Reversing an election outcome in 2011, nearly 90 percent of eligible flight attendants at Virgin America voted, 430-307, for representation by the Transport Workers Union (TWU). The National Mediation Board (NMB) is expected to certify the TWU as the group’s bargaining agent. The flight attendants are the first work group at the San Francisco-based low cost carrier to vote for a union.
More than 100 employees at the Tukwila, Wash.-based Jorgensen Forge Corporation have voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). The workers, who voted in favor of representation by a 3-2 margin, initiated the organizational efforts by contacting the union out of concerns over pay, health care benefits, and the lack of grievance procedures.
Minnesota home health care workers have voted to be represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Minnesota, which will now represent nearly 27,000 workers in the state. After collecting more than 9,000 authorization cards seeking to have the union designated as the home care providers’ exclusive bargaining representative, the SEIU petitioned for recognition and a secret ballot election was launched. Despite the number of authorization cards, the mail-in vote only resulted in a voter turnout of 6,000 home health care workers, more than 3,500 of which voted in favor of representation. The vote came after the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota denied as premature a motion for preliminary injunction from nine home care provider plaintiffs seeking to halt the election. In the wake of the election, the home care providers will likely reassert the argument that Minnesota’s Individual Providers of Direct Support Services Representation Act, which allowed the state-subsidized home care workers to unionize under Minnesota’s Public Employment Labor Relations Act, was unconstitutional.
Nearly 200 taxi drivers in San Francisco and 1,000 drivers in Montgomery County, Md., have voted to be represented by the AFL-CIO affiliate National Taxi Workers Alliance (NTWA). The NTWA, which represents nearly 18,000 cab drivers in New York City, does not function as a traditional union or negotiate collective bargaining agreements, as the drivers it represents work as independent contractors. The NTWA has criticized what it views as a highly exploitative taxi industry, claiming that many taxi drivers have no legal protections, often earn less than minimum wage, and are subject to high lease fees, all while facing pressure from the proliferation of competition from new ride-sharing services, such as Uber.