Last Week in Southern Labor: 4/12 - 4/26
Updated On: May 06, 2024


By JACOB MORRISON April 30, 2024


Here’s what workers in the US South and the colonies were up to from April 12th to April 26th:

NEW CAMPAIGNS

  • 4 workers at Jones Lang La Salle in Miami, FL filed a petition to hold a union election with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 30-F

  • The employer filed a petition for a union election after a majority of the 5 workers at Spire Alabama in Wetumpka, AL demonstrated support for unionization with the United Association of Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters (UA) Local 548

  • Workers likely pushed by their employer filed a petition to decertify the Communication Workers of America (CWA) Local 3603 as the union representing the 62 workers at Transcontinental Matthews in Matthews, NC 

  • 54 security guards at Akima Global Services in Gauynabo, PR filed a petition to hold a union election with Programa de Solidaridad - UTIER

  • The employer filed a petition to hold a union election after a majority of the 134 workers at Union Tank Car Company demonstrated support for unionization with the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART)

  • 50 workers at MNG 2005 in Saint Louis, MO filed a petition to hold a union election with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 655

  • 1 worker at Keolis in Dania Beach, FL is seeking to be added to the already represented Teamsters Local 769 bargaining unit

  • 85 workers at Polyethylene Containers in El Dorado, AR filed a petition to hold a union election with the Plastic Workers Union Local 18

  • 90 workers at 10 Roads Express in Greensboro, NC filed a petition to hold a union election with Teamsters Local 391

  • 43 workers at Trap Rock and Granite Quarries in Ironton, MO filed a petition to hold a union election with the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 829

  • 10 workers at Empresas Steward Cementerios in Bayamon, PR filed a petition to hold a union election with the Union de Tronquistas de Puerto Rico (Trunks Union) Local 901

  • The employer filed a petition to hold a union election after a majority of the 45 workers at Rose Brooks Center in Kansas City, MO demonstrated support for unionization with LIUNA Local 955

  • The employer filed a petition to hold a union election after a majority of the 28 workers at Barnes and Noble in Austin, TX demonstrated support for unionization with UFCW Local 455

  • 39 security guards at Defense Contracting Activity in Durham, NC filed a petition to hold a union election with the RTP Security Guards Association, but the petition was withdrawn 

  • Workers likely pushed by their employer filed a petition to decertify Workers United as the union representing 61 workers at Emporia Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Emporia, VA

  • 34 workers at Wydown Coffee in Washington, DC filed a petition to hold a union election with Workers United, but the petition was later withdrawn

  • 9 workers at Koorsen Fire and Security in Louisville, KY filed a petition to hold a union election with UA Local 669

  • 70 workers at Mikeyco in Boynton Beach, FL filed a petition to hold a union election with the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE)

  • 22 workers at Sightline Media Group in Arlington, VA filed a petition to hold a union election with the Washington Baltimore NewsGuild CWA Local 32035

CAMPAIGN UPDATES
  • The union election at Mercedes in Alabama has been set for May 13 - 17

ELECTION RESULTS
  • In a huge win, 4,326 workers at Volkswagen in Chattanooga, TN voted 2,628 to 985 in favor of unionization with the United Auto Workers. In what is probably a first, US President Joe Biden congratulated the workers within hours. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee said the workers made a mistake. 

  • The International Association of Fire Fighters disclaimed interest in a decertification petition filed for 12 fire fighters at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN, meaning the previously represented unit is decertified

  • 102 workers - undergraduate resident assistants - at Georgetown University in Washington DC voted 79 to 3 in favor of unionization with the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 153

  • 16 workers at Starbucks in Springfield, VA voted 14 to 0 in favor of unionization with Starbucks Workers United

  • 77 workers at Transdev Services in Houston, TX voted 48 to 6 in favor of unionization with the Teamsters Local 988

  • 8 workers at Wells Fargo in Apex, NC voted 6 to 2 in favor of unionization with Wells Fargo Workers United CWA, as did 6 Wells Fargo workers in Cedar Hill, TX 

  • 10 workers at Wells Fargo in Belleview, FL voted 4 to 4 in an election to unionize with Wells Fargo Workers United CWA, and ties go to the company

