UAW Expected to Reach 70% at Volkswagen Next Month – Lula & Uber Cut a Deal on Hourly Wages – ALU Will Allow Democratic Elections

UAW filed for a union election today with 70% of the plant signing up to join the union. (UAW)


Greetings from Brazil, where President Lula has introduced a bill that would pay all app workers the minimum wage. 

Lula & Uber Strike Deal on Hourly Wage & Benefits

Today in Brasil, Lula announced that he struck a deal on a bill that would give Uber drivers the right to be paid $32 reals an hour (equivalent to $6.29 an hour). 

The bill would also force Uber to contribute to the Social Security payments of all drivers as well as giving women the right to maternity leave. It would also create a new job category as “autonomous platform” workers 

The bill now goes to the National Congress, controlled by a center-right coalition, where it is unclear if it will pass. Uber has already given its support to the bill. 

“Some time ago, no one in this country believed that it would be possible to establish a negotiation table between workers and businesspeople and that the result of that table would conclude in a different organization in the world of work,” said Lula in a ceremony introducing the bill. 

For more, check out G1

UAW Expected to File for Election at Volkswagen Next Month 

Earlier today, Payday Report broke the news that Mercedes Alabama workers could file for a union election “any day now” according to a local UAW leader. 

This weekend, the New York Times reported that UAW leaders expect to achieve 70% sign-up at Volkswagen in Chattanooga by next month. At which point they have indicated that they are likely to push for another union election. 

With both plants close to union certification elections and an ongoing organizing drive announced at Hyundai in nearby Montgomery, Alabama, the unions may make a joint push for certification at the same time. 

For more on the union drive in Chattanooga at Volkswagen check out this longer piece from the New York Times. 

Amazon Labor Union Members Win Right to Hold  Elections 

Last year Payday Report covered how many in the independent Amazon Labor Union (ALU) were upset that President Chris Smalls would not allow union elections for leadership positions. 

Now, after an internal referendum of union members this weekend, the union has decided to allow union leadership elections to take place. They also agreed to form a constitutional committee to look at changes to the union’s constitution. 

“We’re excited to announce that the vote for internal ALU elections passed with MAJORITY YES votes by members!” the ALU Democratic Reform Caucus said in a statement. “As the rank & file caucus of our union, we are proud to have organized for this, and proud to continue the vital struggle for worker democracy.” 

For more, check out the twitter page of the ALU Democratic Reform Caucus. 

After Outrage, Georgia Democrats Demonstrate Support for Delta Union Drive

Last week Payday Report covered how some Congressional Democrats in Georgia were refusing to take a position on the union drive at Delta, one of the largest employers in the state. 

Now Georgia Congressmen Hank Johnson and Standford Bishop have come out in support of workers unionizing at Delta. 

“I strongly support all workers’ right to collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions and to enjoy the well-earned fruits of their labor,” wrote Johnson in a letter to Delta CEO Ed Bastian. “They deserve to feel seen and heard, and that includes the ability to make a well-informed decision regarding collective bargaining, without fear of retaliation from their employer. I urge Delta to remain a good faith partner as these discussions continue and respect the decision of its employees, regardless of the outcome.”

For more, on growing momentum among Georgia Democrats for the union drive at Delta, check out the Machinists page. 

Washington Democrats Fail to Advance Unemployment Benefits for Striking Workers

Finally, in February, the Washington State House passed a bill that would grant unemployment benefits to striking workers. However, the Washington State Senate failed to advance the bill before the session’s ending, restarting the legislative process all over again. 

“Senate Democrats couldn’t pull it together,” Joe Kendo, a leader of the Washington State Labor Council told the Washington State Standard.  “It was a real missed opportunity to help a lot of low-wage workers who have been organizing unions but who have corporate employers who refuse to bargain in good faith.” 

For more, check out the Washington State Standard

Strikes & News Happening Elsewhere 

Alright folks, that’s all for today. Keep sending tips, story ideas, complaints, and comments to [email protected] 

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Love & Solidarity, 


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]