REVISED: Last Week in Southern Labor: 12/1 - 12/8
Updated On: Feb 12, 2024

Last Week in Southern Labor: 12/1 - 12/8

By JACOB MORRISON December 12, 2023

NOTE: Sorry for the duplicate mailing — we accidentally published this edition of Last Week in Southern Labor before necessary revisions and updates had been completed. We received additional details and responses from Emory Unite! and others, for instance, which have now been properly included below.

So without further adieu, here’s what workers in the US South and the American colonies were up to in the week ending on 8 December:


  • Workers likely led or pushed by their employer at GTA RATPDEV in Greensboro, NC filed a petition to decertify the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Locals 714 and 1493 as the unions representing the 12 employees there. 

  • 9 workers at Coqui del Mar Guest House in San Juan, PR filed for a union election with the Coqui Del Mar Workers Union

  • 20 workers at Starbucks in St. Ann, MO filed for a union election with Starbucks Workers United, as did 26 more Starbucks workers in Baton Rouge, LA.

  • 5 workers at Wells Fargo Bank in Daytona Beach, FL filed for a union election with the Communication Workers of America, becoming the third group of workers at Wells Fargo to do so.   

  • 22 workers in fuels at UPS in Louisville, KY filed for a union election with the General Drivers, Warehousemen & Helpers (Teamsters) Local Union No. 89, as did 28 ramp and tug workers at UPS in the same city. 

  • The employer filed for a union election after a majority of the 10 workers at Cemex Construction Materials South, LLC in New Braunfels, TX showed support for unionization with the Teamsters Local 657. Cemex is the company that the Teamsters took to bat over Unfair Labor Practices in a separate union election that got us the new Cemex standard at the NLRB. They’ll probably be more careful this time!

  • 15 security guards at Walden Security in Washington DC filed for a union election with the United States Court Security Officers

  • The employer filed for a union election after a majority of the 290 workers at Places for People, Incorporated in Saint Louis, MO showed support for unionization with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Missouri Kansas.

  • Workers likely led or pushed by their employer at Gallows Point Resort in Saint John, VI filed a petition to decertify the United Industrial Workers, a Seafarers International Union affiliate, as the union representing the 18 workers there.  

  • Workers likely led or pushed by their employer at TAYLOR CO.R.E.C.C. in Campbellsville, KY filed a petition to decertify the Teamsters Local 89 as the union representing the 36 workers there. 

  • 26 workers at Kansas City PBS in Kansas City, MO filed for a union election with the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians - Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO.

  • UAW International President Shawn Fain visited Toyota’s Georgetown, Kentucky plant last week after speaking to the Kentucky AFL-CIO. UAW Local 862, which represents Ford workers at the Louisville plant, said “I feel very confident we’re going to organize Toyota.” He told us during our conversation on the show that as far back as the Stand Up Strike, workers in the Toyota plant were already wearing UAW shirts on the plant floor. The UAW also announced that 1,000 workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga had already signed union cards, and they have continued to put out bangers on social media.

  • Professional workers for the City of Richmond voted to unionize by a 3 to 1 margin with the Service Employees International Union Local 512. This comes after administrative and technical employees voted to unionize with the same local in June, and the trades voted to unionize with the Teamsters in November. 

  • 8 workers at the Student Borrowers Protection Center in Washington DC withdrew their petition for a union election with the Office and Profession Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 39. The Business Manager for OPEIU Local 39 - Kathryn Bartlett-Mulvhill - informed us that this is because the employer voluntarily recognized the group instead. Love to hear news like that!

  • The decertification petition was withdrawn at Bloom Medicals of Missouri Dispensary in O Fallen, MO, meaning the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 655 will continue to represent the 13 workers there. 

  • The decertification petition was withdrawn at the National Iranian American Council in Washington DC, meaning the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1900 will continue to represent the 4 workers there. 

  • 11 workers at Grantmakers for Effective Organizations in Washington DC withdrew their petition for a union election with 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East

  • Workers at Transdev Services in Baton Rouge, LA voted 33 to 1 in favor of unionization with the ATU Local 1546

  • Workers at two different Starbucks in Atlanta, GA both voted UNANIMOUSLY 10 to 0 in favor of unionization with Starbucks Workers United

  • Workers at CenterPoint Energy in Byram, MS voted 9 to 64 against unionization with the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) Local 619

  • Workers at Daher Aerospace in Stuart, FL voted 133 to 42 in favor of unionization with the United Automobile Workers (UAW)

  • Workers at Titan Concrete in Fort Lauderdale, FL voted 17 to 72 to decertify the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 487

  • Workers at Unity Healthcare voted 102 to 17 in favor of unionization with the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, AFSCME Local 206

  • Workers at Emory University in Atlanta, GA voted 909 to 73 in favor of unionization with Emory Unite! (a Workers United affiliate). In a statement provided to The Valley Labor Report by Rebecca Parker, a Cancer Biology Program Steward and Communications Team Member for the union, she mentioned that Emory Unite! had been winning for its members since 2017, when they “won stipend parity across all Emory/Laney Graduate School PhD programs (previously many humanities programs had stipends much lower than those in the sciences).” She said that the union is now forming the bargaining committee and holding town halls with members to determine priorities.

