• In the first half of 2010, unions participated in more NLRB elections, but won a smaller percentage of elections than in the same period of 2009. During the first half of the year, unions won 69.2 percent of the 812 private sector elections in 2010, down from 72.8 percent of the 591 elections held in the first half of 2009. Unions won 35 percent of the 103 decertification elections in the first half of 2010, compared to winning 39.7 percent of the 121 decertification elections in the same period for 2009. The Teamsters were the most active union, participating in 217 representation elections, but the Service Employees International Union organized the most workers of any union. Unions in the services sector held the most elections and the mining industry had the highest win rate, where unions won 86.7 percent of their elections. The first half of 2010 marked only the third time since 1990 that unions won more than 50 percent of the elections in which they participated in the manufacturing sector.
  • At the conclusion of a months-long organizing campaign, 763 workers at a JBS beef processing plant voted in favor of representation by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776. JBS acquired the plant, located in Souderton, Pennsylvania, in 2008 after it purchased Smithfield Beef Group. The unit is comprised of 1,200 workers. The union represents approximately 27,000 JBS workers across the country.
  • At a labor law conference at Suffolk University Law School, NLRB Member Mark Gaston Pearce urged a dramatic reduction in time for holding representation elections. Pearce contends that the longer the period before the vote, the greater the likelihood of unfair labor practices on both sides. In the past year, on average there were 38 days between the date that an election petition is filed and the date of the vote. Pearce spoke approvingly of the procedures under Canadian law where elections are generally held within 5 to 10 days after a union files a petition for a vote.
  • In the largest mail ballot election in NLRB history, and the largest union election in the private sector since 1941, the incumbent Service Employees International Union defeated rival union, National Union of Healthcare Workers, retaining the right to represent 43,000 health care workers employed by Kaiser Permanente in California. Of the eligible voters, 18,290 employees voted to stay with SEIU and 11,364 voted for new representation by the NUHW.
  • Six hundred Atlantic Southeast Airlines mechanics and related workers have voted to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The National Mediation Board recently implemented a new rule under which employees vote either “yes” or “no” for representation, with the outcome being determined by a majority of votes cast. Prior to the new rule, unions had to win an absolute majority of all eligible voters. The ASA employees were the first to vote and win union representation under this new rule.
  • United Healthcare Workers West was declared the winner in an election held in April to represent workers at four nursing homes in the San Francisco Bay area owned by Pratap Poddatoori. In April, 85 ballots were cast for UHW, 82 for NUHW, 3 for neither union, and 13 ballots were challenged. After its investigation, the NLRB counted four of the challenged ballots, resulting in 89 votes for UHW.
  • Employees in San Jose, California voted to continue to be represented by United Healthcare Workers West at O’Connor Hospital. The National Union of Healthcare Workers challenged UHW-West, a local of the Service Employees International Union. The election took place in June, but the ballots were impounded because the NLRB regional office was in the midst of investigating unfair labor practices charges file by NUHW against O’Connor Hospital. 238 employees voted for UHW-West, compared to 99 who voted for NUHW.
  • By a vote of 87 to 85, Jimmy John’s workers in Minneapolis rejected representation by the Industrial Workers of the World. Two ballots were challenged, both of which were in favor of the union. Even if both of the challenged ballots were counted, however, the vote would have failed to garner IWW the majority of votes cast that it needed to win the election.
  • Teamsters Local 795 won a union election among First Student school bus drivers in Wichita, Kansas. The Teamsters now represents approximately 29,000 school bus workers around the country.