Last Week in Southern Labor: 5/31 - 6/7
Updated On: Jul 02, 2024


By JACOB MORRISON June 11, 2024


Here’s what workers in the US South and the colonies were up to from May 31st to June 7th:

NEW CAMPAIGNS

  • 941 workers across 17 bargaining units filed for union elections, and there is 1 new decertification and 1 raid

  • 29 workers at Southern Glaziers Wine and Spirits in Louisville, KY filed a petition to hold a union election with the Teamsters Local 783

  • 39 workers at Hyatt Place Austin Airport in Austin, TX filed a petition to hold a union election with UNITE HERE Local 23

  • The employer filed a petition to hold a union election after a majority of the 619 workers at Peco Foods in West Point, MS demonstrated support for unionization with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1529 (this comes after the workers themselves filed for an election last week, not sure why now there is another filing, this seems like the same unit, but last week the estimate of the bargaining unit was 550 and this week 619)

  • 67 workers at Consolidated Waste Services in Carolina, PR filed a petition to hold a union election with the Central General de Trabajadores

  • The employer filed a petition to hold a union election after a majority of the 7 workers at WJLA TV in Arlington, VA demonstrated support for unionization with the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET-CWA)

  • 18 workers at Starbucks in Hurst, TX filed a petition to hold a union election with Starbucks Workers United, as did 15 workers at Starbucks in Pinecrest, FL, 14 workers in Newberry, SC, and 14 workers in Jackson, MS

  • 47 workers at five Compass Coffee locations in Washington DC filed a petition to hold a union election with Workers United (same parent union as Starbucks Workers United)

  • 57 workers at Triple S Salud in San Juan, PR filed a petition to hold a union election with the Union Trabajando por la Salud (Union Working for Health)

  • Central General de Trabajadores appears to be attempting to raid a unit of 62 workers at First Transit of Puerto Rico in San Juan, PR currently represented by Teamsters affiliate Unión de Tronquistas de Puerto Rico (Trunks Union)

  • Workers likely pushed by their employer (and with the help of the ghouls at the National Right to Work Foundation) filed a petition to decertify the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) Local 502 as the union representing the 8 workers at UD Contracting in Fort Knox, KY

  • The employer filed a petition to hold a union election after a majority of the 3 workers at Florida Public Utilities Company in Winter Haven, FL demonstrated support for unionization with UFCW Local 1625

  • 12 workers at OTL Logistics in Claycomo, MO filed a petition to hold a union election with the Teamsters Local 41

CAMPAIGN UPDATES
  • June 10th will be the conclusion of the vote among 27,000 Fairfax County education workers and support staff about whether or not to unionize with the Fairfax Education Unions (FEU)

ELECTION RESULTS
  • 257 workers across 7 bargaining units are newly unionized. 3 units representing 35 workers withdrew election petitions and 1 unit of 100 voted against unionization

  • 6 workers at Petro Technologies in Broussard, LA withdrew their petition for a union election with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW)

  • 3 workers at Universal Cable Holdings in Logan, WV voted unanimously in favor of unionization with the Communication Workers of America (CWA)

  • 100 workers at DC Central Kitchen voted 7 to 26 against unionization with the Teamsters

  • 3 workers at Mid Coast Radio Project in Kansas City, MO withdrew their petition for a union election with CWA

  • 6 workers at Broadway Ford Truck Sales in Saint Louis, MO voted 3 to 0 in favor of unionization with the IAMAW

  • 51 workers at Rose Brooks Center in Kansas City, MO voted 27 to 18 in favor of unionization with the Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA) Local 955

  • 47 workers at Imperial Dade in Orlando, FL voted 34 to 8 in favor of unionization with the Teamsters Local 385

  • 4 workers at Jones Lang LaSalle in Miami, FL voted unanimously in favor of unionization with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 30-F

  • 135 workers at Union Tank Car Company in Valdosta, GA voted 91 to 32 in favor of unionization with the Sheet, Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation workers (SMART)

  • 11 workers at SCI  Puerto Rico in Bayamon, PR voted unanimously in favor of unionization with the Union de Tronquistas de Puerto Rico (Teamsters Local 91)

  • 26 workers at Amentum in Beaufort, SC withdrew their petition for a union election with the IAMAW

SETTLEMENTS, GRIEVANCES, & UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES

  • Congressional Democrats, led by Texas’ Greg Casar, are urging the NLRB to take swift action regarding YouTube’s illegal termination of pro-union workers, affiliated with the Alphabet Workers Union (AWU-CWA)

STRIKES & BARGAINING

  • A support staff worker for Nashville schools and member of SEIU Tennessee testified at a meeting of the Metro Council about the need for a raise for municipal workers (in an extremely cool spoken word poem)

  • Members of the Charlotte City Worker Union (UE Local 150) marched on the budget hearing demanding $25/hr, affordable housing, and policing alternatives. The budget vote is scheduled to take place on June 10th.

