An overdue and late-night edition means we kind of play loose with the boundaries of what happened in what week, and I dropped a few lower-frequency items. As always, email me with your denunciations (or just gentle suggestions) regarding what I missed, overlooked, underplayed, or misrepresented. Hoping to be back on a regular Sunday schedule by this weekend. Finally, this is a long edition: if you only read one thing, read my piece on the UFCW reform effort.
STRIKES & NEGOTIATIONS
Rail negotiation updates continue to trickle in, with the 6,000 members of the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen voting down their agreement, joining the BMWE in rejecting the latest deal and preparing to strike. Meanwhile, the 5,000 members of Machinists District Lodge 19 narrowly voted to ratify their deal (52% voted yes, with 59% turnout). The thing I have stressed throughout is that although each union needs to ratify an agreement for it to officially be over, if just one of the unions strike it will likely provoke a national lockout/shutdown that will force Congressional action. Marty Walsh apparently wanted to make sure no rail workers accidentally voted Democrat in Tuesday’s midterm elections, so he went on CNN to tell them that Congress will preempt a strike. Obviously, rail workers know that in the event of a strike they are going to be forced back onto the job, the question is just under what terms; if Walsh says they’re going to be preempted, presumably that’ll be under the shitty deal that he helped broker and that at least the BRS has already explicitly rejected. Interestingly, the BMWE voted down a proposal to extend their cooling off period, and then days later re-voted (“vote til you get it right!”) and decided to extend it.
ILWU members at the Port of Oakland walked off the job for one day, which is in itself notable (though the Port of Oakland has a reputation for doing this sort of thing now and again) but far more notable because it was clearly connected to the delay in negotiating a contract for the entire west coast port system and its 22,000 longshoremen. That contract has been expired since July and seems to be under a total information blackout; apparently jurisdictional issues in Seattle between the Machinists and the ILWU are holding things up as the NLRB hears a case. But the bottom line is that the supply chain labor relations regime seems to be holding on by a thread.
The Steelworkers have reached a tentative agreement with US Steel, covering 11,000 workers across the country; things were looking pretty dicey for a minute as the company was apparently trying to avoid following the wage and benefits pattern set by competitor Cleveland-Cliffs, but skimming the summaries, it sounds like they came around on the fundamentals. We’ll see what the members think. Separately, steelworkers in Pueblo, CO ratified a new contract.
Higher education: And speaking of massive union negotiations, around 48,000 higher education workers with UAW Local 2865, UAW Local 5810, and Student Researchers United are set to strike starting on Monday. This would be the largest strike since the 2019 GM strike, and the largest higher education strike in the US ever, as far as I can tell. Elsewhere in higher ed, Pomona (CA) College food service workers with UNITE HERE Local 11 struck for two days as they push for higher wages. In Philadelphia, AFT Local 6290 (aka the Temple University Graduate Students Association, or TUGSA) is taking a strike authorization vote. In Chicago, AFT Local 1600 (aka the Cook County Colleges Teachers Union had authorized a strike and set a strike date for 1500 members before getting a tentative agreement with the administration. Staff with Teamsters Local 320 will also not be striking, having reached a deal at the University of Minnesota. In NYC, UAW Local 7902, repping adjunct faculty at NYU, also authorized a strike and also reached a tentative agreement; their counterparts at the New School are actively gearing up for a strike. Part-time faculty at the University of Vermont are speaking out as contract negotiations drag on there as well.
K-12 education: In K-12, educators in Haverhill, MA approved their new contract after an “illegal strike.” In NYC, the UFT is rallying against job cuts for early childhood educators, and finally moving towards contract bargaining with the city under an expired deal. They’ve got Shelby County, TN educators beat, where competing unions can’t even agree whether they want to move towards “bargaining” in a state that has what sounds like a totally broken K-12 labor regime. In Ojai, CA, bargaining is at an impasse. In Pajaro Valley, CA, there was no official impasse, but seemingly in response to a tentative agreement, dozens of school bus drivers called out sick for multiple days; there was a sickout among San Francisco teachers in at least one school, too. In Brattleboro, VT, school bus drivers with Teamsters Local 597 went to the trouble of voting on strike action, setting December 1st as their deadline. Some 275 drivers with SEIU 1199 New England in several Rhode Island towns came close to striking but got a deal.
