following organizations for their support of our work:

About the UE Research and Education Fund

The UE Research & Education Fund was founded in 1994, with 501c3 tax exempt status, to foster international solidarity. Early funding provided support for the workers centers in Mexico that were established by the Frente Auténtico del Trabajo (FAT), and it continues to support worker to worker exchanges, cultural projects, and other cross-border work. Since then, UEREF has expanded to sponsor projects fighting for human rights with economic justice here in the United States.

Support UEREF

About UE

UE is the abbreviation for United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America, a democratic national union representing some 35,000 workers in a wide variety of manufacturing, public sector and private non-profit sector jobs. UE is an independent union (not affiliated with the AFL-CIO) proud of its democratic structure and progressive policies.

Visit ueunion.org