Labor Relations INK June 2016

In this issue:

Big Labors Version of the Facts Auto Workers Lying Low Verizon Strike Ends Could Trump Trump Big Labor? SEIU Watch, Scoreboard, Sticky Fingers and more…

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

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Union Bailout Update

As you should already know if you opened the earlier email from us, there is some big news on the Persuader Rule front. The DOL has grandfathered in all engagements – including multi-year or long-term – that exist prior to July 1, eliminating the need for reporting where such agreements exist. If you missed that email and want to get this covered, send an email to us and we’ll get you taken care of.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Speciality Healthcare decision allowing micro units, in a challenge that has spanned 4 years. This is the fourth

Continue reading Labor Relations INK June 2016

Union Bailout Update

As you should already know if you opened the earlier email from us, there is some big news on the Persuader Rule front. The DOL has grandfathered in all engagements – including multi-year or long-term – that exist prior to July 1, eliminating the need for reporting where such agreements exist. If you missed that email and want to get this covered, send an email to us and we’ll get you taken care of.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Speciality Healthcare decision allowing micro units, in a challenge that has spanned 4 years. This is the fourth time an appeals court has enforced the rule. The Fifth Circuit also upheld the Ambush Election rule in a case originating in Texas and brought by a coalition of business groups.

In another appellate court action, the Seventh Circuit, in a decision contrary to two other

Continue reading Union Bailout Update

Big Labors Version Of The Facts

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 3.30.34 PMThe AFL-CIO released another episode of its PayWatch report, purporting to highlight the discrepancy between the pay of the S&P 500’s CEOs and the employees of those companies. According to the document, the “average S&P 500 CEO” earned $12.4 million in total compensation.

As is often the case with facts and figures wielded by Big Labor, the facts about the pay discrepancy between CEOs in the US and the “average nonsupervisory worker” is vastly different than made out to be.

The Big Labor propaganda paper claims a 335 to 1 ratio. However, the PayWatch document is only using the top-paid executives on the S&P 500 list, rather than the average pay of all chief executives in the U.S., which clocks in at $185,850. The

Continue reading Big Labors Version Of The Facts

Auto Workers Lying Low

Two UAW leaders were shot outside their union hall. This, after being reelected to their positions in the bargaining unit of Local 551. Both were shot in the leg. The offender has been identified and arrested.

In much less exciting news, the lockout continues at Honeywell with no real end in sight.

unifor-logoAfter wrapping up negotiations with the Auto Workers at the end of last year, the Detroit Three are prepping for their show in Canada. Unifor, the Canadian union that “represents about 23,500 autoworkers at plants operated by the Detroit Three and another 16,000 employed by automotive suppliers,” will begin negotiations with the Detroit Three soon. While faced with many of the same issues – most notably moving production to Mexico – Unifor is taking a slightly different tactic than UAW. They’ll be

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SEIU Watch

As we relayed last month, SEIU and AFSCME are considering a merger. This goes back to Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. Before Justice Scalia died, it looked probable that Rebecca Friedrichs was going to win her case against CTA. This would have set a precedent prohibiting public sector unions from collecting representation dues from nonmembers who worked alongside union members.

SEIU and AFSCME, who together represent 3 million public sector workers, knew this would present a problem for them and began the discussion of joining forces. Though the merger isn’t as imminent as it might have been (with the Supreme Court ruling against Friedrichs), the discussion is still on the table. At SEIU’s Convention last month, a resolution was presented calling for collaborative effort to continue exploring this option.

Verizon Strike Ends

cwa-logoAfter six weeks of striking, nearly 40,000 Verizon employees returned to work earlier this month. Verizon and the unions involved in the strike, Communication Workers (CWA) and Electrical Workers (IBEW), reached a tentative deal that includes a 10.5% raise in worker wages over the next four years, 1,400 added call center jobs, and an increase in pensions. In exchange, the unions agreed Verizon could make changes to its healthcare plans to reduce costs.

Now that Verizon has its workforce back, it intends to focus primarily on boosting their wireless business to keep ground with competitors (details on that here).

Teamster Beat

The Teamsters and Longshoremen always seem to keep things interesting at the ports. Most recently, IBT is heading up a movement to “ban trucking companies from Port property when they illegally misclassify truck drivers” as independent contractors.

In Connecticut, 120 members of Teamsters Local 1035 have been locked out by their employer, Hartford Distributors, after failing to reach a contract during the last four months of negotiations.

Former Local 20 President, Bill Lichtenwald, is leaving his post after a 10-month investigation into accusations of “financial impropriety.” Why a person who makes $200,000 a year would feel the need to commit any misconduct for financial gains is beyond us. Perhaps it has something to do with the failing Teamsters Central States Pension fund—which he also served as board member of.

An interim president will be assigned to complete Lichtenwald’s post as Local 20 president through the end of

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Fight For $15

f-4-15The Fight for $15 momentum continues as more municipalities consider enacting an increased minimum wage. Washington, D.C. probably comes as no surprise, and Cleveland is now considering the measure.

In New York, similar to the Obamacare health policy penalty, activists are even pushing for a law that would create a penalty for companies that do not pay a “living wage.”

As is often the case with issues charged by emotion, facts don’t appear relevant to proponents of the movement, or unfortunately even to those public officials making the decisions to implement such a policy. The majority of economists who have weighed in on the issue are concerned that repercussions of a higher minimum wage will be injurious to both large corporations and young workers.

Could Trump Trump Big Labor?

hillary-clintonIt will come as no surprise as Hillary Clinton begins lining up union endorsements. Those that have already jumped on the bandwagon include:

The AFL-CIO The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers union (BCTGM) The Auto Workers (UAW)

If there is any doubt that Clinton and Big Labor are hand-in-glove, the former national political director of SEIU (Brandon Davis) was appointed as the general election chief of staff at the DNC (Democratic National Committee) and reports to Clinton’s campaign.

trumpMeanwhile, Donald Trump is making many Big Labor officials very nervous. There is already a divide developing in some quarters of Democratic contingency as many, especially in the trade unions, have been frustrated

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Labor Around The World

Unfortunately for France, things didn’t settle down much this month. Last week, the police reported at least 75,000 protesters in Paris. Some of which threw stones and makeshift firebombs at police, ultimately causing the police to fire teargas.

The timing couldn’t have been worse as protests really picked up in the middle of the country preparing to host the UEFA Euro 2016 Futball tournament. As some workers rallied, cutting off fuel supplies, other workers were simply hoping they’d be able to get ahold of the fuel they needed to maintain and prepare the fields.

In other international news:

Ekiti (in north Nigeria) workers are protesting their government after the State hasn’t been able to pay their salaries in more than five months. A Netherlands union is being accused of knowingly hiding the fact that one of the factories their members worked in was exposing workers to

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