Victories for 2001
– Some 430 workers won a voice on the job in December thanks to a card-check and neutrality agreement between CWA and Cingular Wireless. Under the agreement, which ensures the company stays neutral during organizing campaigns and respects workers’ right to choose a union after a majority sign cards indicating their support, 300 customer service workers in Ashland, Ky., joined CWA. In central and southern New Jersey, workers at all Cingular locations now have a union after the certification for 120 retail sales representatives and 10 technicians.
– In Southern California, a unit of 400 preschool teachers, teaching assistants, after-school workers and other child care workers voted to join Local 99 Dec. 20. They are employed throughout the L.A. area by Options Inc.
– The 91 LPNs and medical assistants at Suburban Heights Medical Center in Chicago Heights, Ill., have a voice at work following their vote to join the Steelworkers Dec. 21. The workers and USWA organizers enlisted the support of local lawmakers, including Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), and a number of union allies, including the Carpenters, Illinois Nurses Association, Jobs with Justice, Laborers and UAW.
– In the largest union election ever for state workers in Kentucky, 5,000 social and employment services workers chose a voice on the job with AFSCME last month. It was the third consecutive win for workers seeking AFSCME representation in KY since Gov. Paul Patton issued an executive order in May granting state workers collective bargaining rights. Several unions are organizing state workers.
– Capped off a string of recent wins among University of Maryland employees with its biggest victory so far in the campaign on Dec. 11, when the 1,900 workers at College Park voted for a voice on the job. The workers include information technology and other personnel. Other recent wins include 241 workers at Baltimore City Community College, 204 at Morgan State University, 143 at Coppin State College, 140 at University College and 85 at Bowie State College. The campaign builds on legislation passed this spring allowing Maryland higher education workers to form unions and collectively bargain contracts.
– A strong majority of nearly 800 licensed vocational nurses, lab technicians, and other workers at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, Calif., and St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in nearby Camarillo, Calif., chose a voice on the job with Local 399 on Dec. 7. In other recent wins, 337 lieutenants in the Connecticut Department of Corrections joined Local 2001 after winning a new state law earlier this year giving them the freedom to form a union; and 250 Head Start workers at Charles Drew University in Los Angeles joined the union Dec. 6.
– Some 640 workers chose a voice on the job with CWA recently. At two AT&T Broadband units in Los Angeles, most of the 405 technicians and other employees voted to join CWA on Nov. 29. In Hershey, Pa., a winning majority of 190 workers at Verizon’s receivables management collections center chose Local 13500 on Nov. 11. And 45 city workers employed by Burlington City, N.J., traded in their unaffiliated union for a stronger voice on the job with Local 1040 in Nov.
– By a two-to-one margin, the 550 technicians and LPNs at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, Wash., voted to join Local 1001 Dec. 12. In other wins, a majority of the 245 librarians at Prince George’s County, Md., Municipal Library voted to join Local 1994 on Dec. 13.
– Demanding a say in the quality of patient care, a strong majority of 108 nurses at Providence Milwaukee Hospital in Milwaukee, Ore., voted Dec. 14 for a union with the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, an AFT affiliate.
– For the first time, Missouri state workers have a voice on the job after 1,400 probation and parole officers voted Dec. 3 for Local 2000. The vote was the first under an executive order issued by Gov. Bob Holden (D) in June, which gives state employees the right to join a union and to engage in collective bargaining.
– Sixty registered nurses at Mercy Medical Home Health Care in Sioux City, Iowa, voted for Local 222.
– About 100 technicians and other workers at AT&T Broadband in Sacramento, Calif., have a voice on the job after a strong majority voted for CWA in late November. The election was held under rules the union negotiated with the huge telecommunications company in 1998. AT&T agreed to remain neutral and expedite voting at the smaller firms AT&T is buying up to consolidate its cable TV, high-speed Internet and local telephone service empire. In Cheektowaga, N.Y., near Buffalo, 26 workers at Adelphia Communications also voted for CWA.
