More Lessons From Market Basket

empty shelves 300x200 More Lessons From Market Basket

Source: MassLive

We published a few management take-aways from the Market Basket story back in September.  The union mouthpiece LaborNotes also had a few lessons to pass on to unions that a wider audience should find compelling. Main lesson – if the employees of Market Basket had been unionized, they a) would not have been able to organize the worker action they used so effectively, and b) they most likely would not have accomplished their desired objective.

The article outlines issues that would have contributed to this irony:

A no-strikes clause would have prevented the strike in the first place Contract language would have likely prevented the Teamsters from honoring the picket line A management rights clause would have taken the key issue

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Fight For 15 Exposed

At the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 44th Annual Legislative Conference, Kendall Fells, an SEIU Representative, finally confirmed the union’s true intentions with the Fight for $15 movement:

Just to be clear, this is not a minimum wage campaign, these fast food workers are not trying to raise minimum wage. They want to sit down with the $200 billion fast food industry and get the money out of their pockets and negotiate a union contract with them.

In addition, the referendum known as Proposition 1 that took effect in January “gives employers a break from the minimum wage, the paid sick days and other employee protections – as long as the business is unionized.”

So SEIU has forced an increase in minimum wage in order to convince the employers to unionize so they don’t have to abide by those wages.  This means that the very fast food workers SEIU recruited

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Alt-Labor

new forms of worker organization Alt LaborThere’s a new book out, New Forms of Worker Organization: The Syndicalist and Autonomist Restoration of the Class-Struggle Unionism, that discusses present-day organizing strategies around the world. In it, editor Immanuel Ness promotes what he believes to be the best new approach to organizing. He calls it “autonomous worker organizing,” a revival of an old form of unionism called syndicalism.

Syndicalism is “characterized by a participatory structure, use of direct action in the workplace, embrace of class struggle, rejection of electoral politics, the organizing of general strikes, and advocacy of workers’ control of production. This model rejects any partnership between workers and bosses, and sees the government as on the bosses’ side, not a neutral party.”

Eric Dirnbach’s review of the book contemplates whether the recent experiments with worker centers and minority strikes

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SEIU Watch October 2014

It wasn’t a huge surprise when Dave Regan’s backroom deal with the California Hospital Association came out in June. Regan had sold out the employees of the Catholic Health Partner’s chain in Ohio back in ’08. Since being named the sole bargaining representative for CHP’s 8,000 workers, SEIU has “negotiated zero improvements to workers’ wages, benefits, and working conditions;” instead, choosing to allow the company to eliminate workers’ seniority rights and defined-benefit pension plan.

For SEIU’s members at Mercy Regional Medical Center in Lorain, OH, CHP is demanding even more benefit cuts, including: the elimination of step increases in the wage scale, paid sick time, overtime pay, and cuts to workers’ health insurance forcing them to pay an additional $5,000 out-of-pocket per year.

It should be clear by now that the Regan/SEIU strategy is to maneuver behind the scenes with large a employer, agreeing to allow the employer to

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Sticky Fingers October 2014

prisoner3 200x300 Sticky Fingers October 2014Current charges or sentences of embezzling union officials:

Arthur Homa – USW:  $5,000 Richard Molczyk – UTU:  $13,196 Frank Gluberman – AFT:  $800,000 Brandon Kent – USW:  $20,111

http://www.nlpc.org/union-corruption-update

Labor Relations Ink September 2014

In this issue:

Strategy Rising Want My Cake and Eat It Too It Pays to Fight Back Union Dues Hard At Work Teamster Beat, Sticky Fingers, Scoreboard, Insight and more…

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

View the web-based version of this newsletter (including links and graphics) by visiting:

http://lrionline.com/labor-relations-ink-september-2014

Labor Relations Insight

by Phil Wilson

Should union organizing be a civil right?

Representatives Keith Ellison and John Lewis (not that John Lewis, but still) think it’s an idea whose time has come.

Ellison and Lewis recently proposed the Employee Empowerment Act. The idea is that union organizing should be treated as a civil right, like the right to be free from discrimination based on race, sex, or religion. The proposed legislation simply allows any employee alleging an unfair labor practice against an employer to bring a discrimination claim

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Labor Relations Insight

by Phil Wilson Should union organizing be a civil right?

Representatives Keith Ellison and John Lewis (not that John Lewis, but still) think it’s an idea whose time has come.

Ellison and Lewis recently proposed the Employee Empowerment Act. The idea is that union organizing should be treated as a civil right, like the right to be free from discrimination based on race, sex, or religion. The proposed legislation simply allows any employee alleging an unfair labor practice against an employer to bring a discrimination claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

This proposed legislation combats what unions have argued for years is the main problem with US labor law. They say it lacks teeth because it is simply a remedial statute. Instead they think employees should be able to go get a lawyer and sue for things like punitive damages. The argument goes that if employers

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Union Bailout Update

Schiffer 300x168 Union Bailout UpdateLooks like the NLRB may not suffer an extended gridlock at the end of Nancy Schiffer’s term. President Obama teed up Sharon Block as her replacement, and last week the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved her, all but assuring her confirmation to the post. The execution may be a bit tricky, as the Democrats seem loathe to bring the issue to a vote prior to the November elections, not wanting to give the Republicans any useable ammunition prior to that contest. However, Schiffer’s term expires in December, so there may be a tight window to push her confirmation through in time to prevent the board experiencing at least some period of gridlock.

Strategy Rising

What does the increase in wage-hour and related class actions, immigration and national origin complaints, and OSHA safety-and-whistleblower investigations all have in common? If you look behind the scenes, they are part of an “embarrassment strategy” being employed by Big Labor to bully companies into recognizing unions, or at least submit to neutrality.

The strategy includes creation of third-party coalitions, financing “studies” designed to “expose” company practices, and attacking the customers of the company. Look for such terms as “environmental racism,” “living wage,” “subcontractor safety,” and “mistreatment of overseas workers.” If you see this rhetoric rising, an embarrassment campaign is underway!

megaphone Strategy Rising

It Pays To Fight Back

The New York State Nurses Association threw in the towel in a recent attempt to organize 250 RNs at a New York hospital, even though they said they had the support of a “majority” of nurses. What caused them to turn tail? Apparently, hospital management decided to stand up for employee rights, distributing information about the realities of unions and union life and holding one-on-one meetings with the nurses.

As usual, the union cried “foul,” but St. Mary’s President and CEO Vic Giulianelli stated that the hospital simply “provided accurate, factual and verifiable information to enable our RNs to make an informed decision as to whether it is in their best interests to have NYSNA serve as their sole and exclusive representative.”