April 7, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Weisenberg Township, PA - More than 500 workers at the Advance Auto Parts warehouse in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley will vote Apr. 5-7 on whether to join the Laborers' International Union of North America.
Workers have been looking to organize since early December, Chuck Clarke of LIUNA told the Allentown Morning Call. The union sees the campaign as a way to gain a foothold in both the Advance Auto Parts chain and the Lehigh Valley’s fast-growing logistics sector, both of which are overwhelmingly nonunion. Logistics—warehousing, distribution, and shipping—was once “heavily unionized,” Bruno said, but “the employment status of those workers changed and labor law was altered.” Many companies in the area, such as Amazon, hire workers through third-party logistics subcontractors or temporary agencies, so it is hard for a union to win a contract with the actual employer. “The organizing that is happening in those facilities is very extensive, but it's done predominately by what in our profession we call worker advocacy organizations," Bruno said. "There is obviously high turnover and there is low pay, but for that reason there is a real need to do organizing.” Read more