Labor Relations INK June 2015

In this issue:

Organizing Hotspots Tribal Gaming Claims a Victory Young People More Supportive of Unions 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 Insight by Phil Wilson

The NLRB Should Stop Protecting Racial Hatred

The NLRB has a chance to take a stand against racism and racial hatred. I hope they make the right choice. I don’t think they will. But we will get to that in a minute.

First, a quick update on ambush elections. We now have a little over two months under our belt and the impact of the new rule is starting to emerge. There was a fair amount of concern last month about the big increase in NLRB petitions. It looks like after two months the number of petitions overall is starting to look more like it

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Labor Relations Insight – June 2015

by Phil Wilson

The NLRB Should Stop Protecting Racial Hatred

The NLRB has a chance to take a stand against racism and racial hatred. I hope they make the right choice. I don’t think they will. But we will get to that in a minute.

First, a quick update on ambush elections. We now have a little over two months under our belt and the impact of the new rule is starting to emerge. There was a fair amount of concern last month about the big increase in NLRB petitions. It looks like after two months the number of petitions overall is starting to look more like it has over the last several years:

chart1-062515

There has been about a 10% increase in RC petitions, but that is a big drop from what initially looked like a 30-40% increase just a month ago. I

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Union Bailout Update – June 2015

vulgar-buttonWhat qualifies as Section 7 rights and Protected Concerted Activity seems to be expanding with the momentum of a runaway freight train. In one recent case, the NLRB has in essence said that any discussion about wages, benefits, job security (or anything remotely related) is protected, whether or not the conversation is intended to provoke “activity.” In another it determined that union supporters had the right to wear buttons with vulgar or offensive language on them, even in the presence of customers. In yet a third example, workplace rules that require English-only (usually in certain situations) are also coming under scrutiny, and may very well trend down this same path. Violence (and now racism) by union supporters has been exempt from reasonable prosecution for years. Like I said – runaway freight train!

Side note:  in the last couple of years,

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Tough Negotiations Ahead

uawThe United Auto Workers will begin formal negotiations with the biggest automakers in the U.S. next month. Though General Motors Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automotive will enter into negotiations first, July 13 and 14 respectively, the UAW hopes its negotiations with Ford, which begin July 23, will lead the way in setting the bar for wages and benefits. This tactic is also called “pattern bargaining.”

uaw-2317

Source: WLFI

After agreeing to a two-tier wage system with Ford in 2011, UAW’s primary goal in these negotiations is to close that gap. Ford has stated, however, that the lower tier designed for entry-level employees has been critical to “its ability to hire more than 15,000 U.S. workers since 2011.” Though both sides believe the other is willing to compromise, it will

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Teamster Beat

Once upon a time, the Teamsters union had nothing better to do than protest Disney World’s mission to keep the magical essence of Disney intact.

Disney has always ingrained in its “performance employees” the importance of keeping their character identity a secret as paramount to the effort to create “real-life” fantasies for children. Recently Disney started requiring employees to consent to this commitment in an online disclosure. The disclosure simply states that members of the cast will not reveal the characters they play on social media or in print publications. Teamsters Local 385 believes this requirement to be outrageous – paralleling it to requirements imposed by the CIA. The union has filed an unfair labor practice charge against the company.

In other Teamster news, IBT Local 509 just had its third lawsuit filed against them in the past year-and-a-half. The lawsuit, filed by Durham School Services, accuses the

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Right To Work

Left-wing political economist Robert Riech (former Sec. of Labor under Clinton) has entered the Right-to-Work debate on the side of Big Labor. This video supporting unions contains a section dedicated to the idea of a federal law banning state right-to-work laws.

Meanwhile, fed-up employees are taking advantage of newly minted right-to-work laws, and in non-right-to-work states, the deauthorization process, to prevent the union from pilfering from their paycheck. In Michigan, the Michigan Employment Relations Commission upheld a ruling which declared the Michigan Education Association’s  “August window” for withdrawal from the union illegal and permitted union-represented public employees to withdraw from their unions at any time. In Missouri, nurses at a St. Louis hospital are looking to rescind the union security clause and eliminate mandatory dues. The deauthorization option is one of the best-kept secrets of the National Labor Relations Act. In non-right-to-work states (and in

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Alt-Labor

Earlier this month, the Service Employee put on the second official “Fight for $15” convention which of course the SEIU deemed a success. SEIU has thrown a lot of money the last few years into creating an illusion of accomplishment. Even with their success in the discussion of raising the minimum wage, the big question now is: Will it pay off?

Not according to Matt Haller, a spokesman for the International Franchise Association, who, when discussing SEIU’s attempt to persuade the Board to rule in favor of “joint employer” status for franchisers and franchisees, said:

“What SEIU doesn’t want people to understand is that you need employers before you can have employees…Unfortunately for these workers, the union wants to get rid of the small local franchise business owners who employ the vast majority of potential new members they seek to represent.”

We’ve covered Big Labor’s use of worker

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Organizing Hotspots

targetThe ripples of the Ambush Rule implementation seem to be hitting some areas and industries more than others. This labor attorney warns employers in four sectors of increased union interest or activity:

Manufacturers in the Southeast Healthcare Employers with “white collar” workforces (recent examples including colleges and credit unions) Employers with expanding operations

SEIU Watch

Mary Kay Henry - President SEIU

Mary Kay Henry – President SEIU

You may already know about Mary Kay Henry’s decision to take 70,000 home care workers from SEIU-UHW and create a new local, SEIU 2015; which means you probably also know that Dave Regan is pretty worked up about it. He made it quite clear in his letter to local members when he addressed them as “UHW members” rather than “SEIU-UHW members,” and again in a highly opinionated seven-page memo where he stated, “To put it bluntly, this decision is a massive betrayal of our stated principles and values.” Hypocrisy strikes again.

Dave Regan

Dave Regan

More details have emerged about Regan’s secret deal with the California Hospital Association in 2014. Besides agreeing to hold

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Tribal Gaming Claims A Victory

chickasawIn a recent NLRB ruling, the NLRA was found not to apply to an Indian-owned casino because the rights of the tribe were protected by a ratified treaty.

In a contrasting opinion also issued this month, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges ruled that federal labor law does apply to a casino operated by the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians.

The split makes the issue ripe for appeal to the Supreme Court. Congress is also getting in on the act as the Senate is working on legislation (S. 248) designed to protect tribal businesses from the NLRB.