Last Week in Southern Labor: 11/4 - 11/10
Updated On: Jan 09, 2024

Last Week in Southern Labor: 11/4 - 11/10

By JACOB MORRISON November 16, 2023

Here’s what workers in the Southern U.S. and her Colonies were up to from November 4 - November 10:

  • 200 Nurses at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin in Austin, TX filed for a union election with National Nurses United.

  • Workers likely led or pushed by their employer, and represented by the National Right to Work Foundation, at IMI Kentucky in Bowling Green, KY filed a petition to decertify the General Drivers, Warehouseman & Helpers, Local Union No. 89, a Teamsters affiliate, as their union

  • The employer filed a petition for a union election after a majority of the 23 workers at a Starbucks in Durham, NC showed support for unionization with Starbucks Workers United

  • 4 maintenance and engineering workers at EMCOR Government Services in Alexandria, VA filed for a union election with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 99

  • Workers likely led or pushed by their employer at Bloom Medicinals in O Fallon, MO filed a petition to decertify UFCW Local 655 as their union

  • 2 maintenance workers at CBRE in Washington DC filed for a union election with IUOE Local 99

  • 48 workers at Pan American Grain Mfg Inc in Arecibo, PR filed for a union election with Union de Tronquistas de Puerto Rico, Local 901 (Google says Tronquistas translates to trunk, so this is the Trunk Union? Not sure I understand the naming convention)

  • 3 maintenance workers at Amentum in Springfield, VA filed for a union election with IUOE Local 99

  • 33 workers at High Profile Dispensary in Colombia, MO filed for a union election with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 655

  • 50 workers at Morton Salt in Cape Canaveral, FL filed for a union election with the United Steel Workers International Union (USW)

  • The employer filed for a union election after a majority of the 62 workers at Quikrete San Antonio in San Antonio, TX demonstrated majority support for unionization with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 657

  • Workers likely led or pushed by their employer at the National Iranian American Council in Washington, DC filed a petition to decertify the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1900 as their union

  • 36 workers at Transdev in Baton Rouge, LA filed for a union election with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1546

  • The employer filed for a union election after a majority of the 20 workers at Night Owls Print Shop in Houston, TX demonstrated majority support for unionization with the new independent union Night Owls United

  • 4 workers at Red Label Dispensary in Stillwater, OK filed for a union election with UFCW Local 1000

  • 15 workers at Rising for Justice in Washington, DC voted in favor of unionization with the Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild Local 32035, 13-0 with 3 challenged ballots.

  • 25 workers at Fiat Products in Somerset, KY voted to decertify the IBEW Local 651 as their union, 9 to 14

  • 111 workers at Dal-Tile Tennessee in Dickson, TN voted against unionization with USW, 45 to 58

  • In a less conventional election, organizers with the Amazon Labor Union held an election in the parking lot of an Amazon facility in Northern Kentucky where they asked their fellow workers where they reckoned the $10B in profits should go towards, and a $30/hr starting wage was far and away the winner. Unfortunately, instead of ignoring the joke or leaving their workers the hell alone, Amazon is trying to retaliate against these workers for exercising their right to union activity.

  • We’ve been reporting regularly that UFCW Local 655 is on strike at Shangrila in Missouri, but unfortunately we have been engaging in, unwittingly, fake news. Since we hadn’t heard anything on this front in so long, we reached out to the union and they told us that actually the strike was short lived and many of the workers were fired. But there was a great resolution to this because - and I kid you not - only hours after I spoke to the Local Union, the NLRB released the following announcement: On October 26, 2023, the Regional Director of Region 14-St. Louis approved a settlement agreement under the new Cemex doctrine between Shangri-La, a Columbia, Missouri cannabis dispensary, and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local 655 that resolved 15 unfair labor practice charges covering dozens of unfair labor practice allegations, which were set for trial on October 30, 2023. Among other remedies obtained in the settlement, Shangri-La agreed to:

  • Recognize and bargain with UFCW Local 655;

  • Pay backpay to 10 terminated employees;

  • Offer reinstatement to five terminated employees;

  • Pay frontpay to five terminated employees in lieu of reinstatement; 

