To the Polls: Worker Wins

Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with an electoral victory and includes numerous examples of working people organizing, bargaining and mobilizing for a better life.

UNITE HERE Member Wins California Senate Primary on Behalf of Working People: Maria Elena Durazo, a California labor icon for decades and current international vice president for UNITE HERE, won her primary for the California Senate with more than 70% of the vote, the largest victory in the district's current configuration. She now moves on to the November general election. Other pro-working people candidates also did well in California's primaries.

Employees at The New Yorker and Fast Company Magazines Vote for Union Representation: The New Yorker and Fast Company have become the latest journalism offices to organize. At The New Yorker, 90% of editorial staffers voted in favor of the The NewsGuild of New York union. They have asked management for voluntary recognition. Meanwhile, an overwhelming majority of staff at Fast Company have signed union cards with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE).

South Carolina Flight Readiness Technicians at Boeing Join IAM: Mike Evans, Machinists (IAM) lead organizer for Boeing in South Carolina, said: "Today was a victory for the American worker. The 176 men and women Flight Readiness Technicians stood up with South Carolina pride and voted for a better life. They exercised their freedom to join in union and speak with one voice. This election was never just about wages. The men and women wanted dignity and consistency in the workplace. And this vote put them closer to achieving those goals. We hope Boeing does the right thing by agreeing to sit down and negotiate in good faith with the dedicated Flight Readiness Technicians."

Portland App-Based Ride Service Drivers Win Improved Oversight: In a unanimous vote, the Portland City Council endorsed the creation of a new oversight body that will improve transparency and protections for 10,000 Uber and Lyft drivers. The Portland Bureau of Transportation is directed to research ideas for creating the panel. The resolution endorsing the new body also calls for equalizing standards between app-based ride services and traditional taxi companies.

Working People at Largest Las Vegas Strip Casino and Resort Employers Reach Tentative Agreement: The two largest companies employing working people on the Las Vegas strip, MGM and Caesars, have reached a tentative agreement on new five-year contracts with Culinary Workers Local 226 and Bartenders Local 165. The deals now go to members for ratification votes. The two deals cover 36,000 of the 50,000 Vegas hotel workers whose contracts expired last week. 

Talking Points Memo Voluntarily Recognizes Editorial Staff Union: Becoming the latest digital newsroom to organize, the editorial staff at progressive publication Talking Points Memo have voted to join the WGAE. WGAE Executive Director Lowell Peterson said: "We applaud the progressive management at Talking Points Memo for respecting the decision of the writers and editors to join with the Writers Guild of America, East, and we look forward to a positive, productive experience at the bargaining table.  And we welcome these hardworking journalists to the union and to the movement."

Nurses at City of Hope National Medical Center Ratify New Contract with Patient Protections: Registered nurses at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California, represented by California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, ratified a new three-year contract. The new contract strengthens nurses' ability to protect patients and improve recruitment and retention of nurses. RN Alma Torrez said: "It is absolutely essential that our hospital be able to recruit and retain great staff so we can provide optimal care for our patients. We’re celebrating the new pact because it puts our hospital in a strong position to do just that."

Working People at New Jersey Communities United Join The NewsGuild: Organizers at New Jersey Communities United have voted to join the The NewsGuild-CWA (TNG-CWA) and have asked management to voluntarily recognize their union. NJCU is a grassroots organization that builds power for working class communities and communities of color. Rebecca Mahabir, one of the organizers, said: "We feel that we must embody the values that guide our vital work. We know that unions are the best tool workers have to achieve democracy, accountability, and dignity in their workplaces, and are ready to put that tool to use here, at New Jersey Communities United."

Postdoctoral Researchers at University of Washington Vote to be Represented by UAW: After winning 89% of the vote, postdoctoral researchers will be represented by UAW Local 4121. Now, 1,100 researchers will join UAW. Next, the new union members will elect a bargaining committee and prepare for negotiations with the university.

Oregon State University Faculty Sign Cards to Join AFT: A decisive majority of the faculty at Oregon State University have signed union cards and filed a petition with the Oregon Employment Relations Board. Once certified, the 2,400 faculty will become members of the AFT and will seek a contract that strengthens shared governance, improved working conditions, and the freedom to create the best possible environment for teaching, learning and research.