Greetings from Washington, D.C., where I am filming a documentary on the dramatic increase in child labor violations in the U.S.
Voting Irregularities in U.A.W. Prez Election Alleged
Neil Barofksy, the federal monitor of the U.A.W., is expected to decide in the next few days whether to certify the results of the recent union election for U.A.W. President. Currently, Shawn Fain leads by approximately 500 votes.
However, big questions about voting irregularities in the elections. If voting irregularity, a revote could be ordered. Ray Curry has filed a complaint with the federal monitor, stating that thousands of U.A.W. members did not receive the ballot. His complaint alleges that some didn’t receive ballots even after requesting them from the federal monitor.
If the federal monitor finds that Curry’s complaint is valid, they could order another election to be held.
Fain’s camp has signaled they would protest any decision to reorder a vote. Brian Keller, who endorsed Fain in the runoff, stated that union members should protest outside of U.A.W. halls if the vote is not confirmed.
“We need this election to be done today and we need Shawn Fain to be sworn in,” Brian Keller stated publicly this week.
Regardless of the outcome, whoever takes over the U.A.W. will likely face a very divided union and many internal battles. The Detroit Free Press has a long look at plans by Fain’s camp to purge U.A.W. staffers.
Amazon Labor Union Prez Chris Smalls Won’t Allow Internal Union Elections
A new expose raises troubling questions about the lack of union democracy within the Amazon Labor Union. From the New York Times:
Before the meeting in December, Mr. Smalls oversaw changes to the union’s constitution that restricted worker input in certain ways. Most notably, the document on file with the U.S. Labor Department, delayed leadership elections that were to take place within a few months until after the union ratified a contract, a process that can take years if it happens at all.
“Going forward, here’s the structure,” Mr. Smalls said at the meeting, according to a recording shared with The Times. “If you can’t abide by this structure, that’s the door.”
Most of the volunteer organizers in the room walked out, according to a half-dozen people in attendance. Mr. Martinez, the longtime organizer, said he had told Mr. Smalls: “Chris, I cannot support this constitution. We are not leaving the A.L.U. by any means, but we do not agree with this.”
U.K. Unions to Continue to Strike Against Amazon
Over in the U.K., unions say that they are going to continue to strike despite Amazon offering to raise their pay by a half-a-pound.
“We’re listening to Amazon workers and the message is very clear: this new pay rate is an insult,” G.M.B. union representative Amanda Gearing told Bloomberg. “In response we will be consulting over the next few days and announcing a new wave of action.”
N.Y.C. Union Members Petition for Referendum on Medicare Advantage
In New York, many members of the United Federation of Teachers, who are upset about the union switching to a Medicare Advantage plan for its retirees, are petitioning to hold a referendum on whether the switch should be accepted. In order for the referendum to be held, 19,000 union members, or 10% of the union’s membership, would have to vote for it.
The City has more:
One teacher and union opposition organizer was steamed when Mulgrew boasted in a Feb. 28 interview with Gotham Gazette’s Max Politics podcast that he would make no further health care concessions in a new contract — but meanwhile continues to advocate for a health plan switch, whose effects will be felt far into the future.
“For Mulgrew to say that savings are not mandatory and then to plow ahead with a very controversial Medicare Advantage plan that we all know is predicated on mandatory savings, and sold as so, is illogical and duplicitous,” Daniel Alicea, a public school teacher and lead organizer of Educators of N.Y.C., the activist opposition group of U.F.T. members that published the petition, said at the time.