– won its first election in Alaska, gaining the right to represent 40 employees of KTVA-TV in Anchorage. The employees voted for the union after the station was sold and new management cut wages and benefits. NABET-CWA also gained 24 more members at three other stations: WPTV in West Palm Beach, Fla.; WABC in New York; and WYTV in Youngstown, Ohio.
– A strong majority of the 38 writers, producers and editors employed by WBZ-AM radio in Boston voted to join the Television and Radio Artists Nov. 15. WBZ-AM, which is owned by Infinity Broadcasting, a subsidiary of Viacom, Inc., is one of the oldest commercial radio stations in the country. On-air talent at WBZ radio and WBZ television, as well as WBZ television writers, producers and editors, are already AFTRA members.
– The NLRB has ordered an election to determine whether about 450 Brown University teaching assistants want a voice at work with the UAW. The board found last year that the assistants had collective bargaining rights. The union filed its petition for an election May 28
– For the first time, a group of workers in the University of Maryland system won their quest for a voice on the job when a strong majority of the 230 office support and other employees at Frostburg State University voted Nov. 14 for AFSCME. After a legislative victory in the spring, Maryland’s higher education staff members now are free to join unions. “It’s become clear that we need a real voice in what happens to our jobs and pay,” said Menelika McCarthy, an administrative assistant at Frostburg.
– More than 100 Utah orthopedic surgeons voted to join the Federation of Physicians and Dentists, which is affiliated with the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees/AFSCME. Other recent groups to join the union include 70 classified school employees in Chariton, Iowa.
– More than 1,000 professional and technical health care workers at 11 Kaiser Permanente facilities in the Atlanta area chose a voice at work late last month with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1996. Kaiser agreed to recognize the union after a majority of the workers signed union authorization cards. This victory comes just a year after a coalition of 25 local unions representing more than 60,000 Kaiser workers reached a groundbreaking labor-management partnership agreement giving workers a voice in crucial care decisions plus significant wage and benefit increases.
– In the first-ever union victory for state workers in Kentucky, a strong majority of more than 1,700 health care workers voted to join Healthcare Workers United, an alliance of AFSCME and SEIU. The union will give workers a voice during negotiations with Gov. Paul Patton (D), who issued an executive order in May allowing 30,000 state employees to negotiate pay, benefits and working conditions.
– A unit of 211 RNs at Arden Hill Hospital in Goshen, N.Y., won union recognition for SEIU District 1199 New York Oct. 16 through a card-check. Arden Hill recently consolidated with Horton Medical Center, where the union already represents the RN workforce. Under card-check, an employer agrees to recognize the union if a majority of eligible workers sign union authorization cards.
– A total of 464 workers voted for SEIU this month. Citing staffing problems, 297 health care workers employed in Puerto Rico’s correctional system voted Oct. 9 to join District 1199UNTS. In Ohio, the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court recognized the choice of 167 employees to join Local 47. Under Ohio law, court workers are excluded from collective bargaining unless recognized by the judges of the particular state court. The Cleveland Jobs with Justice coalition assisted the workers in their effort.
– A majority of 4,200 administrative workers in the Puerto Rico Department of Family Services voted Oct. 19 to join Servidores Publicos Unidos, AFSCME’s affiliate in Puerto Rico.
– welcomed Sixty child care workers and counselors at the New York Foundling Group Home in the Bronx who voted Oct. 4 for a voice at work with Local 888.
– The 27 nurses employed by the Clark County (Ohio) Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities voted Oct. 17 to join the AFT Professionals Guild of Ohio. Meanwhile, AFT’s division for health care professionals, the Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, now has a new name: AFT Healthcare. The division is changing its name to better reflect its connection to the AFT.
– The School Administrators grew stronger last month when the 400 members of the Council of Administrative and Supervisory Employees of Baltimore County, Md., voted to affiliate with the union. The CASE members-including public school principals, assistant principals and administrators-are now members of AFSA Local 30. A similar group from Dallas recently affiliated with AFSA.
– The 69 teacher aides and other workers in Hazelwood, Mo., schools, who voted for AFT on Oct. 11, are among the newest paraprofessionals to vote for a voice on the job. AFT and the Missouri Federation of Teachers and School-Related Personnel already represent clerical employees in the district. The aides were inspired to join the union when other district workers negotiated a fair benefits package in their contract.
