Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with airport workers fighting for national security and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life.
Orlando TSA Workers Defeat Privatization Push: AFGE members who work in airport security at Orlando International Airport defeated attempts to privatize security at one of the busiest airports in the country. Despite Orlando being named the top airport in customer service satisfaction, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority previously voted to replace federally trained TSA officers with private screeners. Under pressure from AFGE members and an outraged public, GOAA reversed its earlier vote.
With Tuesday Victories, New Jersey Labor Candidates Program Notches 971st Victory: The New Jersey State AFL-CIO's labor candidates program continues to rack up victories. On Tuesday, Jerell Blakeley, a United Steelworkers (USW) Local 397 member, was elected to the Trenton City Council; Ed Osborne with Laborers (LIUNA) Local 1153 was elected to the Newark City Council; and Anthony Vauss with Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 68 was elected mayor of Irvington. Another candidate, Marge Caldwell Wilson, a member of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1087, qualified for a runoff election for Trenton City Council.
Chicago Tribune Guild Reaches Historic Agreement with Tronc: Tronc, the company that operates the Chicago Tribune and numerous area publications, voluntarily recognized the Chicago Tribune Guild, which is an affiliate of The NewsGuild-CWA (TNG-CWA), after more than 85% of eligible employees signed cards supporting unionization. Leaders from the TNG-CWA said that voluntary recognition from a company as large as Tronc was unprecedented in their experience.
Just Born Loses Appeal in BCTGM Pension Case: After a judge ruled last year that Just Born, the company that produces Marshmallow Peeps and various candies, couldn't unilaterally stop enrolling employees in their pension plan without penalty, the company appealed. In April, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Just Born. To date, the workers and their union, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM), have won all legal battles related to Just Born's pension actions.
Dodo Editors and Video Staff Become Latest Digital Media Workers to Join WGAE: Editorial and video staff at digital publication the Dodo, which writes about animals and related causes, have joined the Writers Guild of America, East. The Dodo follows Vox Media, Onion Inc., HuffPost, Vice, The Intercept, Think Progress, MTV News, Salon, Slate and Gizmodo Media Group in joining WGAE.
Health Care Workers at Shasta Regional Medical Center Join Caregivers and Healthcare Employees Union (CHEU): Some 400 nursing assistants, laboratory technicians, respiratory therapists, orderlies, housekeepers, admitting staff and other workers will be joining CHEU, an affiliate of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United. The employees voted 90% in favor of the union and will now elect a team to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement. Among the top issues the Shasta employees are pursing are safe staffing, a stronger voice in patient care delivery, improved health care and retirement benefits, and job protections.
Workers at Agency Trump Tried to Close Vote to Join AFGE: Employees at the U.S. Chemical Safety Board voted to join AFGE. President Donald Trump has targeted the agency for closure in two budget proposals. The union is pursing a grievance and arbitration process for employees and also will negotiate for a more comprehensive contract.
Charter School Teachers at Alliance College-Ready Public Schools Sign Cards to Join United Teachers Los Angeles: A clear majority of teachers at three Alliance College-Ready Public Schools charters signed cards to join the United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). More than 100 educators are joining UTLA and other charters in the alliance network are expected to follow.
Quality Assurance Employees at Nestle Purina Join BCTGM: Workers who do quality assurance at Nestlé Purina PetCare's plant in Edmond, Oklahoma, voted to be represented by BCTGM. David Woods, an international representative for the union, lauded the strength of the workers in the face of strong opposition from Nestlé Purina: "I am very proud of the quality assurance workers who had the courage to resist the companies’ anti-union propaganda and anti-union strategy throughout the 23-day period between filing for an union election and being able to and vote to become members of BCTGM Local 366G."
Working People at the Palms Continue Organizing Victories at Station Casinos: Workers at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas voted 84% in favor of unionizing. About 900 workers will be represented by the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165, affiliates of UNITE HERE. The Palms is the fifth Station Casinos location to join together in union since 2015.
School Bus Drivers Win Contract in Yonkers: School bus drivers that work for First Mile Square in Yonkers, New York, have overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year contract, with a vote of 282 in favor and 7 against, with Transport Workers (TWU) Local 100. The contract provides annual wage increases and was first agreed to after the union was poised to strike late last year.
Jobs to Move America to Be Repaid Legal Fees for Holding New Flyer Accountable: In a 2013 deal to sell buses to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority, New Flyer made hiring and wage commitments. Jobs to Move America, a nonprofit that urges state and local governments to hire locally and pay livable wages, requested information from New Flyer about compliance with those commitments. The company attempted to block the release of those records, but a judge rejected those attempts and ruled that New Flyer has to pay Jobs to Move America for legal fees.