  • 6 workers at Second Chance Animal Rescue in Norman, OK voted 6 to 0 in favor of unionization with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

  • 96 workers at FlightSafety International in Savannah, GA voted 14 to 69 against unionization with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW)

  • 8 workers at WestRock in Nashville, TN voted 4 to 4 in a decertification election with the Teamsters Local 327, and ties go to the company

  • 5 workers at Herzog Transit  Services in Irving, TX voted 4 to 0 in favor of unionization with the American Train Dispatchers Association. In a statement to The Valley Labor Report, President Ed Dowell of the American Train Dispatchers Association welcomed the new unit, saying that the labor movement is “gaining momentum” and seeing “major progress” in the fight to improve working conditions for rail workers, not only with continued organization of workers, but also with a new “C3RS agreement signed by ATDA, Rail Carrier BNSF, and the FRA.” Dowell stated that this represents a “shift away from the American rail industry's archaic, punitive-based approach to safety, the new agreement will instead focus on collaborative, root-cause analysis of ‘close call’ incidents, while shielding the 600+ BNSF Rail Traffic Controllers from discipline…” and concluded his statement “we are the ATDA and WE CONTROL THE RAILROAD.” Hell yeah brother. 

  • 21 workers at Luke & Associates in Beaufort, SC voted 10 to 5 in favor of unionization with IUOE Local 465

  • 2 workers at the Cesar Chavez Foundation voted 0 to 2 against unionization with Lone Star Labor Education

  • 8 workers at Riverside Theatre in Vero Beach, FL voted 6 to 2 in favor of unionization with IATSE Local 500

  • 26 workers at Southeastern Paper Group in College Park, GA voted 13 to 13 in a union election with Teamsters Local 528, and ties go to employers

  • 74 workers at San Antonio Express News in San Antonio, TX voted 31 to 36 against unionization with the Media Guild of the West

  • 22 workers at Ready Refresh in Davenport, FL voted 10 to 10 in a union election with the Teamsters Local 79, and ties go to employers

SETTLEMENTS, GRIEVANCES, & UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES

  • When 80 drivers at United Natural Foods Inc (UNFI) in Florida decided to unionize with Teamsters Local 79, the company attempted to outsource those jobs to another nonunion employer - JB Hunt. The NLRB last week found this to be an illegal move to kill the union campaign, refused to accept the plan to outsource jobs, and ordered an election to be held on May 4 and 5.

STRIKES & BARGAINING

  • CWA workers at AT&T Southeast went on strike for the first time in 30 years in 2019. The contract they secured after that strike expires in August, and CWA District 3 is laying the groundwork for another strike if necessary

  • The UAW reached a deal with GM Aramark, the sanitation department at GM, with raises of up to 43% over the 3 year deal, and a cut in the progression from several years to just 90 days. Members still have to ratify the deal. 

  • The UAW also announced a tentative agreement - subject to membership ratification - at Daimler Trucks where 7,000 workers across the South work. In the agreement, the union announced a minimum of a 25% wage increase, profit sharing, and an end to wage tiers. 

  • Nurses across the south, organized with National Nurses United, are holding rallies as they negotiate contracts with the Hospital Corporation of America in El Paso, TX, Asheville, NC, and more.

POLITICS & LEGISLATION

  • The North American Building Trades Unions endorsed President Joe Biden for a second term

  • Desantis signed a second law to reduce child labor regulations in Florida, this one allows more 16 and 17 year olds on construction sites. 

  • Desantis also signed into law a bill that would ban municipalities from having worker heat protection ordinances almost exactly one year after the heat death of 24 year old worker Gabriel Infante who died in his first week on the job

  • The EEOC released its final rule on the implementation of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which will add pregnancy as a condition for which employers must provide reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Civil Rights Act

  • The Mine Safety and Health Administration issued a final rule on silica exposure for coal miners, bringing the exposure limit in line with other professions. 

  • The Department of Labor finalized a rule expanding overtime protections ot all workers who make $43,888 or less, which will increase to $58,656 on January 1st. This will amount to more take home pay for an estimated 3 million workers.


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