Posts tagged Workers United
Workers at Buffalo AKG Art Museum Launch Unionization Effort
December 1, 2023 // “We recognize that Art and the Labor movement are aligned in collective struggle, and we believe that unionizing is the best path to ensure that we, the workers at the Buffalo AKG, can all take pride of ownership and feel a secure sense of belonging in our workplace and the broader community,” said the workers’ statement, posted on Instagram and on X (formerly known as Twitter) on November 16.
Emory Ph.D. Student Workers Unionize, Join Organizing Wave
November 29, 2023 // The new union is called SEIU Workers United Southern Region Local 29, and it says it will represent all Ph.D. student workers there. “Over 7 years of effort have finally paid off, and we have joined together to say yes to a union!” the union said on its website. This fall, Duke University became the first private university south of Washington, D.C., to have a certified graduate worker union, according to William A. Herbert, executive director of the National Center for the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions at Hunter College, part of the City University of New York.
Starbucks increases US hourly wages and adds other benefits for non-union workers
November 9, 2023 // Starbucks said it is also shortening the time hourly employees must work before accruing vacation days from one year to 90 days. That benefit is also only available to workers at non-unionized stores. The company also announced a new North American barista championship open to employees in the U.S. and Canada. The company said program also won't be available to employees at unionized stores since it involves prize money and travel. Starbucks’ actions go against a September ruling by an administrative law judge for the NLRB, who ruled that the company acted illegally last fall when it raised pay only for non-union workers. Starbucks has appealed that ruling, saying NLRB’s standards don’t allow employers to make unilateral changes in the wages or benefits of unionized employees.
‘Battle royale’: Tesla and anti-union Musk make enticing targets for UAW’s next push
November 5, 2023 // Some current UAW members are already fired up to take on Tesla. “Go out west to California? Absolutely, I would go,” said John Jake Kincaid, a Stellantis employee in Michigan. “Show them our strength.” Still, fighting for a contract at companies with established relationships with union workers is a far different effort than starting from scratch. Several workers who were key to Tesla’s earlier union effort are no longer at the company. The Fremont plant’s history with the UAW predates the electric vehicle maker. For about 25 years, Toyota and GM operated the facility together in an unusual joint venture. It was a union shop. In 2009, GM pulled out of the partnership as part of its bankruptcy proceedings and in 2010 Toyota shut the operation down, throwing 4,700 people out of work. A month later, Tesla bought the sprawling 5.3 million square foot factory; the union didn’t come with the purchase.
Opinion: Unions’ deceptive ‘salting’ loophole leaves a bad taste
November 3, 2023 // Workers United — a Service Employees International Union affiliate — hired labor organizers who got jobs at Starbucks, then pushed for unionization on the coffee company’s dime — while also collecting a union paycheck. These “salts” start by building trust with workers. As one Starbucks salt told a group of fellow organizers, it’s best to do “thankless chores” that gain the appreciation of peers and “make the company less suspicious of you.”
Eeva, Philly’s first independent unionized restaurant, is closing
October 30, 2023 // The closure comes nearly 11 months to the day after eeva’s staff registered their intent to unionize and after eeva owners Greg Dunn, Mark Capriotti, and Mark Corpus voluntarily recognized the union. (Staff at ReAnimator unionized, and were voluntarily recognized, in 2022.) The union, represented by Philly’s Local 80, had been at the bargaining table as recently as September. Amidst a long list of comments on the Instagram post mourning eeva’s closure, a handful allude to unresolved contract negotiations.
Unions push to represent more workers, but organized labor’s share of jobs is declining
October 24, 2023 // For all the sound and fury on the labor front, its net effect is unknown. Unions’ overall share of the workforce was 10.1% in 2022 and declining, about half the rate of 1983, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That percentage is swelled by union predominance in government work. In the private sector, the share of union jobs was 6% in 2022. The number of union members overall has grown but not as fast as jobs in the rest of the economy. “It takes a lot of new members to raise the union density,” said Robert Bruno, a professor of labor and employment relations at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Starbucks, union in legal battle over pro-Palestinian social media post
October 19, 2023 // Starbucks sued Workers United in federal court in Iowa Wednesday, saying a pro-Palestinian social media post from a union account early in the Israel-Hamas war angered hundreds of customers and damaged its reputation. Starbucks is suing for trademark infringement, demanding that Workers United stop using the name "Starbucks Workers United" for the group that is organizing the coffee company's workers. Starbucks also wants the group to stop using a circular green logo that resembles Starbucks' logo. Workers United responded with its own filing, asking a federal court in Pennsylvania to rule that it can continue to use Starbucks' name and a similar logo. Workers United also said Starbucks defamed the union by implying that it supports terrorism and violence.
Tesla Workers Are Union “Members Of The Future,” UAW President Says
October 19, 2023 // Tesla is likely the most "problematic" carmaker for the UAW as CEO Elon Musk strongly opposes unionization at the company's plants. The United Auto Workers and Workers United trade unions have sought to unionize Tesla's workers in California and New York, respectively, but Elon Musk has thwarted all attempts so far. In addition, as Teslarati points out, numerous Tesla workers have become millionaires in the past despite being non-unionized, thanks to the company's stock-based compensation programs. In an infamous tweet from May 2018, Musk seemed to threaten Tesla workers with the loss of stock options if they formed a union. "Nothing stopping Tesla team at our car plant from voting union. Could do so tmrw if they wanted. But why pay union dues & give up stock options for nothing?" read the tweet. The National Labor Relations Board ordered Musk to delete the tweet, but the billionaire appealed the court order.