Toyota Union Drive Announced in Missouri – NYT Union Calls Out Racial Profiling in Leak Investigation – 250,000 Voted Uncommitted Last Night

UAW announce union drive at Toyota in Troy, Missouri (UAW)


Greetings from Rio de Janeiro, where I am hard at work setting up film shoots next week for the 6th anniversary of the assassination of Marielle Franco. (Donate to help us film here next week)

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Toyota Union Drive Announced in Missouri 

Today, in a stunning and moving video, the UAW announced that it was launching a union drive at the Toyota engine plant in Troy, Missouri. So far, the UAW has only signed up 30% of workers of the 1,000 workers at the plant, but workers there feel there is a sense of momentum of organizing. 

“Seeing the new contracts with the Big Three, that’s when I realized we needed a union,” said Toyota Charles Lashley worker statement put out by the union. “It was incredible that UAW members could bargain for those benefits and that pay. I don’t see why we should be paid differently. Toyota makes more money than all the Big Three.:”

The move comes as the UAW is investing $40 million over the next two years in organizing push following the contract that the union won in the “Stand Up Strike.” 

This week, the UAW said it expects 70% signup among auto workers in Chattanooga at Volkswagen. Earlier this week, a UAW leader at Mercedes in Alabama said that their union was also close to filing a union election. Workers have also announced a union drive at Hyundai in Montgomery, Alabama, earlier this month.

The new push at Toyota shows that UAW is trying to make a nationwide campaign of organizing non-union auto plants instead of targeting individual plants, which it has tried unsuccessfully to do in the past. 

For more, check out the announcement video from workers at Toyota in Alabama. 

250,000 Voted Uncommitted Yesterday in Primaries 

Yesterday, more than 250,000 voters marked “uncommitted” in their state’s Democratic primary. (California and Texas, the largest states voting yesterday, did not allow voters to mark uncommitted.) 

In Minnesota, where 19% of the Democratic primary voters, marked “uncommitted”, Governor Tim Walz, a US Army Veteran, said that the uncommitted vote sent a clear sign to the Biden Administration. 

“They are asking to be heard and that’s what they should be doing,” said Governor Walz on CNN last night. “Their message is clear that they think this is an intolerable situation and that we can do more. And I think the president is hearing that.”

Minneapolis Congresswoman Ilhan Omar praised the Governor’s statement on Twitter. 

“The Governor is right, last night’s votes that have secured 11 Uncommitted delegates was about being heard,” tweeted Omar. “Minnesotans want a permanent and lasting ceasefire and are using all the tools available to them to get their President to change course.” 

For a complete data analysis of the “Uncommitted” vote, check out Axios. 

NYT Union Pushes Back Against Anti-Arab Leak Investigation in Newsroom

Earlier this week, the New York Times it was announced that they were launching an investigation into how material from their internal editing of a story on atrocities committed by Hamas, which has since been disproven, was leaked to the Intercept

The New York NewsGuild has strongly objected to how Middle Eastern and Northern African reporters at the New York Times have been interrogated as part of this process. From the New York Times Guild

In an email distributed to its membership on Friday, The Times Guild strongly condemned management’s targeted interrogation of members of the Middle Eastern North African (MENA) Employee Resource Group. Susan DeCarava, the president of The NewsGuild of New York, also sent an email on Friday to Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger.

On Saturday, Times management sent a response in an email to all newsroom employees in which management asserted, among other things: “The inquiry is focused narrowly on how internal materials were shared with outsiders.”

This is not true. 

On Tuesday, The Times Guild filed a grievance on behalf of the union, citing management’s intimidation of certain employees during hostile, aggressive interviews that transgressed far outside the scope of any investigation into potential leaks. Members faced extensive questions about their involvement in MENA ERG events and discussions, and about their views of the Times’s Middle East coverage. Group leaders were asked to turn over the group’s membership list, as well as the names of all New York Times colleagues who had “raised concerns” — in private discussions — about a published New York Times article.

For more, check out NPR. 

Dartmouth Basketball Players Become 1st to Unionize.

Yesterday, Dartmouth’s college basketball players became the first to vote unionize. This victory marks a major turning point for college athletes. 

“Today is a big day for our team,” said Dartmouth juniors Cade Haskins and Romeo Myrthil in a joint statement. “We stuck together all season and won this election. It is self-evident that we, as students, can also be both campus workers and union members. Dartmouth seems to be stuck in the past. It’s time for the age of amateurism to end.”

For more, check out the AP. 

Bucknell Resident Assistant Announce Union Drive 

Yesterday, resident assistants at my alma mater, Bucknell, which I attended on a scholarship, announced that they were unionizing this week. While resident assistants receive a free dorm room, they receive a stipend of only $100 a month. 

Now, resident assistants at Bucknell are pushing back and unionizing with OPEIU Local 153. 

“Every RA on campus dedicates hundreds of hours each semester to meetings, training, community-building events, and other resident situations that occur at all hours of the day and night. This job, while an important one, is underappreciated and underpaid by the university,” Bucknell Resident Assistant Grace Garvey told WOLF. 

For more, check out WOLF. 

News & Strikes Happening Elsewhere

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About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]