Transit: 150 Teamsters Local 952 maintenance workers for the Orange County (CA) Transportation Authority struck for four days, before “pausing” for election day (and, from the sound of it, because progress was being made at the table); I haven’t seen any updates after they met for negotiations today. Elsewhere in transit, drivers in Greensboro, NC (presumably represented by ATU Local 1493, but I haven’t been able to confirm that) walked off for a day due to so-called “misunderstanding” about changes to their healthcare coverage that appear to have been soothed enough to resume operations. In Louisville, after getting quite close to an “illegal” strike, ATU Local 1447 reached a tentative agreement with the local transit authority. In Milwaukee, workers with ATU Local 998 authorized a strike a month ago, but the county is apparently in financial trouble and workers are ready to quit.
Journalism & publishing: Lots of journalists are taking action on the job, from the ongoing Pittsburgh Post-Gazette strike (which you can read all about from the NewsGuild members’ fantastic strike paper, and which strike was hit with another injunction to shock the conscience) to the one-day strike among 200 journalists across 14 Gannett newsrooms in New York, New Jersey, Arizona, and California. Meanwhile, three hundred Reuters journalists have authorized an open-ended strike, and journalists at the Fort Worth (TX) Star-Telegram have launched a strike fund. SAG-AFTRA journalists at KUOW in Seattle picketed their employer. In the kind-of similar field of publishing, 250 publishing workers at HarperCollins with UAW Local 2110 plan to walk off the job tomorrow (November 10th), their second strike this year.
Healthcare: Healthcare union fights continue to pop up around the country. Around 1800 nurses with NNU at the Alta Bates Medical Center in Berkeley and Oakland, CA struck for five days. Another 850 nurses and others at Fountain Valley (CA) Hospital authorized a strike with NUHW. 250 hospital techs and support staff with AFT Local 5099 at Windham Hospital in Willimantic, CT struck for two days over rising insurance costs. AFGE Local 1224 appears to have won without striking at all, with just the threat of a rally apparently moving the VA Hospital in Las Vegas to grant a raise. Rhode Island hospital workers with UNAP don’t appear to be so lucky, and have authorized a strike at two hospitals and a home health and hospice provider; though UNAP did win a first contract at Springfield Hospital in Springfield, VT. The Illinois Nurses Association is filing an unfair labor practice charge against Ascension St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, IL after understaffing left four ER nurses responsible for over 50 patients, prompting a walkout. A rare (independent) physicians union in Santa Clara County, CA reached a deal after authorizing a strike. While the Mayo Clinic is busy decertifying its unions, they were apparently forced to reach a deal with their food service workers with SEIU Healthcare Minnesota in Rochester, MN.
Starbucks: And it wouldn’t be a newsletter without some Starbucks Workers United strikes; workers at the important NYC roastery have now been on strike for two weeks, provoked initially by unsafe conditions, bed bugs, and mold, but obviously not unconnected to the company’s scorched earth approach to the union. Workers also walked out in Pittsburgh, Santa Fe, NM, and Seattle. And in case it wasn’t clear just how precedent-setting Starbucks’s union-busting behavior is, Apple has now excluded their unionized stores from company-wide benefits.
Manufacturing: Bargaining is back in session for Cedar Rapids, IA company Ingredion, where BCTGM Local 100-G members have been on strike since August. Progress, I guess. In East Alton, IL, some 1,000 members of Machinists Local 660 have authorized a strike against copper products manufacturer Wieland. The Machinists Weyerhaeuser paper mill strike in Washington ended after six weeks, with some mixed feelings. IBEW Local 1464 is on strike at Wabtec in Kansas City but I can find almost nothing on it. IUE-CWA workers rallied at GE HQ in Schenectady, NY as they prepare for national negotiations next year, while the company undergoes a split into three separate companies, with some uncertainty on the union side for what that’ll mean for workers.
