The National Labor Relations Board's decision on Columbia University graduate students seeking to unionize only applies to private colleges. Organizing rights for graduate students at public colleges depend on each state's labor laws. Graduate students have formed unions in more than a dozen states.
Volkswagon announced they will add 2000 workers at their Chattanooga, Tennessee plant. The UAW said they will establish Local 42 there.Gary Casteel, the UAW's secretary-treasurer, said Volkswagon is willing to recognize them as a "minority union"
A majority of union members today now have ties to a government entity, at the federal, state or local levels. Roughly 1-in-3 public-sector workers is a union member, compared with about 1-in-15 for the private-sector workforce. The typical union worker now is more likely to be an educator, office worker or food or service industry employee rather than a construction worker, autoworker, electrician or mechanic. Far more women than men are in unions.
Though the unions held themselves up as civil rights advocates, white workers often saw their black counterparts as a threat because they competed for the same jobs. In response, black workers formed coalitions to change unions from within. The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, for example, was founded in 1972. One union stood out when it came to opportunity and access for black workers: the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters with its significant black membership.
Bernard Osterloh, head of VW's work council in Germany, stated that VW might not build another plant in the South. He said one might draw the conclusion that conservatives anti-union interference "amounts to unfair labor praxis."
"The outcome of the vote, however, does not change our goal of setting up a works council in Chattanooga," Gunnar Kilian, secretary general of VW's works council, said in a statement on Sunday, adding that workers continued to back the idea of labor representation at the plant.