Labor Relations INK October 2014

Screen Shot 2014 10 23 at 10.39.04 AM Labor Relations INK October 2014

In this issue:

Getting Creative SEIU Hires…Contractors? “Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste” More Lessons From Market Basket Whistlin’ Dixie, 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 Question

One of my favorite bands is the Old 97s. They’re awesome. If you ever get a chance to see them do it. You won’t regret it.

The Old 97s played last week at the Cain’s Ballroom (if you ever get a chance to see any band at the Cain’s Ballroom do it. You won’t regret that either). Well, at the show they played one of their classic songs “The

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Labor Relations Insight

by Phil Wilson The Question

One of my favorite bands is the Old 97s. They’re awesome. If you ever get a chance to see them do it. You won’t regret it.

The Old 97s played last week at the Cain’s Ballroom (if you ever get a chance to see any band at the Cain’s Ballroom do it. You won’t regret that either). Well, at the show they played one of their classic songs “The Question” where Rhett Miller sings, “someday someone is going to ask you… a question that you should say yes to… I’ve got a question for you.”

As an aside, some guy asked his girlfriend to marry him right there in front of the stage while Rhett sang

the song, putting every other guy’s “how I asked my wife to marry me” story to shame. Especially mine. If your future spouse isn’t sure if

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Union Bailout Update

Protected concerted activity took another leap forward with the NLRB’s ruling in the Dover Energy, Inc.,Blackmer Division ruling. A steward, with no authority for negotiating contracts, twice placed requests for voluminous documents related to company financial and payroll information. When the company responded the second time with a verbal warning, an Administrative Law Judge sided with the company since the steward was not a union negotiator, his requests were not authorized by the union, and there was no indication he acted on anyone else’s behalf. Typically, the board saw it differently and reversed the judge’s ruling.

Another issue likely to follow the winding trail through the legal process to higher courts involves the rules surrounding successorship. In Pressroom Cleaners Inc., the Board increased successor liability when a successor fails to hire employees of its predecessors in an attempt to avoid union representation, overturning precedent established in 2006 in

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Getting Creative

silicon valley Getting CreativeThere’s never been much of a union presence in Silicon Valley. These companies have never given their employees a reason to want to organize. Instead, they utilize their exorbitant amounts of cash to treat their employees to high salaries and perks like free gym memberships and cafeteria food.

The Teamsters have developed a new strategy to attempt to infiltrate the companies that occupy this territory – it involves the blue collar workers that provide support services to companies like Facebook and Google. Most of these tech firms hire their bus drivers, security guards, janitors, etc. through third party companies. Though these people still make a decent wage, they don’t get the perks that the tech employees do. These are the people the Teamsters are going after.

After seeing some organizing activity among their security guards, Google

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Whistlin’ Dixie

industriall Whistlin DixieIt’s been a difficult and largely unsuccessful task organizing automakers in the South, but the Auto Workers are persevering with the help of groups like IndustriALL Global Union and the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan. The three groups told reporters that Nissan supervisors have been holding meetings with employees at their Canton, Mississippi plant during which they threatened employees with wage cuts or plant closings if the employees choose to unionize.

Nissan manager of Government Relations, Camille Young, called the allegations unfounded, stating: “Our history reflects that we respect the right of employees to decide who should represent them…Nissan employees in Canton enjoy jobs that are among the most secure in Mississippi and offer some of the highest manufacturing wages in the state, strong benefits, a working environment that exceeds industry standards and an open

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Laziness At Terminal 6

In 2010 when ICTSI Oregon, the company that operates Terminal 6 at the Port of Portland, first took over operations, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union put on a happy face and welcomed the company with open arms. Since then, the two have been involved in a major dispute over who would be responsible for plugging and unplugging the power cords on reefers (refrigerated containers). Last December, the decision was made to reassign those jobs from members of the electrical union to longshore workers.

Since that decision was made, the Port’s general manager and ICTSI’s manager at Terminal 6 have both filed affidavit’s with the NLRB claiming that productivity has severely decreased, estimating that the performance cost for this operation has tripled from $300,000 a year when the Electrical Workers were responsible to $900,000 a year now that ILWU has taken over.

The union has continued to ignore the

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SEIU Hires…Contractors?

Get this….a union is accused of contracting work out to non-union members! The Communication Workers of America, who represent employees of SEIU Local 1021, has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that the SEIU local is contracting out what should be union labor for the upcoming November election to temp workers and consultants.

SEIU denied the charges, but the NLRB’s San Francisco regional director has ordered the case to arbitration. This can’t be good for SEIU’s mission statement.

cwa vs seiu SEIU Hires...Contractors?

“Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste”

Churchill 300x225 Never Let A Good Crisis Go To WasteTaking a cue from Rahm Emanuel (who pilfered the quote from Winston Churchill), the National Nurses United is trying to leverage the Ebola crisis to bolster its ranks.

“What we would really like to see implemented is a buddy system,” said Deborah Burger, the co-president of the NNU and president of the California Nurses Association.

Translation: more nurses per shift, equals more staff required, equals new union members, which means more dues for Deborah and company.

Winston would be proud.

Auto Workers Attack on the Two-Tier System

dennis williams Auto Workers Attack on the Two Tier System

Dennis Williams

At the UAW Constitutional Convention in June, new UAW President Dennis Williams vowed to tackle the two-tier wage system. The opportunity showed itself on August 4th when the contract expired between Local 2335 and Lear Corporation, a seat supplier for the Ford Assembly Plant in Chicago.

Contract negotiations lingered on for about six weeks before Local 2335 members called a strike. On September 14, after one day of striking, Local 2335 President Jamie Luna came to the picket line to announce that a tentative agreement had been reached. “We eliminated the second tier to bring the wages up to full scale,” he said, also announcing that all 730 workers would get an increase in wages and

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Union Job Protection

Big Labor should at some point give up touting their ability to “protect jobs” (unless, of course, we are talking about the jobs of union officials and staff), or forever lose credibility with the American workforce.

Take, for instance, the 1,100 Teamster-represented employees of Associated Warehouse, Inc. The company filed a bankruptcy petition on Sept. 9th proposing to sell all of its assets to C&S Wholesale Grocers. The last time C&S inherited 1,000 Teamster members in 2011, they fired all those workers and transferred the business to non-union sites. The same is likely to happen to the 1,100 AWI warehouse workers if the sale goes through.

In Atlantic City, members of UNITE HERE Local 54 are at risk of losing their jobs at the Taj Mahal Casino because of the union and company failing to come to terms on a contract. So far in 2014, four of Atlantic City’s

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