– In a breakthrough win, more than 1,500 city workers in New Orleans have joined SEIU Local 100 after an Oct. 11-13 election. The city employees-who work in health clinics, libraries and other city facilities-now have a voice on the job affecting a range of policies, from promotions to the city budget.
– October was been a busy month for AFSCME, with a total of 1,342 workers gaining a voice through the union. In Davenport, Iowa, an unaffiliated union of 445 paraprofessionals from the local school district voted to join Council 61, as did 87 faculty members at the Palmer Chiropractic University Foundation. Some 320 Head Start workers from three separate agencies voted for Ohio Association of Public School Employees/AFSCME Local 4.
– 2,300 workers at IBM’s software development center in Endicott, NY, recently voted to become a membership-based local of the Communications Workers’ Alliance @ IBM project, a move that will help in building an organization and educating members, so that when an organizing vote occurs “We will have more strength,” says Lee Conrad, a national organizer.
– 800 members of the Dallas School Administrators Association voted overwhelmingly late last month to join the School Administrators. “This is a major organizing victory,” said AFSA President Joe Greene. “It is particularly significant since Texas is a ‘right to work’ state.”
– 1,100 nurses, aides and technicians at Centro Medico in San Juan, Puerto Rico, voted to join Local UGT/1199 which had affiliated with SEIU in August. registered nurses at Northridge Hospital Center in Southern California also voted for representation by SEIU. After a summer of organizing, 1,800 employees of the Illinois Dept. of Human Services joined SEIU Local 880. 70-member Alameda County (CA) Professional Court Reporters and another 40 in Contra Costa County, CA also signed up with the Service Employees
– 21 helicopter pilots at a medical service company in Grand Prairie, TX, chose the Office and Professional Employees to represent them.
– More than 6,000 private- and public-sector health care and other workers in Puerto Rico increased their strength in August when la Union General de Trabajadores (UGT) affiliated with SEIU. UGT is the principal union at Centro Medico de Puerto Rico, a major medical complex. UGT members now join some 15,000 Puerto Rico public and health care workers who have a voice with Local 1996 and District 1199UNTS.
– In a string of coast-to-coast victories, 300 workers recently joined the Communications Workers of America through card-checks. A strong majority of 160 AT&T Broadband workers in Fresno and Visalia, Calif., chose the union in June. In Richmond, Va., 100 workers at the Verizon Directory Compilation group won a voice on the job with Local 2201. And NABET/CWA Local 28 welcomed 40 engineers, directors, camera operators and other employees of WJET-TV in Erie, Pa., on June 20. Under a card-check, an employer agrees to recognize the union if a majority of workers sign union authorization cards.
– Eighteen traffic reporters employed at Westwood One’s SmartRoutes operation in Cambridge, Mass., voted unanimously for AFTRA on Aug. 1. Westwood One’s SmartRoutes Systems markets traffic and travel information to wireless, Internet, in-vehicle systems and voice portal customers.
– The 17 staff attorneys and prosecutors in Stearns County, Minn., chose a voice at work with AFSCME Council 65 in June. Council 65 has won elections involving 110 employees this year.
– The 250 registered nurses at Franklin Hospital Medical Center in New York City voted overwhelmingly Aug. 3 for a voice at work with the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA), a constituent member of United American Nurses (UNA). The United American Nurses affiliated with the AFL-CIO last month. “Management wasn’t giving them an opportunity to take part in the decision making that affects their practice,” said Marvin Moschel, NYSNA assistant director for organizing. “By joining a union, they will now have some control.”
– A total of 3,821 workers chose a voice with SEIU. Some 1,680 Catholic Healthcare West employees at four southern California hospitals voted overwhelmingly in recent weeks to join Local 399, including 630 aides, technicians and other support staff at St. Mary’s Hospital in Long Beach and 1,050 staff working at three CHW hospitals in Bakersfield. In Los Angeles County, 1,400 health science professionals, represented by SEIU Local 660, overcame strong opposition by “right to work” activists last month to vote for an agency shop, in which some agency-fee payers are represented by the union but do not join.
