For the first time since 2009, unionization rates among governmentsector employees increased in 2014, from 38.7 to 39.2 percent. Meanwhile, the union share of privatesector employees fell 0.1 percent to 7.4 percent. Despite the drop in overall representation, more private sector employees were represented in 2014 than at any time since 2009, with 8.2 million employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
The Teamsters’ efforts to unionize FedEx Freight employees is faltering. The union is attempting to organize employees at FedEx Freight facilities across the U.S., but in January it lost two elections in West Virginia and withdrew another in the state. In past months, the Teamsters won elections at FedEx Freight facilities in North Carolina and New Jersey, while it lost elections or withdrew petitions at six facilities in New Jersey, Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) won representational rights for 232 service and technical employees at Easton Hospital in Wilson, Pa., and quickly reached a first contract providing a 2 percent wage increase and a freeze in employees’ share of health insurance costs.
Adjunct faculty at Washington University in St. Louis voted in favor of SEIU representation. Of the 404 eligible voters, 138 voted for the SEIU, while 111 adjunct faculty voted against. The vote preceded similar elections in California, where about 900 adjunct professors and contingent faculty at St. Mary’s College, Dominican University, and Otis College of Art and Design voted for SEIU representation. Meanwhile, the SEIU withdrew from an effort to unionize adjunct faculty at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash. after 38 outcome determinative votes were challenged by the employer.
Employees at a Conway Freight facility in Bakersfield, Calif., voted against representation by the Teamsters. The Bakersfield vote follows previous Teamster defeats in elections at Conway Freight facilities in Santa Fe Springs and San Fernando Valley, Calif.; Manchester, N.H.; and Harlingen, Texas. Earlier, the Teamsters withdrew a petition for a vote at Conway Freight’s facility in Irvine, Calif.
The International Association of Machinists (IAM) petitioned the National Mediation Board for a vote to represent Delta Air Lines flight attendants, stating 60 percent of the proposed bargaining unit signed authorization cards in support of the IAM. The drive to unionize flight attendants at Delta is the fourth attempt since 2002. After Delta merged with Northwest Airlines in 2010, flight attendants rejected organization efforts by the Association of Flight AttendantsCWA. Delta has the fewest unionrepresented employees among the four largest U.S. air carriers.
In an effort to improve the odds of developing a casino and hotel in Kenosha, Wis., the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and the Menominee Indian Tribe agreed to cancel a cardcheck agreement that permitted casino employees to choose representation by signing union authorization cards instead of conducting an election. Hard Rock International will partner with the Menominees to develop the casino and hotel, if plans are approved.