Last Week in Southern Labor: 2/23 - 3/1
Updated On: Apr 15, 2024

By JACOB MORRISON March 5, 2024

Here’s what workers in the US South and the colonies were up to from February 23rd to March 1st:


  • 20 workers at Crescent Paper Tube in Lewisport, KY filed a petition to hold a union election with the United Steel Workers (USW)

  • 5 workers at the Cesar Chavez Foundation in Dallas, TX filed a petition to hold a union election with Lone Star Labor Education, as did 2 more workers for the same organization in Austin

  • The employer filed a petition to hold a union election after a majority of the 30 workers at SP Plus Corporation (which operates shuttles, valets, etc.) in Sarasota, FL demonstrated support for unionization with the Teamsters Local 79

  • 12 workers at in Cape Girardeau, MO filed a petition to hold a union election with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 513

  • 60 workers at Red River Science & Technology in Fort Knox, KY filed a petition to hold a union election with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) 

  • The employer filed a petition to hold a union election after a majority of the 13 workers at Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in Atlanta, GA demonstrated support for unionization with the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 927

  • 9 workers at Anthony’s Food in Meeker, OK filed a petition to hold a union election with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1000. In a statement to The Valley Labor Report, the union cited familiar worker concerns like low pay, long hours, and a lack of job security. Sheldon Hurst, a member of the organizing committee, said "Without the union in a right to work state, you have nothing. With the union you are treated better and have better benefits."

  • 33 workers at Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, FL filed a petition to hold a union election with IATSE Local 500

  • 28 workers at Houston Landing in San Antonio, TX filed a petition to hold a union election with the Media Guild of the West, Newsguild CWA Local 39213

  • Workers likely pushed by their employer filed a petition to decertify UFCW Local 1996 as the union representing the 156 workers at Kraft Heinz / Maxwell House in Jacksonville, FL

  • 25 workers at Southeastern Paper Group in College Park, GA filed a petition to hold a union election with Teamsters Local 528

  • Workers at Mercedes-Benz in Vance, AL announced that a majority now support the union effort

  • A day or two prior to this announcement, the CEO of Mercedes Benz gave an anti-union speech at a mandatory captive audience meeting, telling workers “I don’t believe the UAW can help us to be better”

  • A day after this announcement, Kay Ivey publicly blasted the Alabama workers as a “looming threat” to the state’s economy

  • Nick Saban met with workers at Mercedes Benz last week, in what some anticipated to be his participation in the anti-union campaign. Workers say that he did not attack the union, and the talk was just generic, so pro-union Alabama fans can rest easy

  • There were 5 petitions for union election withdrawn last week:

    • 17 workers at Parker Transport in Clinton, TN with the Teamsters

    • 3 workers at Marty Cancila Collision Center in Florissant, MO with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) District Lodge 8

    • 95 workers at TENSAR Corporation in Morrow, GA with the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) Southeast Council

    • 42 workers at Collins Landing Systems in Haltom City, TX with the United Auto Workers (UAW)

  • A petition to decertify the Washington-Baltimore News Guild CWA Local 32035 as the union representing the 17 workers at the Daily Progress in Charlottesville, VA was withdrawn

  • A unit clarification petition for the currently 500 person unit at Big State Electric in San Antonio, TX by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 60 was withdrawn

  • 2 workers (shuttle drivers) at Vestis Services in Stafford, TX voted unanimously in favor of unionization with the Teamsters Local 988

  • 8 workers at Hines GS Properties in Washington, DC voted 5 to 3 in favor of unionization with IUOE Local 99

  • 174 workers at US Sugar Savannah Refinery in Port Wentworth, GS voted 41 to 112 against unionization with Teamsters Local 528

  • In a decertification election, 4 workers at Gray’s Auto Service in Richmond Heights, MO voted unanimously in favor of decertifying the Automotive, Petroleum, and Allied Industries Employees Union Local 618, a Teamsters affiliate

  • 40 workers at OXD IA LLC in Kansas City, MO voted 6 to 24 against unionization with the Teamsters Local 955

  • 6 workers at Leidos in North Merritt Island, FL voted 3 to 3 in an election on joining the IBEW Local 2088, and ties go to the employer

  • 50 workers at Roll Call in Washington, DC voted 41 to 3 in favor of unionization with the Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild 

  • 85 workers at Southern Electric Corporation of Mississippi in Miami, FL (??) voted against unionization with the IBEW Local 222

  • 4 workers at Lee County Electric Cooperative in North Ft Myers, FL voted 3 to 1 in favor of unionization with IBEW Local 1933 

  • Editorial and gaming workers at Imagine Gaming Network (GN) won voluntary recognition for their unionization with the NewsGuild-CWA, and celebrated their win with a twitch stream


  • Members of ATU Local 689 are still on strike after Transdev refused to bargain fairly, coming to the table with a proposal to cut benefits. In a statement to The Valley Labor Report, the union said that the company has already cut their health insurance. Negotiations resume today (Tuesday, March 5) and the union is “cautiously optimistic for resolution.” Here is a link to their strike fund 