Airlines: It’s been a big couple weeks for pilot labor, with ALPA pilots at Delta authorizing a strike, ALPA pilots at United rejecting a tentative agreement, and APA pilots at American rejecting a deal before even sending it to the membership. There are no immediate updates at the fourth-largest airline, Southwest, though the independent SWAPA did file for federal mediation (part of the Railway Labor Act process, under which airlines are covered) back in September. Things seem to be going smoother for the Machinists customer service agents at Southwest, who have a new tentative agreement for 8,000+ members after they rejected the last one.
In Louisiana, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Virginia, CWA call center workers for federal contractor Maximus struck for one day, but an important one: the first day of open enrollment for the ACA, an obviously heavy traffic day for these call centers. In a similarly well-timed action, Laborers Local 363, representing Minneapolis Parks and Recreation workers, planned to strike on election day, which would obviously snarl things, before reaching a TA.
Iowa public sector unions were once again forced to go through the sadistic ritual of recertification – in which a majority of all workers in every single dinky bargaining unit has to reaffirm in a vote that they want to remain under a collective bargaining agreement or it’s dissolved, which aside from being dumb and unfair on its face also requires these unions to spend a ton of time and resources on frivolous but existential votes – and 95% of them voted to continue to exist. I believe in the statistics discipline they call that a superdupermajority. On the flip side, it means that dozens if not hundreds of workers lost their union for no good reason.
Rep. Andy Levin’s staff has ratified the first Congressional Workers Union contract.
Over 100 staffers for SEIU Local 2015 in California are on strike.
POLITICS & LEGISLATION
Nothing massively consequential happened this week in terms of national or local electoral politics, so let’s just move on… But seriously folks, what can I say about the midterms? On the outright labor union side of things, Illinois appears to have passed an amendment constitutionally banning open shop (“right to work”) laws and enshrining collective bargaining, but the details of whether it’s actually passed are complicated; Tennessee went in the other direction, voting 70% to enshrine the open shop in the state constitution. Michigan has a new Democrat trifecta for the first time in decades, so everyone in that big union state is now wondering about repealing “right to work” there as well. I have a hard time getting overly stirred up about any of these RTW moves, because I’ve been convinced that it’s primarily an effect, rather than cause, of union weakness, though of course it’s not a good thing. Outside of these state-level issues, unless the Democrats suddenly find their backbone in a lame duck session to pass the PRO Act or at least not impose a shit rail deal, or if somehow in the final tallying they keep the Senate and House, labor is likely to pivot to its perennial “ah, well, nevertheless” stance and wait another decade or two before trying to tinker with our broken labor laws, if the Democrats are in the mood to play along.
One local ballot measure of note that I haven’t seen much attention on is SEIU UHW’s continuing efforts to raise the private healthcare minimum wage to $25/hr across California, with at least two cities, Duarte and Inglewood, CA, holding votes on Tuesday; from preliminary results I can find, it looks like Duarte voted it down, but Inglewood passed it. SEIU is going for a statewide measure, but I have no clue whether that’s likely to pass through the legislature or get kicked to a statewide ballot or what.
On the local (non-midterms) level, there is an insane healthcare fight happening in New York City’s municipal labor unions right now, where they’re trying to force retirees onto the privatized Medicare Advantage plan, but a judge blocked the City from imposing a penalty for those retirees who refuse, so they have to get the city to pass a law allowing such a penalty, without which the city says they’ll lose a bunch of money, which the unions have hitched their wagon to in a deal on healthcare cost savings, so somehow this means that active city workers will be on the hook for healthcare premiums… all of which just sounds like a total mess, and if someone has a better piece to read on it, I’d be grateful.
In a jaw-dropping ruling, a judge has ruled that Starbucks is entitled to see Workers United’s communications with journalists as part of discovery in a case against Starbucks. I hope they get to read my texts to various SBWU folks that are like “wow, fuck Howard Schultz” and so forth.
The NLRB wants to repeal a Trump-era rule that made it harder for unions to block decertification elections.
