Last Week in Southern Labor: 6/7 - 6/14
Updated On: Jul 09, 2024


By JACOB MORRISON June 18, 2024


Here’s what workers in the US South and the colonies were up to from June 7th to June 14th:

NEW CAMPAIGNS

  • 571 workers across 8 bargaining units are in new union election campaigns, with 137 workers across 2 bargaining units in new decertification campaigns

  • The employer filed a petition to hold a union election after a majority of the 5 workers at the El Paso Electric Company in El Paso, TX demonstrated support for unionization with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1245

  • 10 workers at Atomic Transport in Chattanooga, TN filed a petition to hold a union election with the Teamsters Local 519

  • 13 workers in facilities maintenance at Westin Hotel in Washington DC filed a petition to hold a union election with the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 99

  • The employer filed a petition to hold a union election after a majority of the 22 workers at Division 5 LLC in Hickory, NC demonstrated support for unionization with the International Association of Iron Workers (IW)

  • Workers likely pushed by their employer filed a petition to decertify the United Steel Workers (USW) as the union representing the 64 workers at Mountain Enterprises in Hagerhill, KY

  • 403 workers at Genera PR in San Juan, PR filed a petition to hold a union election with the USW

  • Workers likely pushed by their employer filed a petition to decertify the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199 as the union representing the 73 workers at McDowell County Commission on Aging in Welch, WV

  • 14 workers at Intralot in Baton Rouge, LA filed a petition to hold a union election with the IBEW Local 995

  • 4 workers at John Fabick Tractor Company in Cape Girardeau, MO filed a petition to hold a union election with IUOE Local 513

  • 100 workers at Lufkin US Acquisition Company in Claremore, OK filed a petition to hold a union election with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW)

ELECTION RESULTS
  • 27,675 workers across 8 bargaining units are newly unionized (mostly FEU), 62 workers in 1 bargaining unit maintained unionization, and 29 workers in 1 bargaining unit withdrew their election petition

  • 27,500 workers in Fairfax County Public Schools voted 97% in the instructional unit and 81% in the operational unit in favor of unionizing with the Fairfax Education Unions

  • 14 workers at Dallas Black Dance Theatre in Dallas, TX voted unanimously with 100% turnout in favor of unionization with the American Guild of Musical Artists

  • 31 workers at Accordius Health in Wilson, NC voted 17 to 6 in favor of unionization with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1208

  • 62 workers at Transcontinental AC US LLC in Matthews, NC voted 37 to 19 for maintaining unionization with the Communication Workers of America (CWA) Local 3603 in a decertification election

  • 10 security guards at Universal Protection Service in Washington DC voted 5 to 1 in favor of unionization with the United Government Security Officers of America (UGSOA) Local 259

  • 54 workers at Choice Adhesives in Lynchburg, VA voted a majority in favor of unionization with the IBEW Local 2173

  • 6 workers at ALL Crane Rental of Georgia in Phoenix City, GA voted 4 to 2 in favor of unionization with IUOE Local 312

  • 35 workers at Truetimber Arborists in Richmond, VA voted 23 to 5 in favor of unionization with IAMAW

  • 25 workers at Sightline Media Group in Arlington, VA voted 17 to 0 in favor of unionization with the Washington Baltimore News Guild (WBNG - CWA) Local 32035

  • 29 workers at Southern Glazers Wine and Spirits in Louisville, KY withdrew their petition for unionization with the Teamsters Local 783

STRIKES & BARGAINING

  • Even amid the assault on public sector labor in Florida, where friend of the show McKenna Shueler reports that some 50,000 public sector workers have lost their union, some locals are building strength, like AFSCME Local 871, where they passed the 60% threshold to maintain their union rights and climbed to an 85% membership rate. They just ratified a new 3 year contract that contains an 18% pay increase, no concessions on pension and health care, and more

  • Tesla shareholders just approved the largest pay package in history for Elon Musk - $56B - even as Tesla has laid off 14,000 workers globally including nearly 3,000 just in Texas, and as Tesla’s stock price has fallen nearly 30% in one year

  • After years of organizing by the Union of Southern Service Workers (USSW), Waffle House is making the biggest investment in its workforce in the history of the company, giving a $3/hr raise to thousands of workers at more than 1,500 stores in the South based on tenure, store location, and other factors. The union says it will continue fighting for a $25/hr minimum wage

  • The SPLC Union announced that the SPLC will be laying off a quarter of its staff, including its entire immigrants rights team, despite the organization having a billion dollars in reserves and an F rating from Charity Watch for “hoarding” donations. The union is accusing the SPLC of strategically timing the layoffs less than a year before they begin bargaining for a second contract to intimidate the workers

  • The defendants in the case filed by current and former inmates and unions against alleging forced labor by the Alabama Department of Corrections and multiple employers filed a motion to dismiss - inmates responded with 214 pages opposing said motion

POLITICS & LEGISLATION

  • The anti-worker Supreme Court came down with an anti-worker decision last week in Starbucks V McKinney, stating that the NLRB must use a more strict test when seeking 10j injunctions to curtail the wanton law breaking of corporations, defying precedent and explicit language in the NLRA that courts should defer to the NLRB in matters surrounding the NLRA. NLRB attorney Brandon Magner doesn’t think this will materially change much, but it’s never good for the NLRB to have any of the few tools it has taken away

  • A proposed federal rule to protect indoor and outdoor workers from heat stress is now under review at the White House amid rising temperatures globally - the text of the proposal is not public but OSHA has previously said protections could kick in at 80 degrees

  • Julie Su, Acting Labor Secretary, visited Birmingham last week touting the department’s “Good Jobs” Initiative

  • While in Alabama, Su also visited the New Flyer plant in Anniston, where management voluntarily recognized the workers union and they just secured a first contract with double digit raises

  • The Council of Bosses in Alabama endorsed Kelvin Datcher in the District 52 special election

  • 24,000 CWA retirees will see their pensions restored to solvency after receiving a lifeline from the American Rescue Plan

INTERNAL UNION AFFAIRS

  • APR’s Chance Phillips wrote a good summary of a recent webinar on “Organizing, Collective Action, and the National Labor Relations Board” which featured high profile labor leaders and the NLRB’s General Counsel. A significant portion of the webinar was devoted to ongoing organizing efforts in the South

  • The federal monitor tasked with overseeing the UAW after years of corruption has announced a probe into Shawn Fain, as two other leaders accuse him of retaliation, and the monitor accuses him of slow walking access to documents. Fain is saying that these accusations are just the growing pains of a union taken over by reformers, but where the old guard is still present


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