Video Game and Tech Workers Are Putting Unions at Play in Their Industries

This article was originally published at Labor Notes. At noon on July 17, my co-workers and I at the video game studio Tender Claws stepped away from our desks. Two of our work-from-home colleagues walked into the office unannounced; our out-of-state colleagues joined virtually on a laptop. We passed out a letter and read it aloud together: “Dear management: we are proud to announce we are forming the Tender Claws Human Union.” Two weeks later we obtained voluntary recognition, making Tender Claws the fourth video game studio with a certified union in North America. Our company is small, with a…

Hundreds of California Farmworkers Are Marching for Union Voting Rights

On Wednesday, around 250 farmworkers and their supporters took their first steps of a 24-day Delano-to-Sacramento march to demand more voting options for farmworkers when casting a ballot on unionization. The march, organized by United Farm Workers, or UFW, has been billed as the “March for the Governor’s Signature,” a reference to demands that California Gov. Gavin Newsom sign a new bill meant to protect farmworkers from voter suppression by employers. “California is a very wealthy state and agriculture contributes to that wealth, but farmworkers continue to be poor and their families suffer — that’s what we need to change,”…

Organic Food Maker Amy’s Kitchen Faces Several Unfair Labor Practice Charges

This article was originally published at Labor Notes. The spirit of unionizing is in the air, from Amazon to Starbucks. Now the workers in two frozen food factories in California are getting in on the action. But they’re facing serious union-busting from their employer, Amy’s Kitchen, despite its progressive branding. Amy’s Kitchen is the sixth-largest maker of organic frozen meals in the United States and the top U.S. producer of organic vegetarian food, according to the North Bay Business Journal. The company employs more than 2,000 workers, a majority of them Central American immigrants who do not speak English. On…

Resident Physicians Are Unionizing. They Must Challenge For-Profit Health Care.

Resident physicians are unionizing around the country. Most recently, residents at University of Vermont Medical Center (UVM), Stanford Medical Center, and Keck School of Medicine of USC all voted to join the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR), which is part of the larger Service Employees International Union (SEIU). These wins come despite ongoing pushback from the hospital bosses. This resistance is coming because hospitals know unionized resident physicians will be harder to exploit. More residents should fight to unionize to protect themselves and the care of patients, and in the process of winning unions, they should extend their fight…

Researchers at Leading Reproductive Health Organization Are Pushing to Unionize

Originally published by The 19th. A large majority of employees at the Guttmacher Institute — one of the nation’s largest reproductive health research organizations — declared their intent Monday to form a union, per a letter shared first with The 19th. The push comes after months of low morale at the institute — and just as the Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling that could weaken or overturn Roe v. Wade, the case that guaranteed the right to an abortion. In interviews with The 19th, Guttmacher employees argued the looming court decision strengthens their argument for a staff…

NLRB Needs Funding Influx to Defend Labor Rights Amid Organizing Upsurge

On March 28th, the Biden administration released its budget proposal for 2023: a $5.7 trillion dollar proposal including surprising elements, such as a proposal for a new tax on billionaires and funds for a 4.6% pay increase for federal employees. Buried within the massive proposal was a key item for labor advocates: a significant increase in funding for the National Labor Relations Board, from $274 million to $319.4 million. The NLRB has been one of the few bright spots of the floundering Biden administration. General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo, a former attorney for the Communications Workers of America, has moved aggressively…

Starbucks Is Swarming Buffalo-Area Shops With Top Execs to Quash Union Drive

In June of 2018, just weeks before stepping down, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz issued a farewell address with a few words of wisdom for the company he’d leave behind. In it, he encouraged Starbucks workers of all stripes to “never embrace the status quo,” advising them to approach the world with a sense of “empathy” and “kindness.” But in recent months, as dozens of Starbucks employees organize a first-of-its-kind union drive — an effort that would ostensibly upend the company’s status quo — critics argue that Starbucks has plainly jettisoned its ethos of empathy and kindness to stamp out…

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