– Some 10,000 workers at Cingular Wireless’s southeastern operations will have the chance to choose a voice at work without any management interference after the company and the Communications Workers of America reached a neutrality and card-check agreement. According to the agreement, announced Aug. 9, Cingular will not express any opinion for or against the union and will recognize CWA as the bargaining agent for a particular unit when a majority of workers sign authorization cards stating their desire to join the union. Cingular is the second-largest wireless carrier in the United States.
– Overcoming a vicious anti-union campaign, the majority of 470 nurse aides and other service staff members at the Wyoming Valley Health Care System hospital in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., voted July 13 to join SEIU District 1199P. Union activists received strong community and political support, including that of state Auditor General Robert Casey Jr., who has fought to halt the illegal use of Medicaid funds for anti-union campaigns.
– Twenty counselors at two halfway houses owned by Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now (NEON) in Norwalk, Conn., gained a voice on the job July 31 when they voted to join United Food and Commercial Workers Local 371. The workers joined teachers at the NEON Head Start programs who ratified their first contract with the company this year.
– Some 295 clerical workers at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, N.Y., joined SEIU 1199 upstate July 5 after a card-check, in which the employer agrees to recognize the union if a majority of workers sign cards saying they want to join the union.
– A total of 863 workers joined AFSCME in a dozen organizing wins. At L’Anse Creuse Public Schools in suburban Detroit, 320 paraprofessionals and teachers’ aides joined Michigan Council 25, as did 120 public health employees in a consolidated six-county health department in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, 65 school support workers at a private company serving Mount Clemens schools. In other wins, 100 clerical employees in the Washington, D.C., Office of the Corporation Counsel voted for the union, along with 64 school support employees in Mount Pleasant, Iowa; 64 teachers and aides in Windham, N.H.
– Amid complaints about mandatory overtime, insufficient medical supplies and little input into patient care, the 170 registered nurses at the Medical Center of Independence (MO) voted July 2-3 for Nurses United, an affiliate of Communications Workers of America. This is the third time that nurses in hospitals owned by Health Midwest have voted for the union in the past year.
– The 24 women workers who staff the Brewster Center for battered and abused women in Tucson, Ariz., voted for AFSCME Council 97 recently. The women overcame a strong anti-union campaign by management at the nonprofit facility.
– A majority of the 436 technicians and technical support workers at AT&T Broadband in Pittsburgh voted June 20 for a voice on the job with Communications Workers of America.
– The 2,600 registered nurses of AFSCME-affiliate United Nurses Associations of California have a new contract with Sharp HealthCare in San Diego. The new pact includes a 23-percent pay increase over three years, a stronger voice for nurses in-patient care decisions and limits on mandatory overtime. The contract covers RNs at all six hospitals and inpatient facilities owned by the company.
– In a month’s span, a total of 216 Florida nursing home workers chose SEIU 1199 Florida for a voice on the job. On May 7, 68 nurse aides, dietary and housekeeping staff at the Palm Garden Rehabilitation Center voted for the union. On May 30, 68 support staff at Maitland Healthcare Center voted for the union, as did 80 aides and other support staff in a second unit at the same nursing home June 5.
– Some 600 home care workers in Milwaukee voted for a voice on the job with SEIU Local 150 June 6. Their organizing campaign was affected by a new county ordinance that ensures social services and specialized transportation services for seniors and people with disabilities will not be delayed or disrupted by labor disputes by requiring an employer neutrality agreement in organizing campaigns in certain county contracts. Community and religious allies aided the home care campaign with a May 25 prayer vigil and accompanied union activists on house visits.
– An overwhelming majority of the 43 on-air traffic reporters at Metro/Shadow Networks in Boston voted to join AFTRA on May 24. AFTRA represents broadcasters at eight of the company’s other locations in major cities nationwide.
– By a 2-1 margin, 1,051 city employees of Hialeah, Fla., voted for AFSCME Council 79 May 31 and June 1. Mayor Raul Martinez had sent signals to management to remain neutral and let workers make a free choice. Clerical, parks, water and wastewater and solid waste workers, as well as civilian employees of the Hialeah fire and police departments, are included in the unit.