INTERNAL UNION POLITICS
For Labor Notes, I wrote about the nascent reform efforts in the massive UFCW, and the showdown that could ensue at the 2023 convention and beyond; in the shadow of a massive merger (the first step of which was blocked, but who knows about the larger deal) that could rock the union, there are new, Teamsters for a Democratic Union- and Unite All Workers for Democracy-inspired efforts to switch to direct elections of top officers, massively invest in coordinated bargaining and new organizing, and form a rank-and-file caucus.
And speaking of the UAW, Shawn Fain of the Members United opposition slate spoke to Bloomberg about their campaign to unseat the forever-incumbent Administration Caucus from national leadership in that union. Meanwhile, the election monitor found that at least one incumbent inappropriately retaliated against the opposition challenger. The vote count is at the end of the month; as of today, only 83,000 votes (less than 9% of those mailed) had been received per the election monitor’s site. In a five-way race for the presidency, I think it’s likely that at least that spot (and maybe the VPs, where eight members are running for three spots) will see a runoff in early 2023.
I also had the pleasure of attending my third Teamsters for a Democratic Union convention, which was, as always, inspiring and galvanizing, especially in the Teamsters United era of the IBT. You can read a write-up from In These Times here.
The president of AFSCME Local 2620, representing California state psychologists and social workers, has been suspended by the national union for supposedly retaliating against members for criticism; she says she’s being retaliated against for exposing financial irregularities.
New election filings at the NLRB: In a true sign of the times, 4,000 grad student workers at Yale are filling for an NLRB election with UNITE HERE Local 33, a union drive that’s been going for decades, and has had entire books written about how the union will never file at the NLRB (OK, that’s not really a fair description of the Getman book, which is definitely worth reading, but seriously, for many years there was a huge chunk of the labor movement that wouldn’t touch the Board). 900 workers at the Warren, OH Ultium car battery plant are organizing with the UAW, in a promising sign of life for the electric vehicle transition. 200 workers who make auto parts for Inteva Products in Bluffton, IN are unionizing with the UAW. 91 workers at Florida City Gas and Power & Light in Miami are organizing with IBEW. 83 workers at Storm King Art Center in New Windsor, NY are organizing with AFSCME Local 1000. 75 subcontracted custodians at the Atlanta airport are unionizing with Workers United. 70 workers at board game retailer Noble Knight in Fitchburg, WI are unionizing with CWA. 70 workers who print book jackets for Coral Graphics in Hicksville, NY are unionizing with GCC Local 1. CWA Local 1400, aka the Alphabet Workers Union, is organizing 58 YouTube Music employees in Austin, TX who are subcontracted, under a joint employer standard. 49 welders for big grain company GSI in Assumption, IL are unionizing with Laborers Local 477. 45 workers who make aerospace parts for LMI in St. Charles, MO are unionizing with Machinists Local 778. 45 freight truck drivers for DLC Transportation in Philadelphia are unionizing with the dubious IUJAT Local 455. 38 sanitation workers at WIN Waste Innovations in North Andover, MA are unionizing with IBEW Local 326.
Healthcare: 367 hospital workers at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton, PA are organizing with PASNAP. 212 hospital techs and support staff at West Anaheim (CA) Medical Center are organizing with either NUHW (who currently reps some other techs at the hospital) or NNU (who currently represents some RNs at the hospital), and it may in fact be a raid but I can’t tell for sure from the filing and basic online research. 183 workers at ten Satellite and Fresenius dialysis clinics across California are unionizing with SEIU UHW. 25 home healthcare workers for UMass Medical in Worcester, MA are unionizing with the Massachusetts Nurses Association. Seven RNs at Salmon Brook nursing home in Glastonbury, CT are joining SEIU Local 1199 New England.
