expanding union movement in the South

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June Zaccone

Jun 2, 2024, 10:04:19 AMJun 2
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David McCall, international president of the United Steelworkers Union (USW).

Independent Media Institute


Local 1025 [USW] members shared firsthand accounts of how the union boosted their wages, gave them a voice, and kept them safe on the job. And in May 2024, the workers at Tarboro filed for an election to join the USW.

They’re among a growing number of workers across the South eager to leverage the power of solidarity and build brighter futures, even as CEOs and Republicans in this part of the country still conspire to hold them down.


About 1,400 workers at the Blue Bird electric bus factory in Fort Valley, Georgia, in 2023 voted overwhelmingly to organize through the USW.

The vote was a breakthrough for workers on the front lines of a vital, growing industry. It also sent a pointed, defiant message to a Republican governor who lies about unions and tries to prevent Georgians from joining them.

On the heels of that monumental victory, autoworkers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, overcame Republican opposition and voted by a huge majority to unionize.....

Unions lift up entire communities, a U.S. Treasury Department report confirmed in 2023.

They raise members’ wages by as much as 15 percent, creating a competitive environment in which non-unionized employers also must increase pay to hold on to workers. Union contracts provide workers with better benefits and retirement security than they’d otherwise earn, and their focus on workplace safety “can pull up whole industries,” the report concluded.

Unions fight favoritism and discrimination, creating more equitable workplaces and communities. The collective spirit forged inside the organized shop extends beyond the plant gates, with union members not only voting more often than other workers but also volunteering and donating to charity more often.....

June Zaccone
National Jobs for All Network
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