The Weekly Workfront: Trendspotting Labor Relations

by | Dec 5, 2023 | CWA, Healthcare, IAM, IBT, Industry, Manufacturing, SEIU, Service Industry, UAW, Union Leaders, Union Organizing, Unions, Weekly Workfront

Hey there, labor relations enthusiasts! Let’s dive into what’s cooking in the union world. It’s been a whirlwind of labor relations activity, and 2024 is shaping up to be no different, with predictions of increased organizing on the horizon. We’re talking high-stakes drama with big names like Amazon and Starbucks, still wrestling with union woes and a legal labyrinth that seems to have no exit. Unfair Labor Practice activity is on the rise, with 15,387 charges filed so far in 2023, and likely to be higher in 2024, given the Cemex decision. It’s like an endless season of your favorite legal drama, but this is real life!

Source: LRI Rightnow

Union Organizing: The New Frontier

What’s the latest trend? Businesses that haven’t been unionized are catching the union bug big time. And get this: professionals like doctors and pharmacists are hopping on the union train. Banks like Wells Fargo and college students across the U.S. find themselves in the same boat. Amazon and Starbucks remain hot topics, battling it out on the union front. It’s a clear signal that the current labor environment will remain volatile as we head into the new year.

Big Labor’s Chess Game

After some slick moves by the United Auto Workers (UAW) with major automakers, labor giants have set their sights on unionizing as their #1 play. The UAW is eyeing foreign car manufacturers and Tesla, while the Teamsters are flirting with logistics companies and Amazon. The Teamsters have also formed a coalition aimed at forming a union at Delta Air Lines. In addition to the Teamsters, the coalition includes the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). The Teamsters are organizing Delta technicians, AFA is signing up flight attendants, and IAM is supporting ramp, cargo, and tower workers in forming their union. 

Starbucks and SEIU: A Proxy Power Play

Get ready for some proxy drama at Starbucks, courtesy of the SEIU. They’re nominating director candidates for the 2024 annual meeting, and it’s not just about getting seats at the table. It’s a clever strategy to push their labor agenda, aiming for management concessions through a mix of pressure and publicity. Traditional hedge fund activists, take notes!

Wells Fargo: Banking on Unions

Wells Fargo is facing a groundbreaking union campaign in the banking industry.  An Oregon call center recently settled unfair labor practice complaints, marking a big win in the bank’s larger union drive. With workers in New Mexico and Alaska rallying for union elections, the banking sector might just be the next union stronghold.

Key Takeaways: Labor Relations in a Spin

Looking into 2024, the labor scene is buzzing with change. Unions are breaking new ground, even in sectors where they’ve been rare birds. Big Labor is setting up a strategic game plan for organizing heading into 2024. We’re staring at a complex, ever-evolving labor landscape. Stay tuned, folks – it’s going to be an interesting ride!

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