The International Association of Machinists (IAM) filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a representation election to be held among some 180 workers at Boeing Co.’s South Carolina campus. The proposed “micro-unit” of workers would include the company’s “flight line” team—technicians and inspectors responsible for releasing an aircraft for flight. The petition is the IAM’s third attempt in less than three years to unionize workers at Boeing’s South Carolina site. Boeing plans to challenge the petition with the NLRB as prohibited under federal law.
Approximately 400 mechanics at Allegiant Air voted in favor of representation by the Teamsters, who already represent the company’s pilots and flight dispatchers. The workers will focus on bargaining for improved pay and safety standards.
A new 160-member unit of bus drivers, monitors, and mechanics for Durham School Services in Carson, Calif. voted by a 2-1 margin to join the Teamsters Local 572, which already represents 500 Durham School Services employees. A union spokesperson indicated members will bargain for improved wages, paid holidays, and driving routes based on seniority.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Auto Workers (UAW), American Federation of Teachers, and UNITE HERE have formed a coalition to support graduate students looking to organize at private universities. The unions plan to contribute money, political connections, and membership to support organizing efforts that do not require the NLRB’s involvement—for example, by bargaining directly with administrators.
The Campaign Workers Guild (CWG), a new union focused on organizing and representing staffers across the country, recently organized workers from 10 different campaigns—all for Democratic candidates—with organized units ranging in size from approximately two to 10 individuals. Campaign workers for Laura Moser, a Democratic House candidate from Texas, represented by CWG, ratified their first collective bargaining agreement, which includes health insurance benefits, paid leave and sick days, and a grievance procedure.
A majority of the participants in a labor union alliance—the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions— is breaking off from the partnership to create a new coalition. The coalition has partnered with Kaiser since the 1990s; however, the new coalition pointed to disagreements with the SEIU health care leader as the reason for the change. A national contract with Kaiser, covering tens of thousands of workers, is set to expire this fall.
Approximately 100 employees of the Onion’s editorial and video staffs voted overwhelmingly in favor of representation by Writers Guild of America East. A number of employees at other sites owned by Fusion Media Group, of which Onion, Inc. is a part, are already represented by the WGA East. Somewhat disappointingly, the publication has yet to publish a satirical article about the development.
The UAW reported that its membership increased by 3.6 percent in 2017, adding approximately 15,000 new members. This is the eighth consecutive year that UAW membership has gone up. The union attributed its growth to certain sectors including gaming, higher education, and heavy truck and automotive suppliers.