We increasingly see that no industry or business sector remains immune to union activity in 2024 and beyond. Let’s dive into what is going on right now:

A pharmaceutical first went on the books when CVS Health pharmacy workers in Las Vegas became the first to join the newly established Pharmacy Guild, an offshoot of the IAM Healthcare union. This story remains one to watch for its intersection of retail and healthcare sectors.

Workers at a Chicago Trader Joe’s want to make the store the fifth unionized location in the grocery chain. Their vote turned out to be a nail-biter at 70-70, with a lone contested ballot now in the NLRB’s hands. In April, the chain gave $2 hourly raises to all crew members nationwide, presumably to discourage further organizing.

Disneyland workers are not goofin’ around, and those who perform as costumed characters at Anaheim’s Disneyland filed for a union vote to join the Actors’ Equity Association. Also, in Anaheim, sales reps for timeshares at the Villas at Disneyland filed for a vote to join Unite Here. It’s worth noting that at Disney World in Florida, the Teamsters previously secured raises for costumed workers who later reported union mismanagement, resulting in judicial oversight. Still, a collection of unions remains on the scene at Disney World’s four parks.

Waffle House employees continue to rally for a $25 base wage with backing from the fledgling Union of Southern Service Workers. Expect the South to remain a Big Labor battleground between this union and the UAW’s recent Volkswagen victory in Chattanooga,

Outten & Golden, a 65-lawyer U.S.-based law firm representing plaintiffs in labor and employment litigation, announced voluntary recognition of a union formed by its associate attorneys. The union, Outten & Golden United, was a “logical next step” given the firm’s work representing workers and unions, including the Communications Workers of America, managing partner Adam Klein said Thursday in a Reuters news article.

Many updates for the Starbucks vs. Workers United Saga:

  • Mass negotiations began with 150 worker representatives appearing in Atlanta for a two-day meeting, with another session scheduled for late May. The goal: To establish a “foundational framework” for negotiating separate contracts for the 420+ unionized cafes.
  • The National Right To Work Foundation took up the case of Buffalo Starbucks baristas who have been denied the right to decertify their union by the NLRB.
  • An appeals court rejected Starbucks’ attempt to invalidate a unionization vote held by mail ballot.
  • The NLRB again ruled against Starbucks after determining that it “unlawfully threatened to take benefits away” in Hawaii.
  • The NLRB also held that Starbucks violated the NLRA by removing union propaganda from cafes in Michigan.

Might there be some tentatively good news for Starbucks?

In closing, last week’s May Day rallies are apparently not enough for the UAW’s Shawn Fain, who is already laying the groundwork for a historic May Day in 2028, right when the newest Detroit Big Three contracts expire. That blustery Shawn Fain – he truly is everywhere lately!

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