Teamsters: 180 workers at Domino Sugar in Yonkers, NY are unionizing with Teamsters Local 456. 80 production workers at Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics in Taunton, MA are organizing with Teamsters Local 653. 59 workers who make dairy ingredients for Dairy Farmers of America in Dalbo, MN are unionizing with Teamsters Local 471. 50 appliance delivery drivers for HD Supply in Kent, WA are organizing with Teamsters Local 174. 21 dispensary workers at Sunnyside Dispensary in Buffalo Grove, IL are unionizing with Teamsters Local 777. 13 maintenance workers at DHL in Miami are unionizing with Teamsters Local 769 (presumably joining the national master contract there). Seven customer service reps for Transdev in Tulare, CA are joining Teamsters Local 517. Seven workers for construction supplier FBM in Herculaneum, MO are unionizing with Teamsters Local 682. Six physical therapists at HealthPro Heritage in Schaumburg, IL are joining Teamsters Local 743. Six mechanics for Puerto Rican beer distributor Mendez & Co in Guaynabo, PR are joining Teamsters Local 901.Three mechanics for beer distributor Centrex in West Greenwich, RI are joining Teamsters Local 251.
Coffee workers: 124 workers at five stores in NYC, Chicago, Glenview, IL, Hillsboro, OR, and Whitehall, PA are organizing with Starbucks Workers United. 33 baristas at four locations of La Prima Espresso in Pittsburgh are unionizing with UFCW Local 1776. 11 baristas at The Daily Press in Brooklyn, NY are joining Workers United. Eight workers at the Lady Killigrew Cafe in Montague, MA are joining UFCW Local 1459, but five others at Tokava cafe in Jamaica Plain, MA are going with UNITE HERE’s New England Joint Board.
Other small shops: 26 workers at regional theater TheaterSquared in Fayetteville, AR are joining IATSE. 24 retail workers at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Prescott, AZ are unionizing with UFCW Local 99. 21 workers at Versiti Blood Center in Traverse City, MI are joining SEIU Healthcare Michigan. 20 subcontracted paratransit workers for All Transit in Arverne, NY and 16 paramedics for Hunter in The Bronx, NY are both joining the dubious Amalgamated Local 22 (no, I don’t know what if any IU it’s affiliated with, and the phone number links to the uninformative site of a differently-numbered amalgamated local but my best guess is it’s one of the mostly-only-on-paper dues collection vehicles that have persisted in the tri-state area). 19 workers who make Pan’s Mushroom Jerky in Portland, OR are unionizing with UFCW Local 555. 19 workers at a Marriott in downtown Los Angeles are unionizing with UNITE HERE Local 11. 16 staffers at housing non-profit UHAB in NYC are unionizing I think with RWDSU. 15 electricians for contractor Smith Electric Company in Oaklyn, NJ are joining IBEW Local 351. 15 stunt performers for the Fantasmic! show at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA are unionizing with AGVA. 12 staffers at the non-profit Center for Rural Affairs in DC are joining an independent union. 12 workers at ClearChoice Dental Implants in Chandler, AZ are unionizing with UFCW Local 99. Nine building services workers at 40 Bond Street in Manhattan, NYC are joining SEIU Local 32BJ, as are eight more at 49 Chambers Street. Ten telecom construction workers for Windstream in Bolivar, MO are unionizing with IBEW Local 453. Ten workers in Newsday’s multimedia department in Melville, NY are joining GCC Local 406-C. Seven building services workers at the T. Rowe Price building in Owings Mills, MD are joining UA Local 486. Six more Verizon wireless workers have filed for a union election with CWA in Oswego, IL. Four pipefitters at automation manufacturer John Henry Foster in Eagan, MN are joining UA Local 455.
