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union busting

High-Profile UAW Campaign At Mercedes-Benz In Alabama Falls Short

Workers at the Mercedes-Benz U.S. International plant in Vance, Alabama came up short in their first union election on Friday, May 17, with 2,045 votes to join the United Auto Workers and 2,642 against.  A brief but high-energy campaign that saw real improvements won at the plant and a worker-led effort to organize failed to create a wave after the high-profile Volkswagen workers’ win in April in Chattanooga, Tennessee. “These courageous workers reached out to us because they wanted justice. They led us. They led this fight. And what happens next is up to them,” UAW President Shawn Fain told reporters shortly after the vote count.

Mercedes Tries To Punch Down Alabama Union Momentum

Workers at Mercedes-Benz in Alabama were forced to attend 20-minute anti-union meetings with the company’s top management today. Recordings obtained by Labor Notes show top management dangled carrots and put on a contrite-boss act, promising to do better. Workers filed with the National Labor Relations Board on April 5 for the first-ever election to unionize the 5,200 people who work at the plant. Mercedes claims to be neutral in the election, but it’s also listed as a supporter of the Business Council of Alabama’s anti-union website, Alabama Strong. The Auto Workers (UAW) has filed multiple unfair labor practice charges accusing the company of retaliating against pro-union workers.

Tens Of Thousands Of Florida Workers Just Lost Their Labor Unions

In St. Johns County, on the Atlantic shore of Northeast Florida, more than 55% of public school teachers paid their union dues this last year. Despite that, nearly 3,500 teachers are facing the threat of having their union representation revoked. At the same time, in Southwest Florida, only 16% of law enforcement officers of the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office paid union dues last year. Their union is under absolutely no threat of being decertified. A year after Governor DeSantis signed into law a sweeping anti-union bill requiring most public sector unions to boost the rate of members paying dues or be disbanded, the full effects of the new union rules are coming into clear view — double standards and all.

Amid Union-Busting, Starbucks Workers Just Keep Organizing

If Starbucks executives thought the company’s aggressive and illegal anti-union efforts would eventually wear down employees and that enthusiasm would wane for joining together in a union, they were wrong. On Monday, employees at yet another local Starbucks store in Renton Village demanded a union election, saying “business has repeatedly been prioritized over partners’ physical and mental health.” Amid management’s union-busting campaign, Starbucks workers just keep organizing. There are now 483 Starbucks stores in 46 states that have filed to unionize. Of those, 385 Starbucks stores in 43 states have won union elections, a nearly 80 percent win rate.

Amazon Goes Into Union-Busting Overdrive

Our union campaign at Amazon’s “superhub” air cargo center, KCVG in Northern Kentucky, is taking off. And not surprisingly that’s prompting the company to go into union-busting overdrive. In the last two months of 2023, we’ve organized three marches on the boss—demanding translation rights for workers who are English language learners, and also challenging the company when they gave out “final written warnings” to 11 of us for union tabling activities, even though they were outside of work areas. The video of our first march on the boss got over 5 million views on Tik Tok.

Starbucks Ordered To Reopen 23 Stores

Like its alleged intimidation tactics and firing of workers who have led unionization efforts, Starbucks' closure of at least 23 stores amid a nationwide workers' rights push last year did not go unnoticed by federal regulators, who ordered the global coffee chain to reopen the locations on Wednesday. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a complaint saying that eight of the shuttered stores were among the more than 360 Starbucks locations that have voted to unionize, and that executives did not notify the union, Starbucks Workers United, about the closures ahead of time—robbing organizers of an opportunity to bargain over the decision.

Starbucks Is Exploiting Violence In Gaza And Israel To Attack Its Union

My grandmother and aunt were murdered at Treblinka, one of the deadliest Nazi concentration camps. Six months before liberation, my grandfather died in Nordhausen. My father, John, spent seven years between the ages of 11 and 17 in nine different concentration camps. Czech partisans rescued him and his brother, Harry, from a forced march, during which my father had become gravely ill. After the war ended in 1945, my dad landed in Windermere outside of London and was taught to socialize and eat with a knife and fork. He learned to be a tailor. He met my mother. They moved to the United States seeking a better life, and he started working and soon became a member of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America.

