The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) withdrew its petition to represent non-tenured faculty at Fordham University 10 days after filing the petition, citing concern about the inevitable lengthy legal battle that would ensue with the college. Fordham intended to object to the petition on the basis that the college is exempt from the NLRB process due to its status as a religious institution. The college further maintained that full-time and part-time non-tenured faculty in different academic departments should not be part of the same bargaining unit. The non-tenured faculty and the SEIU are said to be considering alternatives to the NLRB representation process, including through the American Arbitration Association (AAA).
American University’s graduate student employees overwhelmingly voted in favor of representation by SEIU Local 500. The bargaining unit consists of 761 students in the university’s doctoral and master’s degree programs, including teaching assistants, research assistants, graduate assistants, laboratory assistants, teaching apprentices, dean’s fellows, instructors, and tutors. The bargaining unit represents the first group of student workers in Washington D.C. to organize. American University has no plans to challenge the election results.
The Teamsters have begun a campaign aimed at organizing Uber drivers in Washington state. However, the Teamsters have already faced pushback, including from 10 Uber drivers in Washington who recently filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Teamsters’ efforts to organize ride sharing drivers.
According to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) newly released reports, some of the nation’s largest unions lost between 5,000 and 20,000 members over the course of last year alone. Notably, in 2016, the United Steelworkers (USW) lost 20,000 members; the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) lost 14,000 members; and the Teamsters and Machinists each lost 5,500 members. However, some unions saw increases in membership in 2016. The United Auto Workers (UAW) increased its membership from 408,639 to 415,963 in 2016, while the SEIU increased from 1,887,941 to 1,901,161. One source impacting the unions’ increased membership may be attributable to organizing focused on large units of workers at universities. Moreover, in 2016, the SEIU and the UAW ranked first and second in both representational and political expenditures, respectively, as the SEIU spent $142.4 million on representational expenditures and $61.6 million on political expenditures, while the UAW spent $99.1 million on representational expenditures and $13.2 million on political expenditures. The DOL’s reports also revealed that the two highest paid union leaders in 2016 were Teamsters President James Hoffa, who was paid $386,344, and UFCW President Marc Perrone, who was paid $354,568.