Last Week in Southern Labor: 3/15 - 3/22
Updated On: Apr 15, 2024

By JACOB MORRISON March 27, 2024

Here’s what workers in the US South and the colonies were up to from March 15th to March 22th:


  • 3 workers at Midwest Air Traffic Control Service in Ashland, MO filed a petition to hold a union election with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA)

  • 10 workers at Irving Materials in Somerset, KY filed a petition to hold a union election with the Teamsters Local 89

  • 17 workers at Starbucks in Springfield, VA filed a petition to hold a union election with Starbucks Workers United. In a statement to The Valley Labor Report, SBWU mentioned that this was one of 9 filings nationwide, building on a movement with 10,000 workers at 400 stores, and quoted Johnathan Springer (he/him), a shift supervisor at the Old Keene Mill location (in Springfield): "We're all very excited to join forces with Starbucks workers united, to stand with each other and fight for fair treatment and better conditions.”

  • 5 workers at Wells Fargo Bank in Bradenton, FL filed a petition to hold a union election with Wells Fargo Workers United - CWA

  • 1330 workers at Berea College (a work college, where you pay no tuition in exchange for working for the college) in Berea, KY filed a petition to hold a union election with the Communication Workers of America (CWA)

  • 82 workers at Transdev Services in Houston, TX filed a petition to hold a union election with the Teamsters Local 988

  • After only 100 days, 4,300 workers at Volkswagon in Chattanooga, TN filed a petition to hold a union election with the United Auto Workers. In a first for a president, Biden congratulated workers at Volkswagen in Tennessee for filing a petition to hold a union election 

  • Ballots in a union election at a St Louis cannabis site will be counted, the NLRB announced, after the the regional director rejected arguments that these workers were “agricultural” and therefore not subject to the National Labor Relations Act, though a date hasn’t been set yet

  • 400 workers at the United Football League in Arlington, TX withdrew their petition for a union election with USW Local 9004

  • 160 workers at L’Auberge Casino Hotel in Baton Rouge, LA withdrew their petition for a union election with the UAW

  • 226 workers at Ascension Seton Medical Center in Austin, TX voted in favor of unionization 120 to 5 with National Nurses United. In a statement to The Valley Labor Report, NNU said that this unit is made up of nurses going through a resident program for nurses who are newly graduated and a six-month fellowship program for RNs who are transferring to a new specialty, who the hospital said did not belong in the 800+ bargaining unit that unionized earlier. “Unfortunately for the sinful profiteers who manage Ascension, our power is only growing,” said Zetta Hackleman, RN in the perioperative department and member of the contract bargaining team.

  • 51 workers at SP Plus Corporation in St Rose, LA voted in favor of unionization 39 to 12 with the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Division 1535

  • 2 workers at Teavee Oil & Gas in Winfield, WV voted against unionization with the USW unanimously


  • Paragon Security Systems - located in Clarksburg, WV - is paying out nearly $300,000 to its employees as the result of the settlement of an unfair labor practice charge. The charge alleged that the company refused to bargain in good faith, and then subsequently lost their contract with the government to another company that had no accusations of violating labor law. Thus, to make the employees whole for the lawbreaking of the company, compensating them for all lost wages, benefits, and all direct or foreseeable financial harms

  • NLRB Region 9 director filed a complaint alleging that Trader Joe’s threatened employees in Louisville, KY with loss of pay raises and flexibility if they voted for union representation and interrogated employees about union support

  • NLRB Region 10 director filed a complaint alleging that Walmart in South Carolina issued “warnings” and sent an employee home for engaging in concerted activities with other employees for the purposes of mutual aid and protection, and failed and refused to remove “occurrences” (attendance points) from an employees’ personnel file because the employees filed Board charges, among other things


  • Newly organized administrative and specialist workers at the UPS Louisville Centennial Hub (LCH) unanimously ratified an addendum agreement on Sunday to classify their jobs under the UPS Teamsters National Master Agreement, propelling forward a national campaign to organize up to 5,000 administrative and specialist employees at other UPS facilities nationwide.