Workers Funding Other Workers’ Misery

Critics of private equity often stress the business model’s impact on workers. Blackstone’s Packers Sanitation Services, Inc., was found to have illegally hired over 100 minors and placed them in dangerous jobs. Arby’s and Dunkin’ Donuts owner Roark Capital lobbied against a federal minimum wage. Fairmont and Sofitel owner Brookfield Asset Management has repeatedly threatened to retaliate against hotel workers attempting to unionize. And when the private equity purchase of Toys ‘R’ Us drove the toy retailer into bankruptcy, leading to a loss of over 30,000 jobs, its owners Bain Capital, KKR, and Vornado Realty Trust made off with about $200 million in management fees.

Can Boycotts Help Workers Win?

The recent uptick in labor organizing has prompted not only a rise in strikes, but also the return of an old labor weapon: the boycott.  While boycott campaigns generally have a mixed record at best, this tactic was used successfully in the recent unionization and first contract victories at Burgerville in Oregon as well as Spot Coffee in upstate New York — a campaign that set the stage for the subsequent Starbucks upsurge. Raising the slogan, “No Contract, No Field Trips,” unionizing workers at Medieval Times in New Jersey and California are now linking up with K-12 teachers to boycott the company until it stops its alleged union-busting.

Breakthrough At Venetian; Organized Labor’s Tenacity On The Las Vegas Strip

For some longtime gaming industry observers, it was a jaw-dropping moment that signaled the end of an era and the beginning of a new chapter on the Las Vegas Strip. For the throngs still caught up in the frenzy of the Vegas Golden Knights’ Stanley Cup victory, especially the many thousands who converged to celebrate at the T-Mobile Arena, the news was easy to miss. With little fanfare, and less context in some parts of the local press, Culinary Local 226 and three other labor organizations this week announced an agreement with operators of The Venetian and Palazzo to organize workers at The Venetian and Palazzo.

Buffalo: Starbucks Workers, Volunteers Hold City-Wide Pickets

Buffalo, New York - As part of the Starbucks Workers United (SBWU) Bus Tour, Starbucks workers and volunteers in Buffalo, New York, demonstrated the power of the Starbucks unionization campaign in the face of corporate resistance. To bolster their efforts,  dozens of Starbucks workers traveled to Buffalo on July 26, to spread information concerning the company’s egregious union busting and breaking of labor laws. The Bus Tour displayed working-class power in a united front for fair compensation and protection from Starbucks’ actions. Informational pickets were dispersed around Buffalo. Customers and passersby were asked if they had previously heard of Starbucks’ union busting and were given information on Starbucks’ unofficial policy toward union workers.

eBay TCGPlayer Union Slams Company’s Anti-Union Activity

eBay TCGPlayer Union members are filing an unfair labor practice charge and hold a petition delivery action on July 31 to bring awareness to the company's anti-union behavior and refusal to bargain in good faith. Despite winning their union vote on March 10 2023, TCGPlayer workers are still fighting for their first contract as eBay and TCG leadership continues to delay coming to the bargaining table. TCGPlayer has been represented in this matter by Littler Mendelson P.C., a law firm that proudly bills themselves as "the largest global employment and labor law practice in the world exclusively devoted to representing management."

Texas And Kansas: Nurses Move Forward With Historic Strikes

Registered nurses in Texas and Kansas at three Ascension hospitals are moving forward with historic one-day strikes on Tuesday, June 27, to protest management’s resistance to bargain in good faith with RNs for union contracts that would help correct the endemic staffing crisis, announced National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU). Driven by their concerns about patient safety, these will be the largest nurse strikes in Texas and Kansas history. Ascension management’s punitive three-day lockout of nurses who go on strike has failed to intimidate them.

Why The Fight To Unionize Starbucks Matters To Us All

For good reason, the fight to unionize Starbucks has drawn considerable public attention since workers at a Buffalo, New York store voted to unionize in December of 2021. Since that time, workers at more than 300 stores, representing more than 8000 workers, have so voted. The campaign has been met with strong company resistance, resulting in legal rulings that found Starbucks violating federal labor law by (among other things) illegally surveilling workers, firing workers involved in union organizing, and adding workers at specific workplaces to dilute union strength. In an eventful year-and-a-half, the company has failed to negotiate a single contract.

In 49 States, Your Boss Can Hold You Captive

This week, state legislators in Minnesota passed a package of pro-labor measures that instantly makes the state the envy of workers everywhere. The new laws include paid sick days for everyone, banning noncompete agreements, a crackdown on wage theft, and a wage board to set pay in the nursing home industry. All a big deal. But let’s talk briefly about one in particular: a ban on captive audience meetings. As you know if you have ever hung around union people who are in the process of getting extremely mad, ​“captive audience meetings” are when the boss calls a mandatory meeting for employees, and then proceeds to lie to them about how bad unions are.
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