  • The Orlando Sentinel Guild wrote a long twitter thread detailing why some of their members left the paper, even though their dream was to work in journalism - all the reasons revolved around low pay, disrespect, and poor benefits

  • The Teamsters and Anheuser-Busch came to a tentative agreement, with the workers securing an average 23% raise over the term of the contract with half of that - a $4/hr raise - coming in the first year. They also secured a $2,500 ratification bonus, increased pension contributions and benefits, more leave, job security, and an end to two tier health care. The 5,000 members are voting on ratification on March 3-5

  • Teamsters Local 688 at Graybar in St Louis, MO went on strike last week after they weren’t able to come to an agreement on pay, healthcare, and profit sharing

  • The Communication Workers of America reached a tentative agreement with AT&T Mobility in their contract negotiations covering 5,000 CWA members spanning Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. The TA includes an immediate 5% raise, and more. Members will vote on ratification next week

  • United Campus Workers of Mississippi (UCWMS-CWA Local 3565) members at the University of Mississippi, University of Southern Mississippi, and Mississippi State University came together for the Living Wage Week of Action to highlight the urgent need for pay increases for campus workers in the state

  • 7,000 UAW members who build Freightliner and Western Star trucks and Thomas Built Buses for Daimler Truck North America are gearing up for a historic contract fight. The current contract expires at 12:01 am on Friday, April 26, and workers at six facilities in North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. They are seeking solutions to lower pay and deteriorating benefits

  • Starbucks Workers United and Starbucks announced an agreement last week to begin discussions on a foundational framework to achieve collective bargaining agreements, resolve litigation, and a fair process for workers to organize. As a show of good faith, union workers will get the new benefits that nonunion workers have received since the organizing campaign began about three years ago, along with backpay. An analysis from the Strategic Organizing Center estimates that Starbucks spent almost a quarter billion on union busting activities

  • Kroger workers in West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky and members of UFCW Local 400 voted to authorize a strike by 85% after voting to reject the company’s proposal by 87%. With the contract already expired, the bargaining committee can call on the approximately 3,000 workers to strike at any moment

  • South Florida janitors with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 32BJ reached a tentative agreement with contractors that clean major buildings. The TA includes 27 to 28% raises over 4 years, more full time employment, and more. The ratification vote is taking place on March 2nd

  • The Orange County, FL School Board is holding an impasse hearing over their desire to increase the health insurance rates for the Teachers Union. The union is saying the scheduled time of 930am is to decrease attendance from their members and supportive working people in the community


  • The Teamsters are holding a roundtable with President Joe Biden on March 12

  • The FTC is suing to block a merger of Kroger and Albertsons, a move supported broadly by labor due to concerns that a merger would deteriorate working conditions

  • So called “School Choice” is progressing in the Alabama legislature, and President Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers is expressing concern

  • State Senator Merika Coleman filed a bill in the legislature that would amend the Alabama Jobs Act to revoke tax incentives for companies that violated child labor law

  • The Florida Senate passed a bill that would ban lab grown meat and stop municipalities from doing anything to encourage installation of electric vehicle charging stations

  • The Mississippi House passed Medicaid Expansion 92-20, more than enough to overcome a veto. It heads to the Senate

  • The Alabama House passed a bill to give immunity to IVF providers 94-6, but some Democrats are sounding the alarm that this will likely require a constitutional amendment. Since Alabama law now defines a fertilized egg as a human, this bill essentially grants immunity to murderers, as defined by the law, so you could see a judge striking the law down as unconstitutional pretty easily

  • The Mayor of Montgomery signed an executive order forgiving $10M in old municipal debt

  • A rider in one of the versions of Tennessee’s school choice scam would mandate the public school system to renovate charter school locations in some cases, even when the charter school owns the building, without ownership reverting to the school system in the case that the charter goes under

  • A bill in the Kentucky House would repeal workers rights to a lunch break every three to five hours, to a break every four hours, to time and a half on the 7th day of work, to payment for traveling between jobs, and decreases the statute of limitations for labor violations from 5 to 3 years

  • The West Virginia AFL-CIO is opposing a bill that would take away unemployment benefits from workers who were laid off due to no fault of their own

  • A catholic priest testified in opposition to a Florida bill that would bar municipalities from passing heat protection ordinances for workers

  • Candidates for Alabama’s newly redrawn Congressional District 2 debated last week, and neither the candidates nor the moderators mentioned unions or the UAW campaign at Hyundai in the district they’re vying to represent


  • CWA’s Human Rights Department is launching a radio program on KYOK in Houston, TX, to talk about solidarity and worker power. Thursdays from 10 to 11am eastern

  • Dozens of leaders in the Fire Fighters Union (IAFF) in Alabama met to strategize about strengthening their local unions and establishing collective bargaining rights

  • AFGE hit a major milestone in their nationwide internal organizing campaign, hitting 300,000 members

Did we miss something? Send us your union updates:

Did you receive this from a friend? Click here to subscribe so you don't miss out! 

  • The Valley Labor Report

    Copyright © 2024. All Rights Reserved.

    Powered By UnionActive

  • Top of Page image