  •  Teamsters Local 688 at Graybar in St Louis, MO are still on strike 

  • As are Teamsters at Molson Coors, and they’re calling for a boycott of the brand


  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is trying to shut down the Annunciation House, a faith based nonprofit that has been a transitional housing charity for almost 50 years for migrants crossing into the US through El Paso - but he loves religious freedom. National Nurses United, among others, has condemned the attacks. 

  • Senator Sherrod Brown re-introduced the VA Employees Fairness Act, which would expand collective bargaining rights to some currently restricted nurses and other clinical professionals

  • The United Steel Workers endorsed President Biden’s reelection bid, the endorsement coming less than a week after Biden come out in opposition to the purchase of US Steel by Nippon

  • Nicole Berner, former General Counsel for the Service Employees International Union, has been confirmed to a lifetime appointment on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, the same week that a nominee with corporate ties was denied the appointment, in what some are calling a sea change.

  • The EPA last week announced a rule that would loosen regulations on gas cars, with support from the UAW, with the union saying the new standards are more “feasible,” while reiterating that they support a transition to renewable energy but emphasizing that “the transition to cleaner technologies cannot not be used to intensify the global race to the bottom through offshoring and low wages.”

  • $8.5B will be given to Intel as part of the CHIPS Act, a recent announcement revealed, and the Biden administration has said they “expect” Intel to respect the rights of their workers to organize. CWA in a statement said “High expectations, however, are not enough. Working people deserve guarantees that public funds will support family-supporting jobs, not just boost corporate profits.” They are arguing for Intel to sign a binding labor peace agreement

  • There is a lot of bad news coming out of Florida, especially with respect to their anti-union law passed last year that we spoke to Florida reporter McKenna Scheuler about extensively last week, but the news is not all bad, with some locals reporting members being spurred to support their union in greater numbers than ever before, including CWA Local 3122 members at the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority

  • The FY 24 minibus was released last week, and the American Federation of Government took issue in particular with parts of the funding bill that seeks to curtail telework usage.

  • Alabama State Senator Arthurr Orr (R-Decatur)  has introduced a bill that would prohibit state subsidies from being given to employers who voluntarily recognize their workers union. This bill has been passed into law in Tennessee, and just last week was signed into law in Georgia, but is almost certainly illegitimate because it pre-empts the National Labor Relations Act, and will certainly be challenged based on those grounds

  • Alabama State Representative Troy Stubbs introduced a bill that would make it more difficult for workers to win workers comp cases regarding asbestos, meanwhile the EPA nationwide has finally issued a rule to complete the ban on asbestos in production. The AFL-CIO applauded the move

  • Louisiana is following the trend of anti-worker legislation in Southern Republican States, with a slew of anti-worker laws being proposed this year now that they have achieved a Republican trifecta that had long been warded off by the Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards. Laws that would outlaw collective bargaining, loosen child labor laws, make it more difficult for workers to access workers comp benefits, and more. 

  • After bad faith negotiations with a community coalition around a community benefits agreement for a new stadium for the Kansas City Royals, the community coalition has backed out due to lack of progress and is encouraging their members and others in the community to vote against giving the Royals the requested $1.7B in taxpayer subsidies for the stadium

  • United Campus Workers CWA are pushing for a living wage at Jacksonville State in Alabama and are asking allies to sign this petition to support their fight. 

  • Republican Virginia Governor Youngkin vetoed a bill to mandate a minimum of two person crews for trains going through the state based in part due ostensibly to competitive concerns with trucks. As the Railroad Workers United put it in their newsletter: The idea that 440 truckloads being transported by a single train with a minimum of two crew instead of one would somehow make railroads less competitive with trucking doesn't wash.


  • Analyzing new data from the Federal Reserve on people’s personal finances in 2022, the Center for American Progress concluded that union members on average are $100,000 more wealthy than non union members

  • The United Auto Workers met with a delegation of Mexican labor leaders representing independent unions from the auto industry to strengthen ties between the unions across the border

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