Organizing Throughout District 1, and Two Big Wins!
Organizing Wins & Updates
America’s Test Kitchen - YES Vote to Join the Union!
On July 19th, workers at America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) announced that they voted by a huge margin - 105 yes to 17 no - to join CWA Local 1400!
The workers, who help produce award-winning content for cooking show America’s Test Kitchen, requested voluntary recognition from the company in May to address critically low pay, expensive health care costs, understaffing, high turnover, and other working conditions. Rather than bargaining with the newly formed “ATK United,” the company hired Ogletree Deakins, the second largest union busting firm in the country, and ATK workers stood together in the face of union-busting.
“It’s been beyond heart warming and faith-instilling to see so many of my coworkers stand up and show up for one another,” said Emily Rahravan, an assistant editor at ATK. “Many have gone out of their way to ensure other people and departments are cared for and listened to. I am so excited to see how much more positive change ATK United can make in the future when we have a say in how the company’s resources are used.”
The bargaining unit includes editors, test cooks, and video, tv, and podcast producers, and will now seek to bargain a contract that includes competitive salaries, affordable healthcare, better benefits, transparent and consistent processes for hiring, performance reviews, promotions, and pay raises, as well as a sincere commitment to diversity at all levels, a continuation of remote work flexibility, and a say in the decisions being made that impact workers.
Orchard Park Veterinary Medical Center - YES Vote to Join the Union!
Over 120 workers at Orchard Park Vet (OPV) voted on July 19th to join CWA Local 1168, following several months of organizing and citing staffing concerns and a desire to provide the best possible care for their animal patients and their primary reasons for unionizing.
“I love my job, and my patients. This is a mentally and physically exhausting job that deserves to be recognized and compensated appropriately,” said Angela Agnello, a Licensed Vet Tech. “Our patients and our staff deserve more. A union will allow us to improve quality patient care without compromising a work life balance. We need to finally have a voice - not only for ourselves but for our patients as well.”
“I want a union to have a voice, not only for myself and my coworkers, but ultimately our patients who deserve the best care we can offer,” said Kelsey Senger, a Licensed Vet Tech.
The OPV workers are now looking forward to building a better working environment for their coworkers and their animals with quality care, respect, and a voice on the job.
Activision Blizzard - NLRB Election Filed!
On July 18th the Quality Assurance Testers at Activision Blizzard in Albany, NY became the second group of Activision Blizzard workers in the country to seek a union with CWA, following Activision Raven Software workers in Wisconsin who made history in May as the first major video game studio workers to vote to join a union.
The Albany workers announced the formation of the Albany Game Workers Alliance/CWA and have filed for an NLRB election to join CWA Local 1118.
"The Quality Assurance workers at Activision in Albany have made their voices heard and made it clear that they are willing to fight for their union rights," said CWA District 1 Vice President Dennis Trainor. "The company must recognize their union and allow the workers to organize freely so the workers can help foster the strong, stable work environment they deserve."
“There is absolutely no reason for Activision Blizzard to refuse to recognize the Blizzard Albany workers’ union,” said CWA Secretary-Treasurer Sara Steffens. “There is no doubt about what the workers want. Over 95% of the quality assurance testers have signed onto a vision statement requesting union recognition. Engaging in a protracted union election fight would further undermine morale and cement management’s legacy as enablers of a toxic, hostile work environment.”
Microsoft, in the process of acquiring Activision Blizzard, has agreed to remain neutral through the workers’ organizing process.