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Union Made Coffee Plus 65 More

Recounting several successful organizing drives, proving that a union continues to be a welcome necessity for workers

Mohammed Sarker's picture
Aug 23, 2019

Labor organizing is among the hardest work in the movement, yet it is crucial to keeping the momentum and growing the movement. In honor of their work, we’ll be over-viewing recent victories in the fight for good jobs.

Workers at Dignity Community Care in Sacramento, California have voted to affiliate with SEIU United Healthcare Workers West, with 22 voting yes for the union and 5 against, out of an eligible pool of 34 people. The voting unit will cover medical assistants, medical office representatives, and stress technicians, cardiac device technicians, and surgery schedulers. Guards and supervisors are, as typical, excluded from this unit.

Security specialists, librarians, and schedulers at Cannon Air Force Base in Phoenix, Arizona have voted to affiliate with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 794. 15 people voted for the Union, with one voting against, and one abstained. 

At Elmwood, New Jersey, employees of First Transit Inc. have voted unanimously to join the International Union of Journeyman and Allied Trades, with all 16 workers agreeing that better pay and benefits are a right they’d like to exercise. 

Life is about to get more pleasant at Spot Coffee Hertel, located in Buffalo, New York. The workers voted to affiliate with the Workers United, with a decisive majority, as 43 voted yes and only 6 voted no. They are among the only unionized baristas and can even serve as a model for organizing other bigger coffee companies. The primary reason for organizing was over wages, as well as a belief that the high turnover in the service industry isn’t inherent to the industry but instead, due to service workers lacking good work conditions and pay, thus burning out faster. Spot’s Rochester branch unionized earlier this summer, which shows that even service work can have the same butterfly effect when workers decide to organize. It wasn’t all sunshine and butterflies. Tensions brewed when Spot management fired 3 long-time workers because of their involvement with the organizing. After winning the election, the unit is fighting to get them reinstated with back pay as well as filing charges to the National Labor Relations Board. 

 Individually, these may not seem like much, but when you add the numbers up, it rises exponentially. You don’t hop from 0 to 12 million strong without going through the intermediary of organizing. With every new workplace within the federation, we gain greater insights into the psychology of the worker, and what strategies can reach 21st-century workers, who are often coerced into believing that they cannot ask for more, to demand a fair wage for their work. It doesn’t matter if it’s 1919 or 2119, workers will always need Unions, to ensure a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work.

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