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Joining Together to Help Others: Worker Wins

Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with stories of teachers and nurses joining together to help patients and students and includes numerous examples of workers organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life.

D.C. Teachers Overwhelmingly Approve New Contract: Educators in Washington, D.C., voted 97% to 3% to ratify a new three-year contract. The new contract will improve student learning, increase salaries, address issues related to extended school years and launch a new era of collaboration between the teachers and the school district.

Shasta Regional Medical Center RNs Join California Nurses Association: With 90% of the vote in favor of joining together, the 350 registered nurses at Shasta Regional Medical Center in Redding, California, are now members of the California Nurses Association, an affiliate of National Nurses United. "We joined CNA because we want only the best care for our community's patients. In order to have the protection to advocate for them, we need to unionize with CNA," said Dani Gunderson, an emergency room RN at Shasta Regional.

Adjunct Faculty at Temple Win First Contract: The 1,400 adjunct faculty at Temple University in Philadelphia fought for and gained recognition in the school's new contract with the Temple Association of University Professionals, an affiliate of the AFT. The contract includes a significant wage increase and job protections and gives adjunct faculty a pathway to the respect they deserve. The contract, which also includes full-time faculty and librarians, was a hard-fought victory that was bargained over 15 months.

StoryCorps Staff Vote to Join Communications Workers of America (CWA): Despite an anti-union campaign from management, staff members at StoryCorps, a nonprofit based in Brooklyn, New York, that curates and shares stories of everyday Americans, voted to join CWA with 83% of the vote. The workers joined together to negotiate over wages, benefits, unexpected layoffs, working conditions, severance packages and pay transparency.

Airport Fuelers at Anchorage Airport Win 'Best Contract' They've Seen in Years: The intense negotiations led to a battle in federal court, but airport fuelers at the airport in Anchorage, Alaska, won a new three-year agreement that increases wages, maintains health care coverage and sick leave, improves bereavement leave, and increases the flexibility of vacation time.

Machinists at Mahle Engine Components End Strike and Protect Against Layoffs Without Adequate Notifications: Among other key components, Machinists (IAM) Local 1471 members at Mahle Engine Components in McConnelsville, Ohio, voted to accept a contract that rejected language that would've allowed shutdowns and layoffs without notification for periods of less than a week. The workers rejected that language and fought for a better contract.

Third Group of Employees at PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center Vote to Join Together in a Union: After an inspiring nine-month contract campaign, 900 employees at PeaceHealth overwhelmingly voted (90% in favor) to ratify their first contract, joining two earlier campaigns that mean that collectively more than 2,500 working people at the center are now standing together in a union. The new service unit members fought for the power of a collective voice, due process on the job, a wage increase and to bring to a halt PeaceHealth's practice of sending collection agencies after its own employees when they couldn't pay high medical bills.

Hundreds of Kroger Workers Win More Than $300,000 in Back Pay: When Kroger employees, members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400, discovered that full-time associates had been cheated out of holiday pay in violation of the contract, they came together and took the case to arbitration. After numerous delays, persistence paid off and the employees were awarded back pay and interest.

Workers at Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, Join the Culinary and Bartenders Union: In August, a majority of workers at the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, chose to unionize with Culinary Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165. Once negotiations are complete, 325 new members will be able to exercise their freedom to negotiate for fair wages, job security, health benefits and dignity on the job.