Last Week in Southern Labor: 8/11 - 8/18
Updated On: Sep 26, 2023

Last Week in Southern Labor: 8/11 - 8/18

By JACOB MORRISON August 23, 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.

  • 72 workers at Corsair Gaming in Duluth, GA filed for a union election with Teamsters Local 728

  • 18 fiber network technicians at Liberty Communications in San Juan, PR filed for a union election with the Communication Workers of America

  • 14 workers at the George Washington Museum in Washington, DC filed for a union election with Service Employees International Union Local 500

  • 175 workers at Compass Group - a bunch of restaurants - filed for a union election with UNITE HERE Local 23

  • 11 baristas at French Truck Company in New Orleans, LA filed for a union election with Teamsters Local 270

  • 21 workers at Bourbon Dog in Burlington, NC filed for a union election with the Tech Repair Union Local 1

  • 55 workers at NOVO Healthy Services in Atlanta, GA filed for a union election with Workers United

  • 64 Workers at Yadkin Valley Telephone Mmebership Corporation in Yadkinville, NC filed for a union election with the Communcation Workers of America

  • 5 workers at Trident Military Systems in San Antonio, TX filed for a union election with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers 

  • Friend of the show Chris Townsend reports that Ironworkers Local 5 is trying to organize the 100 workers at Iron Fabrication Services on the north side of Alexandria, Virginia today. The company has already fired 30 workers as they continue to play legal games with the NLRB to avoid an election date.

  • 22 workers at Cargill in Kansas City, MO voted 13 to 9 in favor of unionization with the United Steelworkers Local 617

  • 16 workers at Starbucks in St Louis, MO voted 14 to 2 in favor of unionization with Starbucks Workers United

  • 5 workers at the Cogar Group in Washington DC voted against unionization with the Governed United Security Professionals 1 to 4

  • 3 workers at the Athens Banner Herald in Athens, GA voted against unionization with the NewsGuild CWA 1 to 2

  • 248 workers at Amentum Services in Ft Campbell, KY voted in favor of unionization with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers 141 to 43

  • Workers at Jacksonville State University announced that they are unionized with the United Campus Workers CWA (public sector)

  • 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.
  • Starbucks Workers United wrapped up one week of streaming on Twitch every day to talk about their bargaining demands: 

    • Right to organize

    • Health and safety

    • No reductions and immediate access to benefits

    • Wages and pay

    • High quality healthcare

    • Guaranteed and consistent schedules

    • And Leave

  • No updates on negotiations between 1400 CWA members and Frontier Communications in West Virginia. They extended the contract through 19 August to continue negotiations  and for the observant among you, you’ll recognize that is today. So we should know by tomorrow whether they get a TA or go on strike, and I’ll try to put that news in the newsletter. So subscribe to our newsletter at TVLR.FM/contact!

  • BCTGM Bakery plant workers at IFF in Memphis are still on strike - I’m in touch with the president of the local and we’re gonna try to bring him on the show soon. 

  • The UAW will hold a strike authorization vote next week. The contracts expire on September 14, and Shawn Fain has indicated that he has no intention of forcing his members to work after the expiration, so we could be looking at a 150k strike in the auto manufacturing sector - 3% of the  US GDP according to some estimates

  • UPS Teamsters continue voting on the tentative agreement – voting closes and the votes will be tallied on August 22nd.
  • The Prospect has a new report out: Democratic National Convention Chair’s Firm Dewey Square Group Helps Companies Block Labor Laws, where Minyon Moore leads State and Local Affairs, was paid millions of dollars last year by a Lyft-funded industry group fighting state labor protections.

  • 80,000 Atlantans have signed a petition to have a referendum on the construction of Cop City - more than voted for the current mayor. The construction is being done by nonunion contractors, and some unions have voiced opposition to at least the police violence towards the protestors, if not the construction itself. IUPAT released a statement last month saying they were: “proud to stand in solidarity during the height of the pandemic with the Black Lives Matter protests in Washington DC. Today we stand in solidarity with the protesters in Atlanta who are facing egregious and unnecessary violence by the Atlanta Police Force and others for simply disagreeing around matters of public policy.”

  • The American Federation of Government Employees turned 91 last week.

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