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Organizing Victories for Teachers and Retail Clerks

In addition, more workers joined the UFCW and the IBEW including janitors at a military base in Guam

Brian Young's picture
Jan 03, 2019

2019 is here, and employees at these four workplaces will begin negotiating their first collective bargaining agreements thanks to their recent union votes.

Employees in many different industries are understanding the importance of joining a union. At the Las Vegas store for the upscale fashion brand Barney’s New York, the employees have voted to join the Western States Regional Board of Workers United SEIU. When the vote was held on December 17th, 26 people voted to join the union and 14 voted to give their bosses more power. In total 41 ballots were cast, with 49 people being eligible to vote. The new bargaining unit will include all full-time and regular part-time clericals, counter managers, money room clerks, receiving associates, sales associates, tailors, and visual associates employed in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Just two days after the employees at Barney’s joined Workers United, charter school teachers in Pittsburgh voted to join the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). All of the educators work at The Environmental Charter School at Frick, which is part of the Imagine Charter School Network. The vote to join was close as 73 people were eligible to vote and 34 of them voted no. However, in the end, 39 people were smart enough to vote union yes and to now join the Pennsylvania chapter of the AFT. The new bargaining unit will include all full-time and regular part-time teachers, social workers, counselors, academic coaches, RNs, LPNs, psychologists and educational assistants.

Even workers in Guam want a stronger voice in their workplace. In the territory of Guam, Advance Management provides janitorial and housekeeping services to some of the United States military facilities. 30 of those employees were eligible to join a union and decided to vote on becoming members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1260. On December 27th, the votes were counted and 13 people voted to join the union and 10 people were still hung over from Christmas and voted no. With a majority voting yes, these 30 employees are now the newest members of Local 1260. The new bargaining unit will include hourly janitors and housekeepers, who work on military facilities in Guam.

The latest union win happened in Detroit on December 28th. At Wolverine Packing, a protein packing and distribution company that works with major national brands like Tyson and Perdue, the employees decided that they wanted to join the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 876. When the employees sat down to vote, 39 people voted to join the union, 32 decided not to and 9 didn’t vote, maybe they were away celebrating the holiday. With the 39 yes votes, Wolverine employees who work as full-time and regular part-time plant leaders, grinders, line leaders, scanners, hi-lo drivers, and general laborers will now be represented by Local 876.

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