The Valley Labor Report
Starbucks Union Wave continues, UMWA goes to D.C., and more | Last Week in Southern Labor
Posted On: Mar 02, 2022

This time we cover the last TWO weeks in Southern Labor (Jonah's been slacking!) and lot's happened.


  • In the last two weeks 968 more workers across 33 Starbucks shops (including roasteries in NYC and Seattle) filed for election, including in… San Antonio, TX, Jacksonville, FL and two stores in Tallahassee, FL, Roanoke, VA, Midlothian, VA and three stores in Richmond, VA, Raleigh, NC, and Atlanta, GA.

  • 82 carhaulers for Carvana based in Blue Mound, TX are organizing with Teamsters Local 745.

  • 54 drivers for US Foods out of Charlotte, NC are organizing with Teamsters Local 71. 

  • 16 workers at BMR Janitorial in Austin, TX are organizing with ATU Local 1091. 

  • More Perfect Union reported on the BCTGM’s efforts to organize over 1,000 workers at a Hersheys plant in Stuarts Draft, VA, who, like other food production workers who’ve organized or struck over the past several months, face grueling overtime and a disappearing weekend. Unfortunately the workers pulled their petition due to the vicious anti-union campaign. 

  • Workers at the Alamo Drafthouse flagship location in Austin, TX are organizing with the IWW

  • In very different Texas union organizing, active duty national guardsmen are organizing with the Texas State Employees Union (CWA Local 6186)



  • All seven “electronic warfare instructors” at the Jacksonville and Mayport, FL naval stations voted to join the apparently independent “AAAT Contract Instructors of Florida”.

  • 39 workers at Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery in Nashville voted against becoming the first unionized whiskey makers in Tennessee, going 9-21 against joining UFCW Local 1995. 



  • The UMWA strikers at Warrior Met went to Washington last week, with a Senate Budget Committee hearing highlighting how private equity has played a role in the nearly year-long strike of over a thousand metallurgical coal miners in Brookwood, AL.

  • A couple dozen barbers on military bases in Virginia apparently won their strike (which started in July) against the military haircut contractor, which raised prices but lowered the barbers’ cut. The barbers are members of the Laborers.

  • 60 school bus drivers in St. Tammany Parish, LA joined the ongoing rolling strike wave in that industry, with a sickout, hoping to win a raise.

  • National negotiations between the Steelworkers and several large oil companies covering 30,000 workers continue on a rolling 24-hour contract extension, having expired February 1st. Those Steelworkers rallied outside Marathon’s corporate headquarters in Findlay, OH this week. 

  • The six hundred workers in Beaumont, TX at one of the companies at the table, Exxon, are voting on Monday on a new agreement to end the company’s lockout that started on May 1st of 2021. 

  • AFGE Local 131 rallied with veterans outside of the Tuscaloosa, AL VA Medical Center in protest of poor conditions.

  • The ongoing MLB lockout looks increasingly likely to delay the start of the season, and has already delayed the start of Spring Training games.

  • Louisville, KY screwed up its bonus pay to city workers from the American Rescue Plan funds and now has to claw back around $200 from workers making $14 an hour; the unions are pissed. 



  • With the new Teamsters leadership set to take office on March 22nd after winning in a landslide against the incumbent-backed successor to longtime President James P. Hoffa, new leadership appointments are being announced. Of note is that incoming President Sean O’Brien and incoming Secretary-Treasurer Fred Zuckerman, both vocal proponents of a more aggressive stance towards the union’s largest employer, UPS, will be co-leading the 2023 UPS contract negotiations. Also of interest is the appointment of two members of the Teamsters for a Democratic Union steering committee to top posts in the union. A new organizing director, as well as heads of the warehouse, carhaul, and freight division directors were named.

Read what happened in the rest of US Labor in Jonah's newsletter:

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