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West Penn

Successful Union Organizing Drives

Workers in Georgia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco have all voted to join union organizations

Brian Young's picture
Aug 24, 2020

With the National Labor Relations Board now open to conduct union elections, union organizing wins are happening at a rapid pace. From San Francisco to Pittsburgh to Macon Georgia, workers are demanding a voice in the workplace and joining a union to get it.

In San Francisco, workers at Our Family Coalition decided that they wanted to join Teamsters Local 856. The Coalition organizes workshops, support groups, classes, and seasonal celebrations in support of LGBTQ+ families with children, prospective parents, youth, allies, community partners, and volunteers. While the vote total is not yet certified by the NLRB, Teamsters Local 856 sent out a press release saying that the union drive was successful. "I'm proud that Teamsters Local 856 represents 17,000 workers in the Bay Area and last December became the union representative at the Rainbow Community Center of Contra Costa County, which also supports LGBTQ+ people," Corey Hallman, Local 856 Business Agent said. "The Teamsters are a truly diverse union and we are pleased to welcome the workers at Our Family Coalition into the Teamster family."

Across the country at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh, 694 workers voted on joining SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, The Nurse Alliance. They filed for an election in June and on August 14th, the votes were counted. 321 decided they wanted a voice at work, while 230 decided to continue with how things were and voted no. In total 551 votes were counted and the Yes votes won out. Included in the new bargaining unit will be all full-time and regular part-time Registered Nurses (RNs) and RN Lactation Consultants employed by the Employer at its facility located at 4800 Friendship Ave., Pittsburgh, PA;. Others Permitted to Vote included RN Burn Outreach Coordinator, RN Wound Ostomy, and RN Program Coordinator.

Tires have been in news a lot after Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear tires. However, the Trump supporter who still wants to buy a union made tire, now has another option. That is because workers at Kumho Tires in Macon Georgia have voted to join the Steelworkers union. This was a close vote with 145 voting yes and 144 voting no. Included in the bargaining unit are all full-time and regular part-time production and maintenance employees, production coordinators, inventory control employees, tool and dye makers, and plant clericals employed at its Macon, Georgia facility.

Congratulations to all of these workers for taking the first step to gain a stronger voice at work. While these wins are great, a close election like the one at Kumho, show that unions still have a lot of work to do to gain the trust of their workplaces. Now all three of these locals will move forward with negotiating their first contract.

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