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Navajo Nation, Union Sign Agreement

Navajo Nation, Union Sign Agreement
September 25
09:42 2015

It took 15 years, but the Navajo Nation has finally reached a collective bargaining agreement with the United Mine Workers of America.

The three-year pact means the union will represent about 1,300 tribal employees in a wide range of positions.sealSM

“Our Navajo sisters and brothers bring a special and refreshing outlook to our union,” UMWA President Cecil E. Roberts said in a press release.

About 55% of the voters favored unionization during a mail-in vote by tribal employees over the summer.

The tribe will recognize the UMWA as the sole collective bargaining agent with respect to wages, hours and other issues pertaining to full-time employees.

The UMWA already represents about 800 Navajo Head Start employees and workers at the Kayenta mine.

The agreement is for three years, with an option to discuss issues such as benefits and wages annually, according to Bob Butero, Region IV organizing director for the union.

Among the positions covered by the agreement are accounting, administrative assistants, clerks, technicians, operators, maintenance and construction workers.

The pact was signed by former Navajo President Ben Shelly in 2014, before it went through an employee review and vote this summer.

The union is still negotiating with the tribe for the right to represent Division of Public Safety employees.




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