– Members of the formerly independent San Jose/Evergreen Community College Faculty Association in northern California last week voted to affiliate with AFT. The 700 full- and part-time professors want to magnify their strength by joining with the larger union movement, especially with the Labor Council of South Bay AFL-CIO, so they can have more clout in electing community college trustees.
– After a resounding vote May 31, about 400 Head Start workers in San Joaquin County, Calif., now have a voice on the job with SEIU Local 790. The teachers, teachers’ aides, day care workers, and others beat back an anti-union campaign because they wanted a voice in improving staffing levels, which are so bad some workers say they don’t even get lunch breaks.
– Standing up against a tough anti-union campaign, 120 child care workers at three Indiana sites of Geminus Head Start voted by a wide margin for AFSCME Council 62. Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.) helped by urging the employer to remain neutral in the organizing campaign.
– A total of 101 professionals in the Buckeye State chose the Professionals Guild of Ohio, an AFT affiliate. On April 11, 35 teachers, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel working at the Aurora Academy, a charter school in Toledo known for its work with autistic children, voted for the union. Also choosing the union were 36 workers at the Taylor Memorial Library in Cuyahoga Falls and 30 employees of the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas in Toledo.
– The 110 employees of the San Joaquin (Calif.) Helicopter Co. voted for a voice at work with Machinists District 725. The workers maintain and fly tankers and helicopters used to combat fires in California.
– In early May, the majority of 100 nursing home workers at a Lennox nursing facility near St. Louis voted for a voice on the job with SEIU Local 2000.
– A group of 1,250 New York City home health and personal care aides at Allen Home Care Agency outlasted a one-year intimidation campaign and won a voice on the job April 23 with AFSCME District Council 1707. The National Labor Relations Board rejected management’s latest appeal and ordered ballots impounded since last June to be counted.
– Some 587 workers voted for SEIU. A unit of 240 interns, residents and fellow physicians at Brooklyn and Caledonian Hospital in New York voted April 20 to join Local 1957/Committee of Interns and Residents. Patient care concerns, including cutbacks of support staff, spurred the doctors to organize. Meanwhile, a total of 347 Catholic Healthcare West caregivers at three facilities in California chose SEIU Local 250 for a voice at work in April. Also voting for the union: 187 employees at Woodland Medical Center in Woodland, 130 workers at St. Louise Medical Center in Gilroy and 30 workers at Seton Coastside in Moss Beach.
– One hundred twenty-five AeroMexico passenger service employees gained union representation after voting for the Machinists in a mail ballot election counted April 30 that saw the Houston-based airline pull out all the stops in an effort to block the union. Another 15 workers voted for the union April 20 at L-3 Communications Link Simulation at Whiteman Air Force Base, MO.
– AFSCME continues winning a voice at work for staffers at privately run (but publicly funded) mental health agencies. A strong majority of 284 workers at the Clearbrook Center in Illinois voted to join Council 31 April 4. Meanwhile, 50 workers at the Tuscarawas County, Ohio, agency for developmentally disabled people and 25 workers at a similar Jefferson County agency joined Ohio Association of Public School Employees Local 4.
– On April 12, 127 Head Start workers at the Montochusetts Opportunity Council in central Massachusetts voted to join SEIU Local 285.
– Ninety registered nurses at Vencor Hospital-Central Tampa in Tampa, Fla., voted April 18 for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1625. Taking a stand for improved staffing levels, nurses worked closely with unionized nurses from nearby Lakeland and Brandon hospitals to organize the new unit. By a unanimous vote, 42 employees of the Springfield School Department voted March 22 for the Public Employees Division of UFCW Local 1459.
– By a better than 3-to-1 margin, the 1,500 graduate employees at Michigan State University voted April 20 to join AFT. In another breakthrough win, some 600 faculty members at the University of Vermont voted April 18 for a voice at work through United Academics, a joint organization of AFT and the American Association of University Professors.
