Last Week in Southern Labor: 6/14 - 6/21
Updated On: Jul 02, 2024


By JACOB MORRISON June 25, 2024


Here’s what workers in the US South and the colonies were up to from June 14th to June 21st:

NEW CAMPAIGNS

  • In an extremely slow week for new union elections, 42 workers across 4 bargaining units filed for an election (another bargaining unit filed and withdrew in the same week), and 42 workers are now in the middle of a decertification campaign

  • Workers likely pushed by their employer filed a petition to decertify the Teamsters Local 245 as the union representing 42 workers at Reyco Granning Suspensions in Mount Vernon, MO

  • 14 workers at Intralot in Baton Rouge, LA filed a petition to hold a union election with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 995

  • 6 workers at Lee County Electric Co-op in North Ft Myers, FL filed a petition to hold a union election with IBEW Local 1933 

  • 12 workers at Corporacion SANOS in Caguas, PR filed a petition to hold a union election with ULEES

  • 8 security guards at Paragon Systems in Washington DC filed a petition to hold a union election with Union Rights for Security Officers but withdrew the petition in the same week

  • 10 workers at Southwestern Electric Power Company in Texarkana, TX filed a petition to hold a union election with IBEW Local 386

CAMPAIGN UPDATES
  • Lest we fall into despair from the disaster unfolding among the public sector labor movement in Florida, friend of the show Chris Townsend pointed out in a recent article that a mirror image is unfolding in Virginia, where some 50,000 public sector workers have quietly organized

  • Workers at Mercedes report that the company is already backtracking on promises to make work better, and attempting to blame it on the union. UAW President Shawn Fain dispelled those myths in a letter that was made public last week

ELECTION RESULTS
  • 442 workers across 4 bargaining units unionized last week, with 178 workers in 3 units opting against unionization, and 14 workers in 1 unit withdrawing their election petition

  • 201 workers at Austin Pets Alive in Austin, TX voted 81 to 35 in favor of unionization with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) 

  • 41 workers at CBD Kratom in St Louis, MO voted 23 to 6 in favor of unionization with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 655

  • 5 workers at Spire Alabama voted against unionization with the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA) Local 548

  • 190 workers at American University voted in favor of unionization with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 500

  • 55 workers at ADT in Lafayette, LA voted 17 to 30 against unionization with the Communication Workers of America (CWA)

  • 10 workers at Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits in Lexington, KY voted unanimously in favor of unionization with the Teamsters Local 651

  • 118 workers at Corning Distribution Center in Tarboro, NC voted 47 to 63 against unionization with the United Steel Workers (USW)

  • 14 workers at Intralot withdrew their petition to hold a union election with IBEW Local 995

SETTLEMENTS, GRIEVANCES, & UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES

  • The Federal Labor Relations Authority determined that there is evidence that the EEOC is violating federal law by refusing to share the results of an office climate survey requested by the union

STRIKES & BARGAINING

  • RWU is renewing their calls for unity in the upcoming rail negotiations as BLET and SMART continue to feud, and they've launched a petition being signed by rank and file railroaders

  • United Campus Workers Southeast will be hosting their Founding Annual Convention on July 12-14, 2024 in Birmingham to merge all the groups into one local

  • Truckers Movement for Justice will begin a convoy on July 1st in Texas to protest against poor working conditions and blacklists

  • 4,000 workers, members of UNITE-HERE Local 25 in the hospitality industry in Washington DC, ratified a new 4 year agreement with 25% wage gains and an expanded pension

  • Nurses at HCA-owned Mission Hospital in Asheville, NC rallied on Juneteenth to protest the hospitals bargaining position in contract negotiations ahead of the current contract expiration of July 1st. The nurses are bargaining for more breaks while the hospital is focusing on getting concessions

  • Journalists at 8 Tribune companies (including Orlando Sentinel, Tidewater (The Virginian-Pilot, Daily Press, The Virginia Gazette, and Tidewater Review), and members of the NewGuild CWA, ratified a first contract that includes higher job security, and better pay and leave packages

POLITICS & LEGISLATION

  • Alabama Supreme Court says landlords have a duty to fix open and obvious issues

  • In the Alabama prison labor lawsuit, the judge has refused to issue an injunction against the state of Alabama while the case proceeds. Despite this less than ideal news, the plaintiffs in the case cite reason for hope, noting that since the suit was filed the rate at which the parole board has granted parole has quadrupled

  • Huntsville State Senator Sam Givhan prefiled a bill to give teachers access to workers compensation 

  • Only 24% of eligible Alabama families are actually served by a program that provides subsidized child care - parents can apply through the Alabama Department of Human Resources

  • The Alabama Public Service Commission approved a new tax on solar energy production with public comment or hearing

  • Missouri tradeswomen issued a letter attacking US Senator Josh Hawley for his support for Harrison Butker’s sexist speech at a college graduation

  • AFGE members are sending letters to their congressional representatives urging passage of the FAIR Act, which would give federal employees a raise of $7.4% in an attempt to narrow the widening gap in pay between private sector and federal workers - private sector workers now make 27% more for similar work than federal workers, up from 23% in 2022. 

  • According to a new survey conducted by the VA between Jan. 1-March 31, 2024, 80.4% of veterans said they trusted the VA to fulfill the country’s commitment to veterans, and 91.8% of veterans said they trust VA health care.


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