NLRB election wins…: 400 I think casino workers for Evolution US LLC in Southfield, MI voted 129-105 to join the UAW, which if that surprised you I’ll have you know the UAW claims over 10,000 “gaming” workers (meaning more than 1 in 40 UAW members work in casinos). 157 workers who sell and repair Coway air & water purifiers in and around Los Angeles voted 69-31 to join the independent California Retail and Restaurant Workers Union (a new union that has worked closely with the Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance to organize elsewhere). 77 workers at the Columbus (OH) Museum of Art voted 46-2 to join AFSCME Council 8, joining the AFSCME museum organizing wave. 53 cannabis workers at a dispensary in South Beloit, IL voted 41-3 to join Teamsters Local 777, continuing their turf war with UFCW Local 881; the latter won 13-0 among 22 workers at a dispensary in Posen, IL; 10 more at Bloom Medicinals in Springfield, MO voted 6-3 to join UFCW Local 2. 54 workers at Chicago’s Newberry Library became the latest cultural workers to join AFSCME Council 31, 35-11. 52 cement workers for Corliss in Sumner, WA voted 38-10 to join Teamsters Local 174. 45 drivers for Aramark Uniform in Houston voted 31-0 to join Teamsters Local 988. 31 drivers for produce company Imperfect Foods in Clackamas, OR voted 15-13 to join UFCW Local 555; Teamsters Local 162 lost an election last July at this facility, but it was part of a combined vote with six other locations. 56 workers at three stores in Chicago, Albany, NY, and Philadelphia joined Starbucks Workers United in a combined 32-8 vote. 31 hotel workers in Midtown, NYC voted 22-7 to join the Hotel Trades Council (UNITE HERE). 27 workers at mental health clinic Hopewell in Athens, OH voted 14-8 to join AFSCME Council 8. 19 retail workers at a Goodwill in St. Louis have unionized, 7-4, with UFCW Local 655. 19 workers for SPIN, one of those scooter app rental companies in La Jolla, CA, voted 15-0 to join Teamsters Local 542. 19 staffers at youth homelessness non-profit TGTHR in Boulder, CO voted 7-3 to join UFCW Local 7. 18 workers at the Academy House Condos in Philadelphia voted 16-1 to join AFSCME Local 1739. 17 workers at the Rolling Hills Zoo in Salina, KS voted 9-4 to join SEIU Local 513. 16 distillery workers for Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey in Denver joined UFCW Local 7 in a 12-1 vote. 15 construction workers for contractor 3, LLC based in Kearny, NJ voted 2-0 to join the Laborers. 13 home health RNs for Mid-Hudson Valley StaffCo in Poughkeepsie, NY voted 10-0 to join SEIU 1199. 11 workers at Madison, WI screenprinting shop Crushing It LLC voted 6-0 to join Painters Local 770. All 11 custodial workers for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, OR voted to join IATSE Local 154. Nine logistics workers at ITS ConGlobal in Kansas City voted 2-0 to join Teamsters Local 41. Seven subcontracted workers at a water treatment facility in Renton, WA voted 4-0 to join Machinists Lodge 160. Five pharmacists at the New York Eye & Ear Infirmary voted 4-1 to join SEIU 1199. Five building services workers at 380 W. 12th Street in NYC voted 4-0 to join SEIU 32BJ. All four RNs at the Kimberly Hall South nursing home in Windsor, CT voted to join SEIU 1199 New England. Two First Student mechanics in DeKalb, IL voted to join Machinists Local 701. Both flight simulator techs at Delaware Resource Group in Omaha voted to join Machinists District Lodge 6.
…and losses: We’ll start off with three blows against the independent union wave: 274 workers at a Philadelphia Home Depot voted against forming the fifth-largest private employer’s first union, in a 51-165 vote. The 185 Trader Joe’s workers in Williamsburg, NYC voted 66-94 against joining the independent Trader Joe’s United (who have already won at stores in Hadley, MA and Minneapolis). And this third one isn’t an NLRB loss per se but it fits the theme: the Amazon Labor Union has withdrawn its petition to organize a warehouse in Ontario, CA. 162 workers who make Spirit AeroSystems airplane parts for Schenker in Wichita, KS voted 63-80 against unionizing with the Machinists. 78 workers at Pepsi in Tumwater, WA voted 14-32 against joining Teamsters Local 252. 68 concrete workers for Knife River in Stockton, CA voted 29-35 against joining Teamsters Local 439. 54 workers who make antifreeze for Prestone in Alsip, IL voted against joining the UAW in a 16-35 vote. 48 hospital techs at Presbyterian Healthcare in Espanola, NM The independent Millworkers United lost their election among 39 workers at Pacific Architectural Wood Products in Portland, OR, 17-21. 37 paramedics for Sierra Medical Services Alliance in Northern California voted 8-21 against unionizing with the Steelworkers. NUHHCE District 1199C lost a rerun of an election they won in May among 34 workers at Luther Woods nursing home in Hatboro, PA. 22 barge and tugboat workers for Moran Towing in Savannah, GA voted against joining Masters, Mates, & Pilots, 6-16. 16 techs at Kia of Duluth, MN voted 6-7 against joining Machinists District Lodge 77. 15 workers for contractor Mike Gowen Mechanical in North Little Rock, AR voted against joining UA Local 155, 3-9. 11 chemical workers at Ecolab in Marlton, NJ voted against UFCW Local 152, 3-4. Eight workers at a landfill in Imperial, CA voted 1-6 against joining Teamsters Local 542. Five electrical workers for Kansas City contractor PAR voted 1-3 against joining IBEW Local 53, and five sprinklerfitters for ABJ Sprinkler in Glassboro, NJ deadlocked 2-2 on joining UA Local 669. Five Envision Hospice workers voted 1-2 not to join the Machinists District Lodge 751 in Federal Way, WA.
