Breaking News: Congress Passes Tribal Sovereignty Bill

The Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2015 (H.R. 511) was passed by the House today by a vote of 249 to 177. The bill prevents the NLRB from “exerting jurisdiction over tribal businesses on tribal lands.”

Read the full press release here.

House of Representative Votes on Tribal Sovereignty

The Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act of 2015 hits the House of Representatives this week. If approved, the measure will prevent the NLRB from wrongfully interfering in Native American affairs. The main assertion behind the proposal is:

“Tribal leaders should be free to set labor policies they determine are best for their workplaces.”

We will keep you posted on the outcome. Click here to read the full announcement from Education and the Workforce Committee.

Big Labor Grasping at Straws

Last week, Al Jazeera posted an interesting article on the revitalization of the labor movement. Simply put, it over-glorifies millennial support of organized labor. While it’s true that millennials currently have the most favorable view of unions, the fact is that most of the major worker movements right now (Fast Food Forward, Black Lives Matter, and campaigns in higher education) aren’t about being able to unionize. They are about rallying together for change. This is different than shelling out money for third party representation. It’s about representing yourself. If anything, what millennials are proving right now is that you don’t have to be a part of a union to effect change.

The face of labor is changing and unions know it. They’re struggling to remain relevant, and hoping that they will find some way to monetize their efforts on the back end.


Wilson On Radio: UAW in Chattanooga

logo_fidLRI’s President Phil Wilson was interviewed by Chattanooga radio station WUTC on the UAW’s newest union drive for a group of maintenance workers and the unusual situation of the UAW plant there. Click here to listen to the 8-minute interview. Phil explains why the plant workers are probably feeling that the UAW is “kicking them while they’re down.”

The Convenience of Fraudulence

On October 1, 2014, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers enacted a policy that requires members to bring a written request and proof of identification to the union hall if they wish to opt out of membership or dues deduction. This, they say, is due to “a history of members losing their membership through fraudulently submitted paperwork.”

In a move that surprised many, the NLRB General Counsel alleged this policy to be unlawful stating that the NLRA “prohibits any union from prescribing any particular method for resigning membership or revoking a dues check-off authorization.”

Administrative Law Judge David I. Goldman disagreed – ruling on October 25, 2015 that while the application of the rule “may not survive scrutiny,” the rule itself simply provides a “manner and place” for resignation and does not prevent the act of resigning for any member at any time.

When put that way,

Continue reading The Convenience of Fraudulence

Phil Wilson Quoted on Approachability and Retention

Screen Shot 2015-10-30 at 9.26.01 AMThe Daily Independent of Ridgecrest, CA, reached out to Phil this week to discuss the problem of employee retention.

The problem was summarized by a quote from Andre Lavoie, CEO of talent management firm ClearCompany:

“With so many employees looking to leave their current position for one that better suits their needs, it’s clear that employers aren’t taking enough time to get to know individual employee needs, interests and goals.”

Phil provided additional clarity:

“Retention is always a challenge, but the simple fact is that employees don’t leave companies – they leave managers,” said Wilson, explaining that if an organization is experiencing a high turnover rate, it is likely that their leadership team is failing in one way or another.

“More often than not, that failure can be pinpointed to one area —

Continue reading Phil Wilson Quoted on Approachability and Retention

BFI Joint Employer Decision Gets Invoked on Microsoft

On August 27, the NLRB announced its decision in the joint employer case of Browning Ferris Industries. This ruling – that BFI was in fact a joint employer with its contracted company, Leadpoint, and is thus responsible for and included in the bargaining negotiations with the union – has left businesses across the country bewildered. This is because the criteria the Board set in place to determine joint employer status is just vague enough that determination has more to do with the opinion of Board members, rather than direct and distinct guidelines.

Many believe that this decision is further proof of the NLRB’s effort to help boost union numbers. If the bargaining unit of a company that does contract work for a larger company is “technically” a part of that larger company, then the union has just weaseled its way into a bigger pool without the larger company’s true employees even being interested.


Continue reading BFI Joint Employer Decision Gets Invoked on Microsoft

NLRB GC Provides Examples in Electronic Signature Memorandum

As we mentioned in last week’s edition of INK, the General Counsel of the NLRB, Richard Griffin, issued a memorandum detailing the guidelines for submitting electronic signatures as an official declaration in  “showing of interest” for union representation. Monday night, Griffin updated that memo to include examples of the necessary documents.

This story was first reported by Politico.

Labor Relations INK – October 2015

In this issue:

Political Season Turmoil In The Land Of Solidarity Portland Port Woes SEIU Watch, Sticky Fingers, Scoreboard, Insight and more…

The bottom of each story contains a link to the individual post on our site.

Labor Relations Update

by Phil Wilson

I just got back from the CUE conference in Denver. As usual it was a terrific event (if you don’t go to CUE you should). We delivered two oversold sessions of the Approachable Leadership workshop to attendees as a pre-conference workshop. We really enjoyed the opportunity to spread the word about Approachable Leadership.

I haven’t been to Denver in a while. Now that they’ve legalized pot it reminds me a lot of Ann Arbor, where I went to law school. After Michigan’s stunning last second defeat to the Spartans I’m guessing Ann Arbor looked (or at least smelled) a lot like Denver after the game. I can’t

Continue reading Labor Relations INK – October 2015

Union Bailout Update

UFCW Electronic CardWe have sent out several updates recently announcing the use of electronic means of collection signatures for union organizing drives. While there is greater potential for fraud and abuse with electronic systems, the requirements to qualify as a valid system are more stringent than for paper cards or petitions. Understanding what they are may provide the opportunity to challenge a request for election.

The attorneys at FranczekRadelet provided a nice summation of the process:

Submissions supported by electronic signature to establish a showing of interest must contain the following information:

The signer’s name; The signer’s email address or other known contact information (e.g., social media account); The signer’s telephone number; The language the signer agreed to (e.g., that the signer wishes to be represented by the union for collective bargaining purposes); The date the electronic signature was submitted; and The name

Continue reading Union Bailout Update