We mentioned on Jan 10th that Kentucky wasted no time passing right to work legislation. Missouri and New Hampshire are cuing up to follow Kentucky.
Wisconsin has been fighting off challenges to its recently enacted right-to-work law, and in December one of the law’s provisions met a legal challenge it has yet to surmount. At issue was the more generous dues check off provision. Wisconsin’s law provides that an employee is permitted to revoke wage deduction authorization for union dues at any time after providing employer 30 days’ written notice. Federal regulations under the Labor Management Relations Act permits unions to bargain for dues checkoff authorizations that are irrevocable for one year. Judge William Conley of the Western District of Wisconsin found that the LMRA preempted the state law. The Wisconsin Department of Justice is considering appealing the ruling.
Ironworker retirees are next on the chopping block to see their pensions reduced. On December 16, the Treasury Department approved cuts to the Ironworkers Local 17 Pension Fund. There are 2,000 members represented in this fund. On average, benefits will be reduced by about 20 percent. But some members could take more severe cuts. Pension administrators argue these cuts are the only way to keep the fund afloat.
Australian union membership numbers are the lowest they’ve been since at least 1998, as reported by Roy Morgan, a research agency. At 17.4 percent, this number stands a little higher than the 15 percent reported last year by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Whichever report you choose to give more credit to, one fact remains clear. The people of Australia are losing trust in their unions.
Taiwanese workers won big late last year when the decision was made that all citizens, by law, will be able to enjoy two days off work each week. The law went into effect on January 1.
January 1 was a big day for employees in France as well. On that day, a law went into effect granting employees the “right to disconnect” from work email and phone calls when they’re off the clock. Also in France, after 5 days of closure
Continue reading Labor Around The World
To quote out-going president Obama, “elections have consequences.”
With Republicans winning the Kentucky senate and general assembly for the first time in decades, Governor Matt Bevan was presented with House Bill 1 to sign into law this week. The bill will move right-to-work in the Bluegrass State from the county-by-county affair that had brought right-to-work to more than a dozen counties to freedom for all within the state.
by Phil Wilson How a Trump Administration Could Fix the NLRB
Bob Dylan may have skipped the Nobel Prize ceremonies, and I doubt he’ll be at the inauguration, but I’m sure he’d agree that “the times, they are a changin.”
In just a few days Donald Trump will be inaugurated as America’s 45th President. His transition has felt a lot like his campaign: unconventional, messy, and always interesting to watch.
The list of things Americans want the incoming Trump administration to fix grows longer each day. My guess is aren’t up there at the top of the list of priorities. But I do think there are BIG (or should I say huge) opportunities to improve the way the NLRB does business.
I’d like to take this opportunity to suggest four things the new administration should add to the priorities list. Most of these could be implemented right away and
Continue reading Labor Relations Insight December 2016
The 5th Circuit court has granted the DOL’s request for an expedited review of the DOL’s appeal of the nationwide injunction against the overtime rule. The injunction was ordered by a District judge in Sherman, Texas in late November, as the rule was due to take effect on Dec. 1. Briefs are due by the end of January, and oral arguments will be scheduled after that date.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the Speciality Healthcare micro-units decision, and provided an additional framework for application. Judge Jose Cabranes, writing for the court, explained the two parts as (a) identifying shared interests among members of the petitioned-for unit, and (b) explaining why excluded employees have meaningfully distinct interests…that outweigh similarities with unit members. To
Continue reading Union Bailout Update
Having thrown $530 million of workers’ dues into mostly Democratic Party groups and liberal causes over a four-year period, only to see barely half of union households voting for their candidate in the recent election, union leaders seem to be flailing around in a state of confusion. Now they can’t decide if Trump’s efforts to keep U.S. jobs from crossing borders should be applauded, and they can’t even agree to support former Big-Labor darling Tom Perez in his bid as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
On the one hand, it’s quite entertaining to see Big Labor stumbling around attempting to collect itself. On the other hand, one must not overlook what unexpected actions a bear backed into a corner might take. They could still make life miserable for some!
SEIU members in a school district in Michigan are being sued by the SEIU Local over the ownership of a banquet hall. The employees of the Taylor school district had built the hall with money secured via fund raising efforts (as opposed to union dues), prior to a merger of the Taylor local with an SEIU local in Lansing. What happened?
Typical SEIU strong-arm tactics. The Taylor employees decided they wanted to undo the 10-year-old merger with the Lansing local and remain a distinct SEIU local, but the Lansing local didn’t want to want to play nice. Kathie Fields, former president of the Taylor union local, and a defendant in the lawsuit, sent a petition with nearly 400 signatures to the International headquarters, asking the International to dissolve the merger or send legal help. After this request was ignored, a 200-signature petition was sent to the Michigan Employment Relations
Continue reading SEIU Watch
Will ‘Alt-labor’ continue to find the same success in the political arena under a Trump administration?
That is the question.
Boston Globe published a great article this week entitled, “Alt-labor reorganizes politics in the age of Trump.”
This is a must read for anyone looking to have a better understanding of how the ‘Alt-labor’ movement is not only changing the game in union organizing, but also how this new paradigm is put to work in the political sphere.
by Phil Wilson Trump’s Labor Agenda
The labor relations world could not look more different than it did just two weeks ago.
This is my first Insight article since Donald J. Trump shocked everyone (perhaps even himself) and became the 45th President of the United States. If you didn’t get a chance to listen to my post-election webinar last week I gave my first impressions about what to expect in more detail. But here are the highlights.
Union Households Delivered Trump the Presidency
Trump rewrote the election map on his run to the White House. Ironically he did this by tearing down a wall – the “blue wall” states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ohio. Check out this map:
After unions spent millions of dollars and hundreds of
Continue reading Labor Relations Insight