A successful union drive at Duke University could lead to more unionization among graduate student employees throughout the South.
Articles by Mike Elk
“People here seem to always want to be on the popular side and very afraid to go against the grain. It’s sad,” says one worker who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation from Boeing. “It is the typical thing that happens down here in the low country, a lot of rumor riders who don’t know anything about the subject matter want to jump in on the bandwagon, and then create new and imaginative rumors in order to gain some kind of belonging to the narrative that is ensuing.”
“In the past, there has been a general understanding that there are production pressures to make tires and get things out. We need to make certain moving forward that health and safety take precedent over [production]” says Frederick. “The union has got a role in this, and we need to earn back the faith of the community inside that fence.”
Workers voted down the union by a margin of 2097 to 731.
“I have honestly never worked anywhere, union or not, that flip-flops so much as Boeing has lately,” says Sean Cribb, a production worker at the plant. “They can’t decide overtime rules, [or] work schedules. They are moving management around so much that none of them can learn the work package so they can better assist their team.”
However, sources within the union busting community were quick to tell Payday that they saw passage of the bill as unlikely, as the bill’s passage would require 60 votes to pass the all-but-certain Democratic filibuster.
Payday raised $800 this week toward our winter fundraising goal. We have now raised $2,125 from 52 donors during our winter campaign. With 17 days left to go, help us reach our goal of $5,000.
In our industry, we are encouraged not to take long lunches nor show up to rallies, but on May 3rd, let’s do both. Let’s give the cameras a sight for the ages: hundreds of journalists marching on the White House arm in arm for the cause of press freedom.
Let’s call on journalists from around the world to take to the streets to show Trump that we will not be divided. Let’s call on our readers and our allies in organized labor to march with us and show us that the public has media worker’s backs in covering Trump accurately.
“Whenever there is an increase in the criminalization of undocumented workers, it puts more pressure on workers to stay in the job that they are in, to not complain, to look the other way when there are hazards,” Robele says. “If you are choosing between saying that you are not going to go up on a rough in harness and potentially being deported and separated from your children most people aren’t gonna risk that.”
After only six months of organizing, we already have 114 monthly dues-paying readers contributing an average of $8.15 per month for a total $926 per month. At our current rate of growth, our one-and-a-half person operation will be fully sustainable within 12 months without any grant money. Having $5,000 will allow us to get through to the summer and apply for major grants.
The Machinists’ latest move coincides with the United Auto Workers’ campaign to organize BMW’s plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. (Volvo is also opening a 2,000 person plant in Berkeley County in 2018, which the UAW is almost certain to go after, as the Swedish automaker enjoys good relationships with unions.) The Machinists’ election could also open the door for more organizing at Boeing’s suppliers.
The IBEW has attempted to organize workers at Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) on five separate occasions throughout the last 40 years. Finally, the union won an election there yesterday by a total of 741 to 610.