– Concerned with their future if Lucent Technologies sells its optical cable-making division, the employees at the company’s Sturbridge, Mass., plant voted April 9 for Communications Workers of America. The vote was held under a neutrality agreement between Lucent and CWA.
– Six Fred Meyer pharmacy technicians in Anchorage, Alaska, voted March 22 for a voice at work though United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1496. Employees were interested in the union’s pension and medical benefits. This is Local 1496’s fifth election win at Fred Meyer since October 2000.
– Four hundred ninety workers chose a voice on the job through Communications Workers of America recently, including 200 at Lexington Connectors in Vienna, Ohio, who voted for IUE-CWA. The major issues were favoritism and arbitrary management policies. Another 150 employees at North Central Telecom, a Milwaukee-based telecommunications contractor, joined Local 4603, and 140 workers at AT&T Broadband in South Hills, Pa., joined Local 1300, both after a card-check, in which the employer agrees to recognize the union if a majority of workers sign union authorization cards.
– Some 130 nurses, counselors, nutritionists and other community health workers at the Tapestry Health System in western Massachusetts voted March 22 for SEIU Local 509. The workers won a pledge of neutrality from their employer after union members, the mayor of Northampton, Mass., and a key Tapestry fund- raiser met with the agency’s executive director.
– Sixty-five service and maintenance technicians at Royal Health Gate Nursing Home in Trenton, NJ, voted for a voice on the job with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1360 March 2. The workers’ concerns included improved benefits, wages and patient care.
– Inspired by the victory of their fellow graduate student employees at New York University, a majority of the 1,100 teaching assistants, research assistants and other graduate student employees at Columbia University in New York filed a petition March 28 with the National Labor Relations Board seeking to join UAW. The clerical workers at Columbia, as well as some 15,000 graduate employees across the country, already are UAW members.
– Some 43 registered nurses at Desert Samaritan Surgicenter in Mesa, Ariz., overcame a tough anti-union campaign by a deep-pocketed corporation and voted March 22 for AFSCME’s Federation of Physicians & Dentists/NUHHCE. Another 40 Kaiser Permanente home health nurses in San Diego won a voice with United Nurses Association of California/AFSCME in late January.
– A total of 570 physicians at two New York City hospitals joined SEIU Local 1957/Committee of Interns and Residents March 23 to achieve a voice in how patient care is delivered. Staff cutbacks spurred 460 interns, residents and fellows at St. Luke’s-Roosev
– With a resounding vote, 550 graduate employees at Temple University in Philadelphia voted to form a union with AFT. The Temple University Graduate Students’ Association waged a long battle for a voice at the college, which argued the students were not actually workers, even though they teach about one-third of the undergraduate courses. In October, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board granted them bargaining rights. TUGSA activists reached out to students, community leaders and elected officials, including members of the Philadelphia City Council, who last year unanimously passed a resolution calling on the university to recognize the workers’ desire for a voice at work.
– After a three-month campaign, 35 workers employed at Woodruff Community Options, an assisted-living facility in Brooklyn, N.Y., voted this month to join Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union Local 338. RWDSU is affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers. Another 20 workers at General Chemical in Hollister, Calif., stood up for a voice on the job with the UFCW International Chemical Workers Council March 21. When management’s intimidation tactics couldn’t break worker solidarity, the company handed out raises the night before the election in a last-ditch attempt to buy off votes.
– The 152 employees of the Los Angeles Chinese Daily News voted March 19 for a voice on the job with The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America Local 39521. The union will represent workers in every department at the Chinese-language newspaper.
– After six years of trying to gain a voice at work, 1,050 support staff members at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque voted for AFT March 22. The organizing campaign received help from the Central New Mexico Central Labor Council, AFSCME, Communications Workers of America, Electrical Workers, Plumbers and Pipe Fitters, UAW and the New Mexico Federation of Educators, an AFT affiliate.