  • After Manchin and Romney dropped anti-telework legislation in the US Senate, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) relayed the results of an April 2024 CBO study that showed federal workers are actually less likely than their private sector equivalents to “usually” telework

  • The Union of Southern Service Workers demonstrated against the Alabama Department of Corrections’ exploitation of prison labor

  • CWA Local 1180 (the Bird Union) is still trying to reach a fair contract with the National Audobon Society. The workers are demanding 4% raises, 12 weeks of paid parental leave, and more. They’re asking for supporters to sign a petition to send to management

  • National Nurses United (NNU) claims that the VA has instituted a defacto “hiring freeze” that has resulted in 66,000 unfilled positions across the agency - they picketed in front of the DC VA headquarters last week in protest

  • NNU members also rallied at Mission Hospital in Asheville to improve patient care and health care access with North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, who has sued HCA Mission for failing to offer adequate services to North Carolinians

  • Members of CWA in West Virginia at Altice (telecommunications brand Optimum) voted to authorize a strike if the company fails to negotiate a contract by the end of the contract extension on June 28

  • Flight attendants at American Airlines, members of the American Flight Attendant Association (AFA-CWA) have been without a raise since before the pandemic. The company tried to get by with a one time 17% raise and basically nothing else to wrap up negotiations, but the union is standing firm and demanding more

  • Bloomberg is reporting that Starbucks and Starbucks Workers United have reached a tentative agreement on just cause job protections, this coming as the NLRB announced that a total of 437 Starbucks stores have unionized now representing over 10,400 baristas

POLITICS & LEGISLATION

  • Alabama is continuing to hassle folks it claims to have “overpaid” in unemployment benefits during the pandemic, garnishing wages and denying appeals to people who “owe” the state amounts in the thousands. Not much for the state of Alabama, but life changing amounts of money to have taken from you. One person told ALdotcom she had to rely on friends and family to pay bills after the state garnished an entire paycheck. 

  • The FBI raided Cortland Management of Atlanta as part of the US DOJ antitrust probe into the rental housing market (some rental owners are relying on algorithms to set rent, which some argue is the same as collusion on pricing)

  • US Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Ro Khanna introduced legislation to forgive medical debt with the support of the United Electrical Workers (UE)

  • Despite the success of Alabama’s Pre-K program, it is still not universal, only covering some 40% of 4 year olds

  • Mississippi’s parole program is coming under scrutiny, much like Alabama’s

  • A CWA member - Lauren Ashley Simmons - in Texas won a run off election against the incumbent to be the Democratic nominee of State House District 146

  • Right wing weirdos are trying to attack Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) for the union paying $3,500 for Su to speak at a convention, arguing this could potentially create “conflicts of interest” for Su (they pretend to think this is a significant amount of money, and not just enough to cover costs)

  • Decatur, Alabama is offering young professionals $15,000 in student loan forgiveness if they move to the city

INTERNAL UNION AFFAIRS

  • The former president of the San Antonio Professional Fire Fighters Association (SPFFA) has been arrested on stalking charges, allegedly having been involved in efforts to intimidate someone from applying to the Fire Chief position. The current union administration is no alleged to have been involved, saying “this is as insane to us as to everybody else”

  • In a bad omen for the 2025 rail negotiations, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET, a Teamsters affiliate) and the Sheet, Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART) are publicly feuding, throwing accusations at each other, and raiding one another’s units.

  • The latest in the BLET / SMART feud comes in the same week as the Teamsters dissolved their no raid pact with the International Association of Machinists. Does this also spell the end of the pact between the IAMAW, AFA, and the Teamsters to organize Delta?

  • Not all the Teamsters news from last week was bad though, with the Teamsters announcing moves towards official affiliation of the Amazon Labor Union, with the support of the reform caucus (although even this was not without its controversy - as the Teamsters announced the affiliation as if it was a done deal before the workers were able to vote)

  • Brooke Shields was elected to the presidency of Actors Equity, the union representing stage actors


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