Austin Pets Allied Workers to Rally at Texas AFL-CIO Headquarters 

AUSTIN, Texas, April 24, 2024 – Austin Pets Allied Workers (APAW) at Austin Pets Alive! (APA) animal shelter will hold a “Paws To The Polls” rally on Sunday, April 28 at 10 a.m. at the Texas AFL-CIO headquarters (1106 Lavaca St., Austin, TX) as they gear up for a historic vote to decide whether to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 776. The rally will feature speakers from APAW, the Texas AFL-CIO, and community supporters. 

Date: Sunday, April 28

Time: 10 a.m. until Noon 

Location: Texas AFL-CIO Headquarters, 1106 Lavaca St., Austin, TX

Purpose: To help supporters learn more about APAW’s founding goals and receive updates from APAW members and the community about the upcoming union election. 

Austin Pets Allied Workers (APAW) at Austin Pets Alive! (APA) animal shelter are gearing up for a historic milestone as they prepare to cast their ballots on May 1 to decide whether to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) District 776. The National Labor Relations Board has confirmed that mail-in ballots will be sent out on Wednesday, May 1, the same day the onsite vote will take place, with the final tally of both mail-in ballots and in-person votes scheduled for Friday, May 24.

With the support of the IAM and the National Veterinary Professionals Union (NVPU), APAW has embarked on a groundbreaking journey toward establishing the largest animal shelter union in the nation. This pivotal moment comes after securing signatures on union cards from a majority of approximately 200 APA workers. 

“Our committee is dedicated to advocating for animals and frontline animal care workers,”
said the APAW Organizing Committee. “This vote symbolizes an opportunity for us to advocate for the animals under our care and the rights of fellow caregivers. Despite management and the Board of Directors’ reluctance to voluntarily recognize the staff Union, APAW remains steadfast in its pursuit of fair representation.”  

APAW is organizing to address critical issues, including workplace safety, animal welfare policies, fair compensation, and workplace conditions. 

With support from the NVPU, the IAM recently organized animal shelter workers in Chicago.

Austin Pets Allied Workers (APAW) is the worker-created and worker-led union of Austin Pets Alive! Started in 2023, its members seek to ensure their workplace and the animal welfare industry as a whole adopts more sustainable, safe, and equitable practices. The organization boasts a diverse membership, with representation from across varied departments and species. All members share in common the love and care they have for our animals past, present, and future, which fuels their hope for a better future. While growing stronger every day, the Organizing Committee works to invite more workers into the fold.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is among the largest unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in the manufacturing, aerospace, defense, airlines, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking, health care, and other industries. 

The National Veterinary Professionals Union was established in 2017 with the primary goal of making veterinary support a sustainable, life-long career.  In order to fulfill this goal, we are working to build collective power among workers in the veterinary health and animal care profession.  We believe in the power of collective action and healthy collaboration with veterinary and animal care employers to create improvements in workplace safety, training, benefits, and pay. We believe that taking good care of veterinary and animal care workers allows them to provide the best care for animals and the people who love them.


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