• The United Auto Workers (UAW) union plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in an effort to organize hourly factory workers at foreign-owned car plants in the U.S. The UAW announced that it has more than $800 million in its strike fund, which it intends to use to finance its push to unionize the foreign auto manufacturers, and it plans to hold demonstrations at the corporate headquarters of the foreign-owned companies both in the U.S. and abroad, in addition to picketing their dealerships and the sports events sponsored by the companies. UAW officials said that the goal is to have at least one foreign auto maker organized by year’s end.
  • The UAW issued a set of 11 principles “for fair union elections.” The UAW is demanding that all corporations adhere to these principles, which call for employers to recognize the right to organize as a “fundamental human right;” ensure that organizing campaigns be free of “coercion, intimidation, or threats”; refrain from holding “mandatory meetings of employees on the issue of unionization unless the UAW is invited to participate;” and make certain that the union and employers have “equal access to the electorate.”
  • The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) filed an application with the National Mediation Board (NMB) seeking a representation election among 24,000 employees at United Air Lines and Continental Airlines, which merged in October 2010. If the NMB determines the airlines now constitute a single transportation system for representation purposes, the union said it would claim a representational dispute exists, which would then lead to a representation election. Currently, the AFA represents more than 15,000 United employees. If a representation election occurs, the AFA will be up against the International Association of Machinists (IAM), which bargains for about 9,300 Continental employees. At the same time, the IAM filed an application with the NMB for a representation election among the 13,800 ramp workers and baggage handlers now working for the merged companies. If NMB finds that the carriers constitute a single transportation system for representation purposes and schedules a vote, IAM, the union for 6,800 workers at United, would compete with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the agent for 7,000 employees at Continental, to represent the combined workforce. IAM hopes to represent a total of 55,000 employees, including United-Continental’s flight attendants, fleet service workers, stores clerks, and passenger service employees. If NMB decides that a representation election should take place, under its election procedures, workers would vote either “yes” or “no” for union representation, and the union that wins the largest number of these “yes” votes would represent the combined work group and negotiate with the merged airline for a single collective bargaining agreement.
  • The NMB dismissed the IAM’s application for a representation election among 2,200 office clerical workers at Delta Air Lines after finding that the union failed to submit the required number of authorization cards from workers at pre-merger Delta to show it had the support of at least 35 of the combined employee group. As a result of the dismissal, Delta’s pilots, represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, are now the only group that has union representation at the airline, which merged with Northwest Air Lines in 2008. Two elections, involving flight attendants and fleet service workers, could be rerun if NMB finds that Delta unlawfully interfered in their elections, as alleged by the AFA-CWA and IAM. NMB is still investigating those charges.
  • Employees at more than a dozen hospitals and long-term care facilities in the Cincinnati area that are owned by Catholic Healthcare Partners voted in NLRB-conducted elections in 44 separate bargaining units involving 6,600 employees on whether to join the Service Employees International Union. The SEIU lost 39 elections, prevailed in four and one is pending. The four units voting in favor of joining the union were: non-professional employees at Springfield Regional Medical Center (509 total employees); non-professional employees at Mercy Memorial Hospital Urbana (27 total employees); technical employees at Mercy Memorial Hospital Urbana (28 total employees); employees at Mercy McAuley Center (108 total). The one unit still in question involves a unit of registered nurses. The election was part of a cooperative between the union and the hospital chain, where the parties agreed not to campaign against each other. The only materials distributed to employees were jointly-created materials explaining the election process. The election was requested by the employer under an RM Election Petition, which was filed on January 17.