The United Auto Workers (UAW) pledged to form a “voluntary local,” Local 42, at Volkswagen AG’s (VW) Chattanooga, Tenn. plant following its representation election loss in February 2014. Workers who voluntarily join Local 42 may have access to certain union-provided benefits, including insurance discounts or death benefits, but VW cannot recognize or bargain with the local as the representative of any workers absent the local’s attainment of actual majority status. The UAW has stated that voluntary members will not pay union dues until no sooner than 30 days after any such recognition and the subsequent ratification of a first collective bargaining agreement.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) submitted more than 9,000 signed union authorization cards with the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services (MBMS) seeking to represent personal care/home health care workers in Minnesota. About 26,000 of Minnesota’s enrolled 109,000 personal care attendants would be eligible to vote in the SEIU election. MBMS is expected to schedule an election in late summer. The election would take place pursuant to state legislation enacted in 2013, allowing personal care attendants and child care workers to vote on union representation.
In their first representation election, a unit of 351 fleet service workers at Frontier Airlines voted to be represented by the Transport Workers Union. About 62 percent of eligible workers voted in the election. Republic Airlines Holdings sold Frontier Airlines to Indigo Partners LLC in December 2013.
The United Food & Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 367 is commencing efforts to organize workers of medicinal marijuana facilities in Washington state with the stated purpose of creating regulatory solutions in the industry. The UFCW is also pursuing a broader national organization effort campaign called “cannabis Workers Rising,” which aims to provide professionalism and stability for the industry.
The National Treasury Employees Union filed a Federal Labor Relations Authority petition to represent 370 staff working in the Washington headquarters of the 700-person Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), an agency that polices financial markets. In recent years, the CFTC’s responsibilities expanded under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, but worker’s pay and benefits have remained level.
More than 160 adjunct faculty at Antioch University Seattle voted in favor of representation by SEIU Local 925. This is the SEIU’s first win in its national campaign to organize adjuncts at a private college or university.
Adjunct instructors at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. voted 136–84 to reject SEIU representation in a recent election. At St. Thomas, adjuncts are paid a median of $4,300 per class, approximately $1,600 more than the national average, and the school recently improved wages and offered other fringe benefits.
A majority of the 217 eligible Spirit Airlines’ fleet service workers elected the International Association of Machinists as their bargaining representative. Spirit and the union both alleged illegal interference with the election, but both sides have since abandoned their protests.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees’ (AFSCME) claims its grassroots organizing efforts resulted in more than 90,000 new members this year. The grassroots efforts, endorsed at AFSCME’s 41st International Convention in Chicago, included asking councils to recruit non-union co-workers. Approximately 20,000 of those recruited were home health care workers. Also at the convention, AFSCME delegates promoted California’s recent passage of a new law permitting home health aides of the California In-Home Supportive Services Program to earn overtime wages, and asked members to unseat Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) due to their opposition to public sector collective bargaining.