Last Week in Southern Labor: 8/4 - 8/11
Updated On: Sep 19, 2023

Last Week in Southern Labor: 8/4 - 8/11

By JACOB MORRISON August 15, 2023

When Jonah Furman was doing his newsletter - Who Gets the Bird - we loved getting updates about the US Labor Movement right in our inbox. Our project won’t be as ambitious - we’re just wanting to capture everything workers are doing in the South - but we hope you’ll enjoy it nevertheless! Please do send along any news stories we missed, or help us keep track of stories before the week is over and we’ll be sure to include them in our next round-up.

  • 8 engineers and mechanics at Jones Lang La Salle in Jacksonville, FL filed for an election with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 177. 
  • 20 workers at a Starbucks cafe in Lexington, SC filed for an election with Starbucks Workers United. 
  • 24 workers at MV Transportation in Baton Rouge, LA filed for an election with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1546
  • 1 quality assurance worker at Ardent Mills in Sherman, TX filed to be added to the currently unionized bargaining unit with the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco, and Grain Millers (BCTGM) Local 111
  • 4 production and maintenance workers at CTI Foundation Terminal, Inc in Savannah, GA filed for an election with the United Steel Workers Local 673
  • 16 workers at Hospital Damas in Ponce, PR filed for an election with the Unidad Laboral De Enfermeros y Empleados De La Salud (ULEES)
  • 13 delivery drivers for Restaurant Technologies, Inc in Dallas, TX filed for an election with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 745
  • 21 workers at Blue Krewe in New Orleans, LA doing mechanic work and more filed for an election with Workers United
  • 22 workers at a Starbucks Café in Greenville, SC filed for a union election with Starbucks Workers United
  • 16 workers at the Primary Medical Group in Ponce, PR filed for a union election with ULEES
  • Staff for the Tennessee Democratic Party withdrew their petition for union election with the IBEW
  • Workers at Georgia Windstream in Dalton, GA withdrew their petition for a union election
  • Workers at Ametek Controls Southeast in Pineville, NC withdrew their petition for union election
  • Workers at Nestle in Hartwell, GA withdrew their petition for union election
  • Workers at Pruitthealth in Panama City, FL withdrew their petition for union election
  • 60 workers at South Kentucky Rural Electric Cooperative in Somerset, KY voted to unionize 40 to 16 with IBEW 2100
  • 5 workers at Savannah Morning News in Savannah, GA voted against unionization 0 to 3 with the News Guild CWA
  • 70 workers at Bradley Technologies Incorporated in Washington DC voted in favor of unionization 13 to 1 with Union Rights for Security Officers (URSO)
  • 31 workers at Amentum Services, Inc, in Fort Johnson (Polk), LA voted in favor of unionization 20 to 1 with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW)
  • 74 workers at AT&T across Alabama won voluntary recognition from the company after they presented union authorization cards signed by a majority of the employees
  • The American Federation of Government Employees won a settlement with the Department of Veterans Affairs securing return rights and back pay for nearly 5,000 employees who were wrongfully disciplined and terminated after the Department illegally implemented new rules without bargaining over them.
  • 1400 workers at Frontier Communication in West Virginia and Ashburn, VA voted to give their bargaining team the authority to call a strike if necessary. The contract expired on the 5th of August but has been extended through the 19th of August to allow bargaining to continue. Key issues are healthcare (the company’s offer had none), better job security, and curbing company use of subcontracting.
  • No new strikes in the south this week, but baristas at Three Brothers Coffee in Nashville are still on strike, as are bakery plant workers at IFF in Memphis
  • The UAW continues to put pressure on the Big Three auto makers, with International President Shawn Fain making a show of throwing Stellantis’ proposal in the trash and doing a live stream with US Senator Bernie Sanders talking about the demands of the union and the working conditions of its members. One UAW member recounted being made to work 90 days in a row with no days off - 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. The chief negotiator from Stellantis and its COO, Mark Stewart, has been away in his second home in Mexico for the last two weeks, while sending letters to the UAW to “focus on reality” in negotiations. He has not attended any of the negotiating sessions since the opening session, where the union says he was late, even through Zoom. The CEO of Stellantis has not showed up for any bargaining sessions. During negotiations, Stellantis has complained about absenteeism among its workforce. 
  • UPS Teamsters continue voting on the tentative agreement – voting closes and the votes will be tallied on August 22nd.
  • Industry groups sued and blocked a modest cap on rent hikes that was approved by 59% of Orange County, FL voters in 2022. Today, rent is up over 30% since 2020 in the area
  • Major labor organizations like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) have kicked off a $50 million campaign to put child and senior care legislation back on the priority list. Specifically, universal paid parental leave, child care, and paid medical leave
  • The U.S. Department of Labor announced the issuance of the final rule “Updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulation” to update regulations that implement the Davis-Bacon Act and Davis-Bacon and Related Acts to better reflect the needs of construction workers on federal construction investments.

  • The International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees allocated an additional $2 million in support of members affected by film and TV work stoppages, bringing their total contributions to this fund to $4 million dollars.

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