UE Workers Want to Takeover Gasket Plant

Boston-Area Union Will Block

Factory Auction to Save Jobs

By Jane Slaughter

via Labor Notes

Nov. 29, 2010 – In a move to save factory jobs that evokes shades of the ’30s, the United Electrical Workers [1] are asking supporters to block a December 14 auction of presses and equipment from a plant south of Boston. The UE is calling for mass picketing and blockading of entrances to the 80-year-old plant if necessary.

Esterline Technologies Corp. of Bellevue, Washington, has refused to hold off on selling the equipment till another buyer can be found. The union’s request to buy the closed plant, which would create an employee-owned factory, has been ignored.

“They told us a year ago they did not want the presses or equipment,” said UE Local 204 President Scott Marques. “But they would rather junk them than sell them to us.”

The plant makes crucial door-seals and silicone gaskets for aircraft. Esterline is consolidating operations in Southern California and in Mexico.

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New York State Assembly Approves Moratorium on Fracking

NEW YORK | Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:57am EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York State Assembly on Monday gave final approval to a six-month moratorium on a controversial method of natural gas extraction while state and federal agencies review its possible health impacts.

The moratorium — which calls for no drilling permits to be issued until at least May 15, 2011 — was approved by the state Senate in August.

The legislation now heads to Governor David Paterson, who leaves office in January and has until the end of this year to sign the measure into law.

In an interview last week on a local radio program, Paterson indicated support for the bill, saying the state would not “risk public safety or water quality.”

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