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Workers Across Nation Choose a Voice with AFL-CIO Unions

Posted on January 29, 2010 | in Labor News | by
Photo credit: AFSCME
Here are the latest graduates of AFSCME’s organizer-training program, Alternative Union Break.

County workers, professional employees, bakery workers, airborne pilots and “ghost” pilots and sheriff’s deputies are among the latest workers to choose a voice at work with AFL-CIO unions.

In Utah, more than 400 Salt Lake County workers won a union voice with AFSCME Local 1004. The 408 county employees—skilled trades, maintenance and service workers—could vote for union representation only after AFSCME fought and won passage of a county collective bargaining ordinance last year.

John Farrer, a Highway Department worker, says:

This is definitely a positive thing for workers, and that’s why they voted it in. With all that’s happened, the wage cuts, benefits going down and insurance going up, we need a strong union voice to represent the interests of working families.

To help ensure that workers continue to have an opportunity to win union representation, eight college students and recent graduates just completed AFSCME’s Alternative Union Break organizing training. Read more about the unique program here.

Meanwhile in San Jose, Calif., the 410 senior analysts and program managers in the City Association of Management Personnel (CAMP) voted to affiliate with Professional and Technical Employees (IFPTE) Local 21.

IFPTE Local 21 represents more than 6,000 professional and technical government workers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Says Gay Gale, president of CAMP: “We look forward to developing a great working relationship with Local 21 in San Jose and IFPTE as a whole.”

In other organizing news:

  • Workers in the U.S. Forest Service Human Resources Management Department in Albuquerque, N.M., voted to join the National Federation of Federal Employees-IAM (NFFE-IAM). The 385 employees began their organizing campaign in early 2008.
  • Also, a group of Remote Pilot Operators, known as “Ghost Pilots,” voted to join the Machinists (IAM). The “Ghost Pilots” are part of the FAA’s training function at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City. They simulate pilots’ actions for air traffic control trainees by receiving voice commands from students and then via computer, simulate pilot actions and give voice responses.
  • Pilots at North American Airlines voted overwhelmingly for Air Line Pilots (ALPA) representation. The 181 pilots fly Boeing 757 and 767 aircraft for passenger, military and cargo operations around the world.
  • Road deputies in the St. Lucie County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office voted to join the International Union of Police Associations (IUPA). The 155 deputies join Port St. Lucie police and civilian employees as IUPA members.
  • In Alaska, 92 AT&T Mobility retail sales representatives who work across the state have joined Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 7803 through majority signup. Under an agreement between AT&T and CWA, the company will remain neutral and will recognize the union once a majority of employees sign up.
  • In Union City, Calif., 75 workers at the Caravan Baking Co. voted to join Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM) Local 24. The new union members work in production, wrapping, shipping and receiving, maintenance and sanitation departments. Meanwhile, office workers at Bimbo Baking USA in Sacramento joined BCTGM Local 85.

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