  • A reporter for the Dallas Morning News resigned after management caved to political pressure from elites in the city, escalating discipline beyond what the CBA outlines for what the Dallas News Guild calls a “basic mistake.” The Guild condemned the actions of the paper in a tweet last week. 

  • The Birmingham Water Works Employee Association (BWWEA) delivered a letter to the Birmingham Water Works in Birmingham, Alabama board regarding inequity in discipline, promotions, and salaries, saying that morale has dipped to an “all time low.” Apparently, a similar letter was written and delivered in 2005.
  • 2,000 National Nurses United members at Ascension Hospitals in Austin, TX and Wichita, KS went on a one day strike, which the hospitals followed with an additional 3 day lockout.

  • Cafeteria Workers at Guilford County Schools went on a two day sick out strike for higher wages, and the Southern Workers Assembly issued a statement of support. 

  • SAG-AFTRA ratified their new agreement with the production companies by a near 80% margin. 

  • Call Center Workers United, a CWA affiliate organizing Maximus Call Center workers, who man the phones for Medicare, Obamacare, etc., announced that they are holding a rally next week and are inviting allies. They are trying to pressure HHS Secretary Beccera to do something about their abysmally low wages. 

  • 1,100 Teamsters went on strike at DHL’s largest and busiest logistics hub in North America - the Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky Airport. This comes after a 98% strike authorization vote and a failure on the part of the company to reach a fair contract with the newly unionized workers. Not long after the strike was announced, the Teamsters approved an additional $125/week in strike pay, increasing the current strike pay from what was already the highest in the labor movement to $625/week. 

  • Teamsters International President Sean O Brien threatened to deliver a UPS strike yet - setting a deadline of Monday for UPS to rehire its 35 Louisville administrative staff that recently unionized with the Teamsters Local 89, or else all 14,000 UPS Teamsters in the city will walk off the job. UPS caved almost immediately, and all of the staff are now back on the job. When you are powerful enough, even a threat is enough to win!


  • GM workers across the country are being officially converted to permanent status now, as the new contract with the UAW has been ratified. In Spring Hill, TN, they held an induction ceremony last week for their 125 members who are getting this conversation.


  • The City of Decatur has fired 3 officers involved in the police killing of Steve Perkins, without releasing their names, presumably so they can get a job in another municipality. 

  • The National Council of Urban Education Associations, made up of the largest NEA locals in urban areas, passed a resolution calling on NEA leadership to pressure Biden and members of Congress to support a ceasefire in Gaza. This motion was put forward by the Amarillo Education Association in TX. 

  • The USPS is proposing the closure of mail processing operations in Charleston, WV, which would result in 800 lost jobs. The UMWA issued a statement in strong opposition.

  • United Mine Workers of America members were in DC last week lobbying for the approval of the new silica rule by the Mine Safety and Health Administration. 

  • The American Federation of Government Employees endorsed the recently introduced VA Correct Compensation Act, which would allow federal unions to represent their members in matters of payroll errors. Most federal employees already get this right to representation in this area, but several job classifications in the VA are exempt, including physicians, dentists, and more. The Act would strike that exemption. 

  • AFGE Local 17 President Douglas Massey testified in Congress last week about the detrimental impact of the inexperienced agency leadership on VA employees and the people they serve, specifically, the pay cuts for attorneys, inadequate training, and unreasonable quotas.

  • Limestone County, Alabama voters rejected the continuation of a tax that funds education. This, in one of the fastest growing counties in the state. According to reporting, their will likely be another election next year, as there are concerns that the public was not properly educated about what they were voting on (a continuation of an existing tax, not a new tax). The current tax provisions sunset in 2025, so they will need to move quickly. 

  • Texas AG Ken Paxton is threatening to prosecute any doctor who provides an abortion that the courts sanctioned, an abortion for a woman with a nonviable pregnancy. 

  • The U.S. State Department has recently proposed new rules for the J-1 Au Pair Program. While these new rules include important improvements to ensure fair pay for au pairs - a live in childcare worker on a temporary visa to work and study - they also jeopardize labor protections that au pairs and other domestic workers have fought hard to win under federal, state, and local laws, according to the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Specifically, the NDWA states that the new rule would take away protection from harassment and discrimination, and even workers' comp. They are asking supporters to sign a petition in opposition to the new rule.

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