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More than 2,000 Workers Join AFL-CIO Unions

Chicago State University workres. UNITE HERE photo.

College professors, cable television installers and employees at donut shops, a hotel and in telecommunications are the latest workers to join AFL-CIO unions.

Nearly 400 AT&T Mobility retail store workers in Mississippi and Wyoming have chosen Communications Workers of America (CWA) representation. AT&T which has agreed to management neutrality, recognized the workers’ choice of CWA when majorities signed union authorization cards. The Mississippi unit includes 314 workers.

Some 60 workers at two Dunkin Donuts stores in New York City’s Penn Station have joined The Newspaper Guild-CWA. The donut shops are in Hudson News stores at the station where workers have been TNG-CWA members for more than a decade. Hudson agreed to recognize the Guild as the Dunkin workers representative. Says Bill O’Meara, president of the New York Guild,

Adding Dunkin’ to the mix makes for a Guild trifecta:  Waiting for your train at Penn Station, you can read a story written by a Guild member, in a newspaper rung up by a Guild member, while having coffee and a doughnut sold by yet another Guild member.     


Also, 95 teachers of English as second language at three Kaplan International Centers in New York City voted to join TNG-CWA. Read more here. 

By a better than four to one margin, part-time faculty at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC)  in Michigan voted to join the KVCC Federation of Teachers, an AFT Michigan affiliate. 

The college employs more than 300 part-time instructors, whom it hires semester by semester. Many part-time instructors travel between multiple colleges and universities to accumulate enough courses to earn a living wage. Job security was a key issue says English and French instructor Kelly O'Leary.

The sign-up for future classes is always a tense time. We part-timers never know how many classes we will be assigned or whether we will be bumped by a full-time faculty member. We have no job security. To supplement our incomes from one semester to the next, we have to find other work.

About 100 cable television installers at Corbel, one of the largest subcontractors for Cablevision of New York, voted to join the Electrical Workers (IBEW.) Find out more about the ins and outs of the more than year-long campaign and how the workers overcame a harsh anti-union campaign by management, here.

Registered nurses represented by the New York Professional Nurses Union (NYPNU) voted to affiliate with the NorthEast Nurses Association/National Nurses United (NENA/NNU). The more than 1,000 nurses work at Lenox Hill Hospital and at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital in New York City.

NPYU is an independent nurses union established in 1984. Union President Maureen McCarthy says:

The RNs of Lenox Hill Hospital formed NYPNU nearly 30 years ago to protect our patients and the integrity of our practice. Joining with NENA/NNU strengthens our ability to do just that.

Read more here. 

The nearly 300-member Merck Independent Union (MIU) in West Point, Pa., voted overwhelmingly to affiliate with the Office and Professional Employees (OPEIU).  MIU represents administrative workers employed by Merck Sharp & Dohme, a pharmaceutical corporation.

In Weatherford, Texas, 67 school bus drivers, monitors and maintenance workers at Durham School Services voted to join the Transport Workers (TWU). They are the first Durham workers in the state to unionize. Read more here.

In Boston, 74 workers at the Blackstone-owned Hilton Downtown joined the UNITE Here Local 26 in a majority sign up. Read more about the workers’ eight-month campaign to won a union voice here.

Workers employed by Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality at Chicago State University voted overwhelmingly to join UNITE HERE Local 1. The food service workers had support from Chicago State University students and professors from the beginning. Read more here.

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