Last Week in Southern Labor: 1/27 - 2/2
Updated On: Feb 12, 2024


By JACOB MORRISON February 7, 2024


Here’s what workers in the US South and the colonies were up to from January 26th to February 2nd:

NEW CAMPAIGNS

  • 2 workers at Jupiter Aluminum in Wellsburg, WV filed a petition to hold a union election with the United Steel Workers (USW)

  • 1 workers at Transdev Services in Mobile, AL filed a petition to hold a union election with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 770

  • 18 workers at Starbucks in Miami, FL filed a petition to hold a union election with Starbucks Workers United

  • The employer filed a petition to hold a union election after a majority of the 2 workers at Vestis Services in Stafford, TX demonstrated support for unionization with the Teamsters Local 988, the drivers are seeking to be added to a unit of sales representatives already represented by the Teamsters.

  • The employer filed a petition to hold a union election after a majority of the 10 workers at Hines GS Properties in Washington DC demonstrated support for unionization with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 99

  • Workers likely pushed by their employer filed a petition to decertify the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) Local 218 as the union representing 16 workers at ADM Milling in Carthage, MO

  • 22 workers at Visionworks in Lexington, KY filed a petition to hold a union election with the Teamsters Local 651

  • 50 guards at Allied Universal in Tampa, FL filed a petition to hold a union election with the Security, Police, and Fire Professionals of America (SPFPA) International Union

  • Workers likely pushed by their employer filed a petition to decertify the International Union of Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) Local Lodge 1745 as the union representing the 18 workers at RailCrew Xpress in Thayer, MO

  • 600 workers at Westinghouse Electric Company in Hopkins, SC filed a petition to hold a union election with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)

CAMPAIGN UPDATES
  • After holding their first public forum a week or so ago, Hyundai workers in Montgomery, AL announced they had hit 30% cards signed with the United Auto Workers (UAW) with an amazing video

  • Nationwide, the UAW announced that over 10,000 auto workers have signed cards. That is significant progress towards their goal of organizing 150,000 workers

  • At an NLRB hearing last week, the board set an April 22 date for a hearing before an administrative law judge to determine whether objections by Amazon or RWDSU in the 2022 Bessemer Amazon union election constitute an unfair labor practice, nullifying the results.

ELECTION RESULTS
  • 14 workers at Alabama Arise received voluntary recognition with Communication Workers of America (CWA) Local 3908

  • The petition to hold a union election with The News Guild CWA’s Media Guild of the West for 15 workers at the San Antonio Report has been withdrawn

  • The petition to hold a union election with the Teamsters Local 886 for 14 workers at Graves Menumaker Foods Transportation in Oklahoma City, OK has been withdrawn

  • The petition to hold a union election with Teamsters Local 728 for 46 workers at OAP Transportation in Forest Park, GA has been withdrawn

  • The petition to hold a unit clarification election with the IBEW Local 222 for 950 workers at LUMA Energy Serv Company in San Juan, PR has been withdrawn

  • 62 workers at Nestle USA in McDonough, GA voted 31 to 27 against decertification of the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) Midsouth Council, meaning the union will remain. This decertification petition was filed with help from the National Right to Work Foundation

  • 25 workers at Duke Raleigh Hospital in Raleigh, NC voted 14 to 11 in favor of unionization with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 465

  • 25 workers at Platinum Waste Disposal in Guaynabo, PR voted 19 to 6 in favor of unionization with the Central General De Trabajadores (General Workers Center)

  • 24 workers at Ballet Austin voted unanimously with 100% turnout in favor of unionization with the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA). In a statement, the dancers said they were unionizing to “preserve the things that we value most about Ballet Austin”

  • 1781 workers at Xperts (a cleaning service) in San Juan, PR voted 622 to 272 in favor of unionization with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1996

SETTLEMENTS, GRIEVANCES, & UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES
  • AFGE won 2 years of back pay for 80 firefighters in Florida who weren’t being compensated for all their time worked

STRIKES & BARGAINING
  • The Teamsters called a strike of their 5,000 workers at Anheuser-Busch breweries across the country “imminent and unavoidable” and demanded their last, best, and final offer. 

  • UE Local 150, which represents state and municipal workers in North Carolina, is threatening a sanitation strike in Durham if they don’t get $25/hr

  • Staying in Durham, the Durham Association of Educators staged a sickout and shut down 11 schools and 6 more cafeterias to protest the clawbacks of proposed raises.

POLICY, POLITICS, AND LEGISLATION

  • United Campus Workers CWA rallied and lobbied in the Virginia state capitol to secure collective bargaining for university workers

  • Last week marked a year since the East Palestine train derailment. Train accidents went up, not down. Check out working people podcast for great coverage of this disaster.

  • The Georgia Senate voted to expand cash bail and criminalize charitable bail funds

  • The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is pushing a bill that would give federal employees a 7.4% raise to help close the widening federal employee pay gap that has now reached 27%

  • The American Federation of Teachers becomes the latest union to endorse a ceasefire in Gaza, meaning unions representing about half the labor movement have endorsed a ceasefire. It’s worth noting that Weingarten was reportedly the most vocally pro-Israel voice on the AFL-CIO executive board call when the issue came up, so if she has moved on the issue, it’s clearly becoming the standard position

  • The Council of Bosses in Alabama has announced an all out war against the state’s auto workers in their attempt to unionize, with public admissions of close coordination between their organization and the state government. 

  • Alabama bosses and politicians aren’t the only ones declaring war on their constituents, with South Carolina Governor stating that he would fight unions “to the gates of hell” in his state of the state speech last week

INTERNAL UNION AFFAIRS

  • The Professional Fire Fighters of Greensboro announced that 21 new firefighters from the most recent recruit class joined the union, bringing their membership total to over 600


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