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Union Organizing Wins in Texas, Tennessee, Virginia

Oil workers, journalists, electrical workers and lawyers are some of the newest union members

Brian Young's picture
Nov 06, 2020

Every week more and more workers begin the process of joining a union and giving themselves a voice at work. Across the country, these successful organizing efforts are continuing even with an anti-union NLRB and the pandemic slowing the elections down.

In Chattanooga Tennessee, the workers at Legal Aid of East Tennessee filed for a union election so that they could join the National Organization of Legal Services Workers (NOLSW), which are a part of UAW Local 2320. There were 33 people eligible to vote and 18 people voted to join the union, 9 voted against and 6 people forgot to vote. The new bargaining unit will include all regular professional, para-professional, office, and clerical employees. This will include staff attorneys and non-exempt employees like paralegals, development specialists, accounting assistants, human resource specialists, legal secretaries, and receptionists. All of these employees work at the Legal Aid offices in Chattanooga, Cleveland, Johnson City, and Morristown, Tennessee as well as those who work at the Family Justice Centers in Chattanooga, Cleveland, Johnson City, and Blountville, Tennessee.

Employees at two newspapers have also recently organized. In Dallas, employees of the Dallas Morning News filed for an election in August and voted to join the News Guild-CWA on October 16th. 128 people were able to vote with 84 voting yes, 28 voting no and 14 people not voting. Across the country in Seattle, workers at the Seattle Times also voted in September to join the News Guild, this time the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild, CWA Local 37082, by a vote of 10 to zero. At the Seattle Times, the new bargaining unit will include digital newsroom employees while the Dallas bargaining unit will include more traditional newspaper workers like editors, writers, and visual journalists.

In Baytown, Texas workers at ExxonMobil have organized with the Steelworkers Union Local 12-2001. The vote included 441 members voting with 298 people voting yes and 143 voting no. The new bargaining unit will represent 624 production and maintenance employees at the Baytown Refinery facility. While the vote to approve the union was held in October, the workers filed to join the Steelworkers in May.

On October 22nd, workers at Appalachian Power Company in Clintwood, Virginia, voted on joining the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 934. There were 10 eligible voters and 9 voted to join Local 934 and 1 person voted against. Another election at Appalachian Power, this time in Grundy Virginia, saw all 6 people vote to join Local 934. Both units include Line Servicers and Line Mechanics, while the Clintwood unit also includes MRP Servicers, MRO Utility Workers, and store attendants.

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