GEICO Is Trying to Crush Workers’ Attempts to Form an Independent Union

This article was originally published at Labor Notes. GEICO insurance sales rep Lila Balali first started thinking about a union early in the pandemic. “I didn’t really know what a union was,” she says, “just that it was something for the employee.” She and her co-workers had been abruptly sent to work from home, where she set up a cramped workspace. “We were taking calls on our cell phones, 40 hours a week, our phone to our ear,” she recalls. “You couldn’t get reimbursed or provided a headset. “A billion-dollar company — a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, a Warren Buffet company…

On Labor Day, Let’s Celebrate 2022 as a Pivotal Year for Independent Unions

Labor Day 2022 comes smack bang in the middle of what is increasingly looking like a pivotal year in the history of American unions. The summer has seen a steady stream of workforce mobilizations. Employees at Trader Joe’s locations in Massachusetts and Minneapolis both voted to unionize. Meanwhile, restaurant chain Chipotle saw the first of its stores unionize, following a vote by workers at an outlet in Lansing, Michigan. It comes on the back of a wave of successful efforts to mobilize at Starbucks and Amazon. The growth of unionized stores at Starbucks in particular has been stunning. Since baristas…

Auto Workers Vote Overwhelmingly for Independent Union at GM Plant in Mexico

This article was first published by Labor Notes. Auto workers at a General Motors plant in central Mexico delivered a landslide victory to an independent union in a vote held February 1-2. It’s a major breakthrough for workers and labor activists seeking to break the vice grip of the employer-friendly unions that have long dominated Mexico’s labor movement. Turnout among the plant’s 6,300 eligible voters was 88 percent. The independent union SINTTIA (the National Auto Workers Union) picked up 4,192 votes — 78 percent of the vote. SINTTIA, which grew out of the successful campaign which ousted the previous corrupt…