AFL-CIO - American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations

06/12/2024 | News release | Distributed by Public on 06/12/2024 15:32

Service & Solidarity Spotlight: Austin Pets Alive Workers Vote to Unionize

Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our Service & Solidarity Spotlight series, we'll showcase one of these stories every day. Here's today's story.

Workers at animal shelter Austin Pets Alive voted to form a union after almost a year of organizing. The union, an affiliate of the Machinists (IAM), will represent nearly 200 employees, making it the largest animal shelter union in the country. The workers are fighting to secure a contract with better pay and benefits, more work-life balance, and newer equipment for the animals. Better staffing policies, the union said, will ultimately improve the lives of the animals at the shelter.

"Our voice isn't listened to when we are the ones who are giving the care to animals every day," said Morty Gillum, who works with cat placement. "Winning this election really gives us a chance to give the animals the voice and the advocation they need for the care they need."