A Grab Bag Of Organizing News With A Side Of Infighting

by | Feb 23, 2023 | Corruption, Industry, NLRB, Union Organizing, Unions

This section of INK generally arrives with variety, and this month is no exception:

  • We’re still keeping an eye on the Union of Southern Service Workers, which expressed intent to organize fast food, retail, hotel, and gas station, workers. As an offshoot of the SEIU’s Fight For $15 initiative, the group is now openly calling for “cross-sector organizing” to cover as much ground as possible.
  • 54 microbrewery workers at Widmer Brothers Brewing company joined the Teamsters in Oregon after beginning to organize when the company was acquired by Anheuser-Busch Inbev.
  • Cannabis stays hot: Budtenders at Captain Jack’s Dispensary joined the Teamsters in California. A local union leader expressed the desire to hone every member’s’ “craft,” which is perhaps more entertaining than anything else.
  • An REI store’s workers in Cleveland filed for a union election, which could mark the outdoor equipment and clothing retailer’s third location to unionize.
  • A Trader Joe’s grocery store in Kentucky became the third location to organize.
  • Election infighting and corruption isn’t only for the UAW: The Farm Labor Organizing Committee faces its own election shenanigans. Current union chief Baldemar Velasquez has been accused of election suppression against rank-and-file tobacco farmer, Leticia Zavala, a popular grassroots candidate. Some members traveled as far as 1,000+ miles to cast votes, only to be disappointed when Zavala lost to an incumbent intent upon maintaining power.
  • Apple has been targeted by the NLRB, which accused the tech giant of prohibiting workers from discussing wages and discussing organizing activity. The board also alleges that Apple engaged in “suppressive activity that has enabled abuse and harassment of organizers.”
  • Amazon cannot seem to escape the NLRB’s ire, either. The board alleges that the online retailer broke the law by planning to withhold raises and extra perks to warehouses that do not organize.
  • The upcoming Supreme Court ruling in Glacier Northwest v. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters could very well quash the NLRB’s ability to step into the middle of clashes between striking unions and companies. A Starbucks labor leader went on record to express fears that this could happen, and he also took a swing at Starbucks for allegedly refusing to bargain in good faith with the union.

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