  • Pay damages to a terminated employee for the interest on a high interest loan that an employee was forced to take out because of their termination;

  • Rescind its ban of terminated employees from public areas of Shangri-La;

  • Rescind certain provisions of its Handbook and Non-Disclosure Agreement

  • The Valley Labor Report, Alabama’s only union talk radio program, conducted a marathon fundraising livestream over the weekend, raising a total of approximately $16,000, to support two groups of striking workers:

    • UAW members at Mack Trucks in Florida have been on strike for over a month, fighting for real wage gains, reinstatement of COLA, and elimination of tiers

    • BCTGM members who manufacture soy protein for IFF in Memphis, TN have been on strike since June refusing concessions - their employer is asking to take away paid breaks, take away overtime protections, and more

  • The National Staff Organization, which is a union that represents a lot of union staff, yesterday announced that they would be imposing sanctions on the National Education Association because of their refusal to come to a contract with their employees who have been without a contract since June. The sanction means that NSO members will boycott any event or program hosted by the NEA.

  • From Bloomberg:

    • Honda will hike the pay of some US employees by 11% following the UAW’ historic contract victories at the carmaker’s unionized Detroit competitors

    • Nissan says it aims to be “an employer of choice, offering compensation and benefits above market norms” and will continue to “monitor conditions to maintain our competitiveness.” 

    • Subaru internal memo says “many” employees have asked it to respond to UAW’s Big Three deals, and the company plans to do so this month

  • Attendees at the 2023 Audubon Leadership Conference in Estes Park are learning as much about labor contracts as conservation efforts this week. The union employees of the National Audubon Society brought their fight for a fair contract to the conference, holding rallies and educating attendees from Audubon chapters across the country about their struggle for a fair contract that will strengthen the organization.

  • The International Brotherhood of Teamsters froze national negotiations with Anheuser-Busch after the company refused to fix and improve health care benefits for workers and retirees. The current five-year agreement expires Feb. 29, 2024. The Teamsters Anheuser-Busch National Negotiating Committee presented a proposal last week for Anheuser-Busch to eliminate an unfair, costly two-tier health benefits system that punishes workers hired after March 1, 2019, and to restore retiree health care coverage. As negotiations over health care were taking place, Anheuser-Busch InBev announced its $1 billion stock buyback program to reward wealthy investors. This comes after the beer conglomerate paid out $11.62 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends from 2019 to 2022. There are 5,000 Teamsters working at Anheuser-Busch across 12 breweries in the U.S. Teamsters brew, package and ship beer, safeguard the facilities, and drive the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales.

  • Anthony Daniels, Alabama State Representative from Huntsville, a Democrat, is running for Congress in the newly drawn district 2 that is now winnable for Democrats thanks to a court order (No, Huntsville is not District 2). Immediately before he officially announced, he attended a ceremonial bill signing of the overtime wage tax exemption bill that took place at Hyundai Motor Company in Montgomery, the same company that has been exploiting prisoners, and children, and has been discriminating against its black employees. Anthony Daniels lent his credibility to that company. 

  • The American Postal Workers Union last week called for a ceasefire in Gaza

  • As did more than 100 congressional staffers, who made the demand after walking off the job for the day

  • The only maternity ward in the county that Alabama State House Representative Susan DuBose resides in closed last month, so naturally, she is announcing plans to file bills to restrict access to porn and to codify a definition of men and women in Alabama state law. 

  • Bloomberg had a great rundown of the funding issues at the DOL and the real life ramifications: 

  • Missouri Senator Josh @HawleyMO has joined a growing chorus of lawmakers in Congress who are urging the Department of the Treasury to take action to preserve union trucking jobs amid Yellow Corp.'s bankruptcy. Yesterday, Hawley sent a formal letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to raise concerns about Teamster jobs being jeopardized due to years of company mismanagement.

  • Public records originally obtained by @MorePerfectUS show that a conservative think-tank drafted new legislation that seeks to roll back certain child labor protections in Florida.

  • SPLC Union: With that in mind, SPLC Union stands strongly in solidarity with the Palestinian people. There is a way beyond occupation. There is a way beyond apartheid. There is a way beyond bombings. We hope to move toward peace and freedom.

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