– Some 1,882 workers gained a voice at work with SEIU recently. In Syracuse, N.Y., 950 Registered and Licensed Practical Nurses, technical staffers and clerical workers at Community General Hospital won card-check recognition with SEIU Local 1199Upstate Mar
– AFSCME welcomed 55 new members recently after three units with a combined 27 medical workers at Joliet and Hillsboro, Ill., correctional facilities joined Council 31. The employers are private firms that contract with the Illinois Department of Corrections to provide medical care for inmates. Also, a group of 28 community organizers who work for the Chicago Police Department won voluntary recognition of the union.
– Twenty-four workers at the Warsaw Village Retirement Center in Warsaw, Virginia, now have a voice on the job after voting March 7 for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400. With all but two nursing homes in the area organized, the Warsaw Village workers were concerned about patient care and staffing levels and wanted the same representation as their counterparts.
– The Steelworkers and the California Nurses Association are joining forces to step up organizing among workers in the health care industry. The unions formed the Health Care Workers Alliance March 13, which will focus on organizing at hospital chains. CNA, an unaffiliated union, will help nurses win a voice at work, while USWA-which already represents about 15,000 health care industry workers-will focus on all other hospital employees.
– A healthy majority of 90 service and technical health care workers at Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch, Calif., voted in February to join Local 250. Another 80 attending physicians at New York City’s Coler-Goldwater Hospital voted in January to join Local 10MD (Doctors Council).
– Some 700 Cingular wireless workers in Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin joined Communications Workers of America Feb. 27 in a card-check. Under a card-check, which CWA negotiated as part of its current contract with Cingular, the company agrees to recognize the union if a majority of workers sign union cards. Cingular is a joint venture of the wireless divisions of SBC and BellSouth.
– In the first of what union activists hope will be a series of victories, a strong majority of 140 health care workers at University Good Samaritan Center in Minneapolis voted March 6 to affiliate their formerly independent local union with AFSCME. This is the first of many votes this month by locals of two independent unions, Technical Employees Association of Minnesota and Minnesota Licensed Practical Nurses Association, whose governing boards voted in January to affiliate with AFSCME.
SEIU – At New York United Hospital Medical Center in Port Chester, N.Y., a unit of 115 medical technicians voted Jan. 26 to join SEIU 1199 New York. Also, voting for a voice with SEIU were 115 nursing home workers at Delta Health Care Center in Tampa, Fla. And in Cleveland, a unit of 75 Head Start workers organizing with Cleveland SEIU District 925 for a voice on the job won voluntary card-check recognition last month from the West Side Ecumenical Ministry. In a card-check, an employer agrees to recognize the union if a majority of workers sign union cards.
– The 1,500 teaching assistants at Michigan State University filed Feb. 2 for a union representation election with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission. The Graduate Employees Union would be affiliated with AFT’s Michigan Federation of Teachers and School Related Personnel. The key issues are health insurance, salary increases, tuition waivers, hours and working conditions with university administrators.
– Thirty certified nursing assistants at Sunrise Health Care Facility in Jonesport, Maine, voted Jan. 14 to join the Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, an AFT affiliate. The CNAs became part of Down East FNHP/AFT Local 5073.
– -A total of 551 workers gained dignity on the job recently with AFSCME. In late January and early February, 192 workers at the Franklin County, Ohio, mental retardation/developmental disability agency voted for the union, 37 workers in the Erie County, Ohio, metropolitan housing authority; and 19 in two separate units of Health Professional, Ltd., which contracts to provide health services at Illinois correctional facilities. In mid-December, 134 part-time employees in Ulster County, N.Y., joined CSEA/AFSCME Local 1000 in mid-December when an administrative law judge ruled they should be placed in CSEAs existing unit. CSEA also organized 12 white-collar employees in Wappingers Falls, N.Y.
– Seeking respect on the job and better pay, 430 registered nurses at Garfield Hospital in East Los Angeles overcame a vicious anti-union campaign in January to vote to join SEIU Local 535. The hospital, owned by the for-profit Tenet Healthcare chain, used two anti-union firms in an attempt to stifle the caregivers’ voices.
