WASHINGTON, DC – From increases in the minimum wage to successful organizing efforts at some of America’s largest companies, workers have led notable wins over the recent months.
The following are a sample of victories won by workers:
AFSCME Sets Organizing Goal, Almost Doubles It: AFSCME President Lee Saunders announced that the union has organized more than 90,000 workers this year, nearly doubling its 2014 goal of 50,000.
Tennessee Auto Workers to Create New Local Union at VW Plant: Auto workers at Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee announced the formation of UAW Local 42, a new local that will give workers an increased voice in the operation of the German car maker’s US facility. UAW organizers continue gain momentum, as the union has the support of nearly half of the plant’s 1,500 workers, which would make the union the facility’s exclusive collective bargaining agent.
California Casino Workers Organize: Workers at the new Graton Resort & Casino voted to join Unite HERE Local 2850 of Oakland, providing job security for 600 gambling, maintenance, and food and beverage workers.
Virgin America Flight Attendants Vote to Join TWU: Flight attendants at Virgin America voted to join the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU), citing the success of TWU in bargaining fair contracts for Southwest Airlines flight attendants.
Maryland Cab Drivers Join National Taxi Workers Alliance: Cab drivers in Montgomery County, Maryland announced their affiliation with the National Taxi Workers Alliance, citing low wages and unethical behavior by employers as their reason to affiliate with the national union.
Retail and Restaurant Workers Win Big, Organize Small: Small groups of workers made big strides as over a dozen employees at a Subway restaurant in Bloomsbury, NJ voted to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. Meanwhile, Cosmetics and Fragrance workers at a Macy’s store in Massachusetts won an NLRB ruling that will allow them to vote on forming a union.
Minnesota Home Care Workers Take Key Step to Organize: Home health care workers in Minnesota presented a petition to state officials that would allow a vote on whether they will form a union for more than 26,000 eligible workers.
New York Television Writers-Producers Join Writers Guild: Writers and producers from Original Media, a New York City-based production company, voted to join the Writers Guild of America, citing low wages, long work schedules, and no health care.
Raising Wages Victories
Fast Food Workers Win in New NLRB Ruling: The National Labor Relations Board ruled that McDonald’s could be held jointly responsible with its franchises for labor violations and wage disputes. The NLRB ruling makes it easier for workers to organize individual McDonald’s locations, and could result in better pay and conditions for workers.
Workers Increasingly Have Access to Paid Sick Leave: Cities such as San Diego, CA and Eugene, OR have passed measures mandating paid sick leave, providing workers with needed flexibility and making workplaces safer for all.
Student Athletes See Success, Improved Conditions: College athletic programs are strengthening financial security measuresfor student athletes in the wake of organizing efforts by Northwestern University football players. In addition, the future is bright as the majority of incoming college football players support forming a union.
San Diego Approves Minimum Wage Hike, Portland, ME Starts Process: Even as Congress has failed to raise the minimum wage, localities throughout the country have delivered action. San Diego will raise the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour by 2017, and the Portland, MEMinimum Wage Advisory Committee will consider an increase to their minimum wage which would take effect in 2015.