Category Archives: Unions

First Library Union in the State of Missouri

Last month (May 2022), workers at Missouri’s Daniel Boone Regional Library system made history when they voted 101 to 55 —a nearly two-to-one margin— in favor of a union. The vote to form a union with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 61, made them the first active library union in Missouri. Many staff from the affected libraries are thrilled with the victory and relish the opportunity to work with the administration to address their Read the rest

Workers at MO Library System Seek Voluntary Recognition of Their New Union

Last month (Feb. 2022), workers at Missouri’s Daniel Boone Regional Library (DBRL) announced that they had joined together to create a union, Daniel Boone Regional Library Workers United, through AFSCME Council 61. The DBRL Workers United said they had witnessed the harassment of both patrons and co-workers, with the impact resulting in high turnover and unsafe working conditions. After securing majority worker support, DBRL employees ask the DBRL board to voluntarily recognize their union. The new union would Read the rest

Task Force Aims to Increase Unionization Efforts with Report

Last April (2021), President Biden signed Executive Order 14025 establishing the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment. The Task Force aimed to mobilize the federal government’s policies, programs, and practices to empower workers to organize and successfully bargain with their employers. Recently, the Task Force released a report which includes nearly 70 recommendations attempting to address many of the obstacles workers face.

Obstacles include:

  • difficulties gaining access to union organizers at their workplaces
  • threats and instances of
Read the rest

NLRB Launches New Injunction Initiative When Employers Threaten or Coerce Employees During Organizing Campaigns

In a new memorandum issued February 01, 2022, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo announced an initiative to seek injunctions under Section 10(j) of the National Labor Relations Act. The injunctions will apply to certain cases where workers have been subject to threats or other coercive conduct during an organizing campaign. The initiative aims to protect worker rights and deter statutory violations in the earliest phases of unlawful employer anti-union actions before threats or other coercion escalate into Read the rest

40th Anniversary of First-Ever Pay Equity Strike

It seems that we’ve heard of more worker strikes and calls for unionization in recent years. Employees are making the tough decision to band together and walk off the job to achieve change. The tactic appears to be working. Last week, workers at a Starbucks in Buffalo, New York, voted to unionize. Of the 235,000 Starbucks employees spread across nearly 9,000 U.S. stores, none (until now) have been members of a union. There has been a power shift. Read the rest

Historic Union Election Looming at Art Institute of Chicago

Employees of the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) and the School of the Art Institute (SAIC) filed representation petitions with the National Labor Relations Board in Chicago. The filing will trigger an election in the coming weeks where employees can vote to officially form their union, Art Institute of Chicago Workers United (AICWU). Employees have asked the museum and school leadership to “remain neutral” as they embark upon the election process. They also asked them “to commit to a free Read the rest

Virginia Library Workers Push Back on Sunday Reopening, Demand Chance to Provide Input

Although some libraries never closed during the pandemic, those that did are slowly resuming services as they move to open fully. However, some employees are not thrilled about the possibility of resuming all services. Many are concerned about inadequate staffing levels that resulted from the pandemic. Here’s a case in point. Arlington Public Libraries’ (Virginia) management decided to resume Sunday hours at some of its branches on a limited basis in September. According to the American Federation of State, County, Read the rest

AFL-CIO Elects New, Diverse Leadership Team

The AFL-CIO elected Liz Shuler as President of the federation of 56 unions and 12.5 million members. The first woman to serve in this capacity, Shuler will function as part of the most diverse leadership team in AFL-CIO’s history. In a press release from AFL-CIO, Shuler says, “This is a moment for us to lead societal transformations—to leverage our power to bring women and people of color from the margins to the center—at work, in our unions and our economy, … Read the rest

Fears of Budget Cuts Drive Niles-Maine (IL) District Library Employees to Unionize

According to this article, board officers of the Niles-Maine (Illinois) District Library proposed significant cuts to library programs and services last month. The budget cuts have many library employees fearing for their jobs. As a result, library employees petitioned the Illinois Labor Relations Board to form a union. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31 will represent a bargaining unit of 88 library employees. Many elected and appointed officials and community leaders Read the rest

Worthington (OH) Libraries board won’t recognize union efforts

According to this article, the Worthington (Ohio) Libraries Board of Trustees voted last month to reject voluntary recognition of a union requested by library staff. As a result, the nearly-180 employees will decide by vote at a future date whether they will have a union. The heart of the matter is allowing library workers a voice, a platform to be heard and a more equitable workplace.Read the rest