Workers at the Hershey Chocolate plant in Stuarts Draft, Va., filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board Jan. 18 to be represented by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ International Union (BCTGM). According to the Staunton News Leader, workers say the main issues are a lack of time off, disrespect on the job and frequent changes that are poorly communicated by management.
Politics and Prose, an independent bookstore with three locations in Washington, D.C., is the first bookstore in the district to unionize. The approximately 100 workers are now represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 400. The Virginia Defender spoke to Isa Salazar of the Politics and Prose Workers Union Organizing Committee about the process of getting organized.
On Dec. 6, Richmond became the first locality in Virginia to approve collective bargaining for its teachers and other public school employees.
In May 2021, a change to state law came into effect that allows local governments and school boards to bargain collectively with their workers. Richmond City Council now has two bills to consider on this topic.
Workers at two Richmond-area Starbucks stores, one at 6980 Forest Hill Avenue in the city and the other at 11136 Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield County, have filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board for recognition of their union.
In November 2021, workers at Richmond’s Diversity Thrift used-goods store went on strike. After a whirlwind nine-day campaign, they won higher wages, staffing changes, and new store policies regarding sexual harassment.
After voting down an earlier contract agreement late last year, members of United Steelworkers Local 8888 will be voting soon on a new deal with their employer, Newport News Shipbuilding. And this time the proposed contract may meet a key union demand: recognizing shipyard workers as “essential.”