Some links. NY Times: Walkout Ends at University of Miami as Janitors’ Pact Is Reached; Miami Herald, UM janitors end 2-month strike.
Nathan Newman, Miami Janitors Win:
With no help from Donna Shalala, the strikers at University of Miami won their crucial demand yesterday– the right to card check recognition for their union from the university contractor, Unicco Service Company. Part of the agreement was that the union would have to sign up 60% of employees to gain recognition, rather than the 50% required to win an NLRB election.
Which illustrates how bad the NLRB election process is. The workers preferred a lengthy strike, a hunger strike that hospitalized multiple workers, and a requirement for a super-majority rather than face the buzzsaw of a federal election, where employers manipulate the rules and routinely threaten and fire workers to defeat union
Kevin Drum: Card Checks:
Increased private sector unionization is probably the only effective, large-scale way to systematically help America’s middle class, and until we can level the NLRB playing field, card checks are the only way to do it. Congratulations to the U of Miami workers for winning the right to unionize. May many others follow in their path.
Also of interest, this post by SEIU head Andy Stern, written before the agreement was reached.
Don’t you find it kind of embarassing to admit that unions can’t win representation elections if they’re conducted with secret ballots? That really says a lot about what the workers really think, if they can express their opinion without fear of individualized persecution.
Given that the secret ballot is being run by the Bush administration, no, not at all. Have you read about how the rules the NLRB now uses are slanted towards the employer? It is not at all a level playing field.