– Political power and organizing came together when 1,030 white-collar workers for the city of Albuquerque, N.M., won a voice on the job last week with AFSCME Council 18 after getting voluntary recognition from the mayor. AFSCME successfully fought for a new state law, passed in December, that allows for voluntary recognition of a new local union in Albuquerque after a majority of public-sector workers sign cards signaling their support. Another 120 employees of the Delaware County (Pa.) Intermediate Unit became the first Head Start workers in Philadelphia’s suburbs to win a voice at work by voting last week for United Child Care Union, a division of the National Union of Hospital and Healthcare Employees/AFSCME.
– A total of 1,043 workers recently gained a voice at work through Communications Workers of America. In Riverside County, Calif., 400 part-time faculty members at Mt. San Jacinto Community College voted overwhelmingly for Local 4900. After a majority of the 397 customer service representatives in three states signed union cards last month, Valor Communications recognized their choice of Locals 6171 and 7019. Also joining the union were 106 AT&T Broadband employees in South Hills, Pa., 75 cable technicians in Arlington, Texas, and 65 visitor desk operators at the Manhattan World Trade Center.
– Five-hundred-thirty-eight health care workers chose a voice with AFT. In Portland, Ore., 468 professional employees joined the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, an affiliate of AFT, Jan. 24 when Kaiser Permanente Northwest gave the group voluntary union recognition as a result of the partnership that was created between unions and management more than three years ago. The employees include nurse practitioners; physician assistants; mental health therapists; psychologists; nurse-midwives; drug dependency, cancer and genetic counselors; medical social workers; physical, occupational and speech therapists; audiologists; and clinical dietitians. Concerns over working conditions and patient care led 70 employees of Essex County (N.J.) Visiting Nurses to vote Jan. 25 for the AFT-affiliated Health Professionals and Allied Employees.
– Seeking basic fairness on the job, 128 Head Start workers at Trumbull Community Action Program in Warren, Ohio, voted Jan. 17 for the Ohio Association of Public School Employees/AFSCME. More than 2,000 Head Start workers at 14 Ohio locations have joined the union in the past two years.
– One thousand airline workers chose a voice with the Machinists this month. Some 800 employees of the Mileage Plus division of United Airlines voted for IAM Jan. 16, while another 200 planners and technical specialists at US Airways joined existing IAM locals.
– In California, 343 registered nurses at two hospitals owned by for-profit giant Tenet Healthcare Corp. organized with AFSCME’s United Nurses Associations of California in recent elections. After 186 nurses at Tenet’s Lakewood, Calif., hospital voted to organize, management unsuccessfully turned up the heat to fight a second organizing drive among a group of 157 RNs in Irvine, Calif., who also chose to join UNAC/AFSCME.
– Fifty-five nurse practitioners at Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y., joined SEIU Local 1199 Upstate after the hospital agreed to recognize their choice to join the union. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with additional training and certifications who perform advanced functions in diagnosis and treatment.
– Led by a strong volunteer organizing committee, 755 workers at Seattle’s Northwest Hospital voted Jan. 4-5 to join SEIU 1199NW. It was the largest private-sector union win in Washington State since 1997. In Springville, N.Y., the majority of 250 workers at the Bertrand Chafee Hospital overcame a vicious anti-union campaign in November and voted for a voice at work through SEIU Local 1199 Upstate. The victory capped a seven-month organizing effort by the caregivers. The bargaining unit includes LPNs, technicians, aides, clerks, dietary workers and other support staff.
– Municipal workers in Stowe and Hardwick, Vt., won a voice at work with Electrical Workers Local 300. In two elections in Stowe, the 23 town employees in the Highway, Water, Waste Water, Library, Rescue, Planning and Zoning and Assessor’s departments voted for IBEW Local 300, as did the eight workers in the town’s Electrical Power Department. Seven officers and dispatchers in the Hardwick Police Department also voted to join Local 300.
– A resounding majority of the 1,411 full and part-time faculty at Palomar College in San Diego voted to join AFT. The instructors are the latest to join AFT as part of the union’s organizing campaign at California’s community colleges. Organizers collected e-mail addresses from workers who signed union cards and used electronic communications to stay in touch, which proved to be crucial especially for the part-timers who were on campus only sporadically and comprise the bulk of the unit.