Jonah Furman is a labor movement organizer and writer. One of his many writing projects is his Newsletter, Who Gets The Bird. Jonah has graciously allowed PPOW to publish excerpts from his newsletter.
Bad news, folks: the NLRB site crashed, so we’ve got only a partial account of filings this week. I’ll play catch-up for next week. As I continue to try to help keep the John Deere strike on the national radar, I did a bunch of media stuff this week, including a video on Joe Biden’s failure to live up to his own “most pro-labor administration in history” identity for More Perfect Union, and conversations with Krystal, Kyle, & Friends, The Insurgents, and Crooked Media’s “What A Day”. For you readers, Gabe Winant and I tried to take stock of the whole strike moment for Labor Notes and The Intercept.
STRIKES & NEGOTIATIONS
Check out below: what is happening in the Cascade Behavioral Health strike in Tukwila, WA and with UFCW Local 21 in Washington State
Today marks day 81 of the Cascade Behavioral Health strike in Tukwila, WA, which began as a sort of wildcat over safety grievances that was then embraced and backed by the union, SEIU 1199NW. Sarah Hughes wrote about it for Labor Notes last month.
Around 50 ER nurses with the Minnesota Nurses Association in Plymouth, MN held a three-day strike.
School bus: School bus drivers in Warwick, RI with ATU Local 618 have temporarily postponed a strike, after First Student granted a one-week extension, kicking the can down the road. Dozens of non-union Charles County, MD school bus drivers organized a sickout, canceling service on Friday. School bus drivers in Winston-Salem, NC also planned a walkout but apparently met with management and called it off.
Other non-union workers: Non-union charter school employees in Weddington, NC apparently struck for two days after their principal was abruptly removed (thanks ILR Labor Action Tracker for the heads up!). Non-union employees at Netflix held a walk-out in protest of anti-transgender programming and practices at the streaming giant.
Two thousand more workers at Kaiser, this time with UFCW Local 770 in Southern California, have voted to authorize a strike, and UFCW Local 1996, representing 2500 Kaiser workers in Georgia is currently voting, with UFCW Local 21 in Washington State apparently next in line, per a release from the Alliance, a cross-union bargaining formation at the healthcare giant. By my count, this will bring the number of workers on strike watch at Kaiser to closer to 45,000 if you include the newly-organized therapists who are looking at a first contract strike.
INTERNAL UNION POLITICS
Check out below: what is happening with Washington Carpenters.
For updates on the UAW and Teamsters election (and beyond), you should check out this panel I hosted with Ken Paff and Carthy Boston of Teamsters for a Democratic Union and Michael Cannon and Scott Houldieson of Unite All Workers for Democracy, the groups trying to change the direction of each of those unions in historic votes that are happening right now across the country. Working People also spoke to Justin Mayhugh, one of the core organizers with UAWD and a GM autoworker in Kansas City.
Washington Carpenters with the Peter J. McGuire Group, the rank and file network that was instrumental in voting down four consecutive tentative agreements and building towards a massive strike, are fundraising for legal defense fees as they face retaliation from their union’s lawyers. You can donate here.
Check out below: What's happening with Wellfound Behavioral Health in Tacoma, WA and welders for Dupill in Richland, WA
New election filings at the NLRB: 800 more HelloFresh mealkit prep workers are unionizing, this time in Newark, NJ, and this time with the Brotherhood of Amalgamated Trades, not UNITE HERE (as in Richmond, CA, and Denver, the only other two HelloFresh facilities to be openly organizing); the catch is that the “Brotherhood of Amalgamated Trades” is widely understood to be a company union, which is deployed in cases like these where an employer is worried about a real union coming in and organizing the workers. They’ve played this role before, like when Waldner’s office furniture locked out Teamsters Local 814 but claimed they were still using union labor because they hired a Brotherhood of Amalgamated Trades-affiliated subcontractor. 500 healthcare workers at LifeLong Medical Care in Berkeley, CA are organizing with SEIU UHW. 145 workers at Wellfound Behavioral Health in Tacoma, WA are unionizing with SEIU 1199NW. 135 school bus workers for First Student in Carol Stream, IL are organizing with Teamsters Local 777, presumably joining the Teamsters’ master contract of something like 20,000 First Student workers across the country. 135 faculty members of the Maryland Institute College of Arts in Baltimore are unionizing with SEIU Local 500. 70 bakery workers for Spruce Confections in Boulder, CO are unionizing with BCTGM Local 26. 47 workers at Dave Steel Company in Chesnee, SC are organizing with Ironworkers Local 854, which, if they make it to a vote, will be the first NLRB election held in South Carolina in 2021; if they win, it’ll be the biggest win in the state since March 2018, which is depressing. 45 workers for Intralot in Bolingbrook, IL, who make, service, and deliver gambling machines for the Illinois Lottery, are organizing with IBEW Local 176. 27 weed dispensary workers for Verilife in Rosemont, IL and 27 more in Ottawa, IL are organizing with Teamsters Local 777, as they continue to spar with UFCW Local 881 for Illinois weed workers. 16 staffers for the ACLU of Virginia are unionizing with the Washington Baltimore News Guild. 12 more workers for Kern Radiology in Bakersfield, CA are joining NUHW; 12 warehouse workers for UNFI in Hopkins, MN are joining Teamsters Local 120. Nine drivers for industrial cleaning supplier Hillyard in Warminster, PA are joining Teamsters Local 107. Five aircraft techs at Fort Smith, AR are joining Teamsters Local 373. Five air traffic controllers at the Cincinnati Municipal Airport are Four welders for Dupill in Richland, WA are joining Plumbers Local 598.
Read Jonah Furman’s full newsletter here to read more labor news on all the following topics (Don’t forget to subscribe and support!)
- STRIKES & NEOGIATIONS
- POLITICS & LEGISLATION
- INTERNAL UNION POLITICS
- NEW ORGANIZING (ie, New election filings at the NLRB, NLRB election wins…and losses, and Security guards)
Get Even More Up-To-Date News On Labor Strikes & Protests
Check out an always up-to-date Twitter feed on Labor strikes & protests here. This Labor Action Tracker feed (@ILRLaborAction) is maintained by Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations Labor school.