According to data released by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board), the Board’s recent revisions to union election rules has sped up election procedures, but has not led to a spike in representation petitions or increased union election wins. The data shows that since the election rules changes, the median number of days elapsed between the filing of a representation petition with the Board and the representation election itself decreased from 38 to 24 days. The number of total petitions dropped by four percent, to 2,674 compared to 2,792, while the union win rate remained nearly constant. The data also shows that the number of petitions blocked by unfair labor practice charges dropped from 194 to 107.
Airbnb and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are discussing a partnership to collaborate on advancing policies of “fair taxation” and creating “access to affordable housing.” The proposed partnership agreement also would require the company to endorse the $15 minimum wage campaign and to utilize union-backed cleaners through their home-sharing platform.
Membership in the United Auto Workers (UAW) rose by 1.3 percent in 2015, an increase of nearly 5,200 workers. This is the sixth straight year of small gains for the Detroit-based union. Following the UAW’s all-time high of nearly 1.5 million members in 1979, the union fell to a record low of just over 355,000 in 2009. Since 2009, UAW membership has risen 15 percent.
Following Uber’s $100 million settlement of two class actions with its drivers, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) announced that it intends to help create an “association” of drivers in California. The settlements between Uber and the drivers, however, preserved the status of the drivers as independent contractors. Uber agreed that it would fund the creation of an association which would allow elected driver leaders to express concerns voiced by rank-and-file drivers. The company further agreed to meet with the association’s elected leaders once a quarter.
Detroit Chassis LLC, an auto-parts manufacturer, has agreed to the recognize the UAW as the representative of 58 temporary workers at its Avon, Ohio plant.
Graduate research and teaching assistants at Harvard University have asked the school allow a representation election after arbitrators found that the Harvard Graduate Students Union, affiliated with the UAW, enjoyed majority support of the nearly 2,900 graduate assistants. Organizing efforts at Harvard began last fall. Harvard maintains that the relationship between graduate student and a university is about education, not employment.
Members of the Frontier Airline Pilots Association (FAPA) voted overwhelmingly, with some 93 percent in favor, to merge with the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) for contract negotiations with Frontier Air. The merger is expected to take effect June 1 and will add 1,000 FAPA pilots to the 52,000 pilots currently represented by ALPA. Boston University faculty voted 135-36 for representation by the SEIU, adding to the SEIU’s national campaign to unionize at institutions of higher learning. This comes after the SEIU organized approximately 800 adjunct faculty at Boston University last year.
According to a recent financial filing with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) has officially ended financial support of the anti-Walmart group, OURWalmart. The UFCW-run organization was the main vehicle for most of the protests and other events over the last several years that opposed Walmart’s policies. The UFCW has long sought to organize Walmart’s 1.3 million employees.
A bargaining unit of 925 registered nurses at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia voted 463-343 in favor of union representation by the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP).
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) recently won NLRB-supervised representation elections at charter schools in Cleveland and Chicago, despite the fact that the charter schools – funded by the government – are often thought of and treated as public entities. Since 2012, when the NLRB first asserted jurisdiction over pubic charter schools, the AFT has had number of successful organizing campaigns. Currently, about 10-12 percent of charter schools nationally are organized.
The Trump Hotel in Las Vegas is challenging the NLRB certification of an election of 525 workers who voted 238-209 for representation by UNITE HERE affiliates, Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and Bartenders Union Local 165. The hotel’s objections are based on claims of union wrongdoing during the election process, including coercion and threats.
The NLRB held that tenured and tenure-track faculty members at Tufts University School of Medicine were not eligible for union representation. The Board determined that the members were managers, since they engage in supervisory and managerial roles. Trs. of Tufts Coll.