The United Auto Workers (UAW) filed a representation petition seeking to unionize graduate students at Columbia University and the New School in New York. Graduate Workers of Columbia- United Auto Workers (GWC-UAW) claims that nearly 1,700 of the approximately 2,800 research assistants (RA) and teachers assistants (TA) working at Columbia have signed union authorization cards with the GWC-UAW. Although Columbia previously opposed an effort for RAs and TAs to unionize, the university has since signed a neutrality agreement.
Volkswagen Group of America Inc. announced that more than 45 percent of the workers at its assembly plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. have designated the UAW as their representative. Under the company’s recently adopted community organization engagement policy, the UAW now has access to company space for meetings, bi-weekly meetings with human resources, and other top-tier engagement opportunities. The policy leaves the door open for the company to engage with multiple employee representatives, and some plant employees are working with the American Council of Employees in an attempt to also secure engagement rights. The UAW’s seeks to secure voluntary recognition as the exclusive representative and a space on the VW Global Works Council.
Voting 222-183, workers at the Millstone Power Station in Waterford, Conn. rejected the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 457 as their bargaining representative. The vote count was postponed while the NLRB resolved the union and company’s dispute over the appropriate bargaining unit. The union sought to represent a unit of only 350 workers, but Millstone Power Station argued the appropriate unit should consist of between 800 and 1,080 workers. Two earlier organizing efforts at the Millstone Power Station failed in 2002 and 2007.
Bicycle share employees at affiliates of Alta Bicycle Share Inc. (Alta) around the country have elected the Transportation Workers Union (TWU) as their exclusive bargaining representative. Groups of employees at Hubway in Boston, Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C., and Divvy in Chicago, all voted for TWU representation. Employees at Citi Bike in New York signed union authorization cards and the company chose to voluntarily recognize TWU instead of forcing a vote.
Nurses at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Somerset, N.J. voted, 204-170, in favor of representation by the United Steelworkers. The bargaining unit includes 432 registered nurses. The Steelworkers also represent nurses at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.
Kellermeyer Bergensons Services, an Ohio-based cleaning contractor, signed a card check neutrality agreement with Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) that recognizes its employees’ right to organize. The agreement avoided the possibility of threatened Black Friday strikes. CTUL and SEIU have been working to put pressure on cleaning companies to establish contractor policies encouraging contractors to cooperate with the unions.