• Approximately 100 Walmart workers called for a “prolonged” strike, seeking to call attention to concerns about wages, working conditions, and alleged instances of retaliation. On May 28, Walmart workers went on strike in California, Florida, and Massachusetts, intending to travel to Walmart corporate headquarters in Arkansas for a June 7 shareholders’ meeting. The employees are not represented by a union. However, the non-profit coalition Organization United for Respect at Walmart (“OUR Walmart”), which is supported by the UFCW, is involved in the strike. In response, Walmart filed a complaint in California state court, alleging that members of UFCW and OUR Walmart trespassed onto its property and engaged in disruptive activities, including harassing shoppers. Walmart alleged that one protest consisted of a flash mob reading from a script and singing “Respect.” Walmart also asserted that local police have not been effective in such instances because they do not respond in time to stop the damage.
  • Nearly 200 low-wage workers in Washington, D.C. walked out of their jobs. The workers are employed at federally funded buildings and were mostly food service and janitorial staff. The workers held protests at multiple locations, demanding that President Obama sign an executive order requiring federal government contractors to pay a living wage. D.C. is now the sixth city to experience a one-day strike of this sort. Other cities have included New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Seattle, and Milwaukee. Earlier this month, in Detroit, 400 fast food workers held a walkout. In Seattle, fast food workers protested low wages by walking out or failing to show up for work, forcing the temporary closure of 11 Taco Bell, Burger King, and Subway locations.
  • In a 173 to 13 vote, attorneys represented by the UAW-backed Legal Services Staff Association began a strike after management at Legal Services NYC attempted to reduce health care and retirement benefits. This is the union’s first strike in 20 years. Legal Services NYC contends that the changes are necessary in light of $8 million federal budget cuts, while the union alleges that the organization has a $10 million capital surplus. The dispute will likely cost the city much more than the $8 million that is in dispute.
  • Columbia Grain, Inc. locked out Portland, Oregon employees represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (“ILWU”) after declaring an impasse in collective bargaining negotiations with the union. The lockout is displacing between 30 and 75 workers a day. Columbia Grain complained that union tactics such as “work-to-rule” were slowing operations at the site. In response to the lockout, ILWU members have been picketing around the clock and have filed unfair labor practice charges against Columbia Grain, complaining that replacement workers were hired months before the impasse was declared.
  • Approximately 13,000 patient care technical workers began a two-day strike at the University of California’s medical centers in Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco (“UC”). The workers are represented by AFSCME Local 3299. In addition, the University Professional and Technical Employees Union, which represents 3,300 UC health care professionals, participated in a one-day strike, and other UC medical center employees in a separate bargaining unit represented by AFSCME were asked to join the strike in sympathy with the patient care technical workers. Previously, a superior court judge allowed the strike to proceed but required certain employees to remain on the job to ensure patient safety. UC and Local 3299 have been in contract negotiations since June 2012.
  • UNITE HERE Local 1 ended a 10-year strike against Chicago’s Congress Plaza Hotel, and made an unconditional offer to return to work. The 130 hotel housekeepers, restaurant workers, and bellmen began the strike in June 2003, and the last collective bargaining session occurred in August 2012. According to the hotel, any union-represented workers who choose to return to work at the Congress Plaza will do so under the terms of the contract that expired in December 2002.
  • Registered nurses in California ended a seven-day strike at Sutter Health-affiliated hospitals located in Oakland, Berkeley, Castro Valley, and Antioch. The nurses, who are represented by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United, struck from May 17 to May 24 to protest a reduction in shift differential pay. Registered nurses at two Hospital Corporation of America hospitals in San Jose, California also struck on May 23 and 24. Those nurses, who are also represented by the California Nurses Association, were protesting the slow pace of negotiations and management proposals to eliminate the nurses’ pension plan.