On Aug. 10, workers at an Advanced Auto Parts warehouse in Berks County took the first steps towards organizing with the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Mid-Atlantic by filing a petition for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
There are roughly 500 workers at the Advanced Auto warehouse. The workers’ petition seeks the right to bargain with their employer as a group.
The workers’ job requirements include shipping, receiving, selection, maintenance, inventory control, and reclamation.
In 2017, Advanced Auto workers sought LIUNA representation to improve their pay, benefits, and working conditions after years where the employer failed to address the workers’ legitimate concerns.
When the company found out about the union election, it quickly responded with an anti-union campaign led by union-busting law firm, Jackson Lewis. Advanced Auto promised its workers that their situation would improve if they voted against the union. While not by a large margin, LIUNA lost the election. But, problems have persisted.
Dennis Martire, Vice President and Regional Manager of LIUNA Mid-Atlantic, said, “We have a second chance here, and we need to make the most of it.”
Following the election in 2017, other warehouses in the area successfully organized.
“We are hopeful for a different result the second time around,” said Chuck Clarke, a LIUNA organizer on this campaign. “We are prepared for Advanced Auto’s response, and the workers who were there for the first election know their situation didn’t improve without union representation. They are stronger and more united than ever.”
An election will most likely take place in September 2018.