In Florida, An Organizing Drive that Doubled the Union

Source: Paul Ortiz, Labor Notes, July 11, 2011

Republican Governor Rick Scott recently signed measures making it harder to vote, moving Florida back toward its Jim Crow past. We are one of several states with no department to enforce wage and hour standards.

Despite these obstacles, faculty members in Florida’s public institutions of higher learning have been building unions in our right-to-work state at an outstanding rate in recent months. At the University of Florida union density was about 20 percent last year. Now it’s over 40 percent and rapidly rising.

….One key impetus was the state legislature’s attack on public employee unionism….Faculty started to see their union in a different way. It wasn’t just about bargaining on campus. It was about the bigger picture of state and national politics, budget cuts to education, and ongoing attacks on public sector workers–us!

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