In three separate votes, the independent Restaurant Workers United lost two and won one at Austin, TX pizza chain Via 313; of the 92 eligible voters, 21 voted for the union, and 32 voted against.
Decertifications and raids: In two votes among 248 workers for PepsiCo in Medley, FL, 166 drivers dropped Steelworkers Local 7609, 56-70, while 82 production and warehouse workers stuck with the union, 57-22. 43 school bus drivers for STA in Sandy, OR beat back a decert attempt, sticking with Teamsters Local 206, 20-11. 37 workers who make telephone poles for Brooks Manufacturing in Bellingham, WA narrowly decertified the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters, 11-12. 17 Waste Management sanitation workers in Muncie, IN decertified Teamsters Local 135 in a 6-10 vote. 11 workers who process limestone at a quarry in Nokomis, IL decertified Laborers Local 1084 in a 1-9 vote. Three meat delivery workers for Smithfield Direct in Indiana unanimously dropped UFCW Local 700, and three electricians at Saint Paul, MN’s University of Saint Thomas also unanimously dropped IBEW Local 110.
Outside the NLRB: 1500 student workers at Pullman, WA’s Washington State University won their union with the UAW through the state public sector labor board. Over 1200 medical residents at The Bronx’s Montefiore Medical Center are organizing with CIR SEIU. Music supervisors who work with Netflix are looking to join IATSE; they had pushed for voluntary recognition, but now plan to take it to the NLRB; IATSE Local 700 had better luck with management at Saturday Night Live, where post-production workers joined the union through card check. Over 100 workers at the Mariners stadium in Seattle won voluntary recognition with UFCW Local 3000, as did 200+ Zum school bus drivers with Teamsters Local 174. The staff of New York grassroots organizing non-profit VOCAL NY won voluntary recognition with UAW Local 2325. Workers at Pizza Lupo in Louisville also won voluntary recognition (this link actually has several good Louisville labor updates) with the independent Restaurant Workers United
Activision Blizzard continues to be a dark horse candidate for most anti-union employer of the past couple years, going hard against their Diablo quality assurance staff (12 year old me would think that’s the coolest job on the planet, for what it’s worth) who are trying to unionize with CWA in Albany, NY.
Finally, an analysis at NBC News shows that the pattern of companies illegally shutting down to evade unions is real, and we should all take it existentially seriously for this new organizing wavelet.
The ATU has a local (1493) in Raleigh that also serves the Greensboro Transit Authority employees. The city changed contractors this past summer that run the transit system and that is part of the problem with insurance.
Some of the city transit in North Carolina is UTU (Winston-Salem for sure and maybe Charlotte) and some are ATU (Greensboro and Raleigh and Asheville has a separate ATU local). Other transit systems are non-union.
Greensboro has about 120 drivers and most are ATU members. (I had a chance to talk to a driver on break on Wednesday after the 1 day walk-out. They don't advertise their union connection much in the public to be honest and I had to dig around to find most of this and asked the driver directly about driver count and union rates. This drivers is a proud member and appreciated my support.