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Gas Workers in New Mexico, Firefighters in Alabama and More Join AFL-CIO Unions

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-22-08 07:47 PM
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Gas Workers in New Mexico, Firefighters in Alabama and More Join AFL-CIO Unions /

by Mike Hall, Apr 22, 2008

Gas and electric utility workers in New Mexico and Arkansas, firefighters in Alabama, call center workers in Iowa, sports television employees in Minnesota and mechanics in California are among the latest workers to win a union voice at work.

In New Mexico, some 262 gas workers at Public Service New Mexico are now members of the Electrical Workers (IBEW) after voting to join IBEW Local 611. With the pending sale of the gas division to new owners with a track record of outsourcing work and cutting costs, workers turned to the union. As soon as they did, the new owner, Continental Energy Corp., turned to union-busters.

Organizer Craig Parkman says that along with the scare tactics and misleading information, the anti-union campaign included the company CEO flying to worksites around the state for captive-audience meetings. But when the ballots were counted earlier this month, the workers voted to join together with the 650 workers in the companys electric division already with Local 611. A unit of 100 workers is set to vote for a voice later this month.

Also, in Arkansas, 24 workers at the South Central Arkansas Electrical Cooperative voted to join IBEW Local 295.

Firefighters in Daphne, Ala., became the latest Gulf Shore first responders to join the Fire Fighters (IAFF). Fire medic Tom Castrillo told the Mobile Press-Register the firefighters have been working for the past two years to form a union and that while they have a good relationship with the city, they wanted the protection of a union contract. Firefighters in nearby Mobile, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach are IAFF members.

FULL story at link.

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