County Owned By Unions?

One taxpayer feels his California town is completely owned by Unions. The county government – at the behest of unionized county employees – is implementing a “construction stabilization” plan. It would be nice to think that this kind of stuff only happens in California, but it seems that “leveling” the playing field (i.e. forcing non-union companies out of business while bailing out the unionized ones that fail) is just the way we handle things these days.

UAW Members file charges against their own!

UAW Labor Bosses are accused by their own members of nepotism. Supposedly the bosses are hiring friends and family into their high ranking offices. UAW members filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Labor Management Standards due to the fact they couldn’t address the issue during Union meetings. In fact, when UAW members tried to probe the issue they were “either escorted from the meeting or yelled at to sit down.” UAW organizers always tell people that the UAW is YOUR union… is that how you’d want to be treated in YOUR union?

Becker is On-Board

President Obama has used a Recess Appointment to place controversial SEIU lawyer Craig Becker as a Board member of the NLRB.  This flies directly against the appointment process as the Senate (including 2 Democrats) voted to prevent Becker’s nomination from reaching the Senate floor last month.  All 41 Republican Senators sent a letter to President Obama urging him not to use the recess appointment to end run the process.

SCOTUS Hears Oral Argument on Legitimacy of 2-Member Board Decisions

With only two current members sitting on the NLRB, the Supreme Court took oral argument over whether the 2-member panel has authority to hear the most complex cases or perhaps even the smallest of cases.  At stake: whether more than 500 previous cases decided by the 2-member panel are valid. While these cases are still very much in play, President Obama may make the question moot in the future by recess appointing Craig Becker to the board, whose confirmation has (so far) been blocked by Senate Republicans.

INK: March 25, 2010

inkquill22 INK: March 25, 2010 Labor Relations INK

In this issue:

• EFCA Update • Union Fat Cats • Overflow Crowd At Organizing Bootcamp • SEIU Watch, ER Tip of the Month, and more…

EFCA Update

health care INK: March 25, 2010A healthcare bill has passed. That is probably the most significant statement to make about the Employee Free Choice Act and labor law change this week. Although Big Labor had a dog in the healthcare fight, the energy consumed diminished progress on Labor’s more pressing objectives. “The attempt to get a health care bill sort of sucked all the oxygen out of the room,” asserts David Zonderman, a labor history professor at

Continue reading INK: March 25, 2010

Corporate Campaign Tactics Move To Personal Level

An astute blogger identified another potential unintended consequence of the recent healthcare legislation: the use of supposedly private medical data by unions as another organizing tactic:

As my readers are aware, I write for and I cover SEIU as one of my specialty areas. They don’t much like my reports, I’m sure. But I don’t care – it’s information that needs to be exposed. (as former AFL-CIO, I am well aware of the inside corruption that occurs). So, it was not a surprise when, as I tweeted the information related to the Medical Device Registry and my concerns over privacy, who should jump in but a Director from SEIU, with a veiled threat implying SEIU might be interested in abusing such access in retaliation for my views. Remember, SEIU is considered by this administration to be one of the major organizations that will contribute to

Continue reading Corporate Campaign Tactics Move To Personal Level

Phoenix or Effigy?

king Phoenix or Effigy?Bob King has a rough road in front of him. King is the likely heir to the United Auto Workers throne. Although lauded as an effective organizer and strategist, the UAW suffered enormously through the demise of the auto industry, and has a huge hole to climb out of.

The UAW has shrunk from a high of 1.5 million members to its current historic low of about 470,000. The union shared in the blame for the demise of the auto industry, but came out of the debacle owning 17.5% of GM and 67.7% of Chrysler through its pension trust fund.

King’s strategy appears to focus on community interest and savvy media promotion. Whether that will be enough to overcome the inertia of the languishing American auto industry, and a good amount of

Continue reading Phoenix or Effigy?

Balancing Act

Research indicates that being flexible around working hours helps create greater levels of employee commitment. Good managers are aware of this and are sensitive to employees’ personal needs and work/life balance. They try to accommodate employees when they have emergencies or special needs by allowing them to leave work early, or arrange flexible work schedules. These practices can be a powerful motivator for employees.

Here are some specific actions you can take now to increase engagement by helping your employees achieve a greater balance between their work and personal lives:

1. Allow one of your best performers to take time off as a reward for an outstanding job in completing an important project. Consider giving them an afternoon off, an extended lunch hour, or a bonus day of vacation if company policy allows. Talk to the employee about what would be most meaningful to him/her.

2. At an upcoming team

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Machinists Shown the Door in Pittsburgh

nlrb Machinists Shown the Door in PittsburghDespite the fact that it is very difficult to decertify a union, the employees of Pittsburgh Precision Turned Products booted the local 623 of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE).

Kathleen Lobodinsky led the effort, and had to overcome blocking charges filed by the union attorney. When the National Right To Work Legal Defense Fund helped Lobodinsky compile evidence to dispute the union’s charges, the union tucked its tail and withdrew their allegations. Upon securing signatures from at least 30% of the employees, an election was held and the union was declared decertified.

“Instead of defending their presence in the workplace, union bosses often resort to frivolous legal schemes to stop employees from voting out an unwanted union,” said Patrick Semmens, Legal Information Director of

Continue reading Machinists Shown the Door in Pittsburgh

Public Lever For Private Organizing

The Change to Win labor federation recently charged CVS Caremark Corporation of not offering the lowest possible drug prices to Kansas public employees. This looks like a typical ploy out of the Big Labor corporate campaign playbook.

According to CVS spokeswoman Carolyn Castel, Change to Win has ”recklessly and deliberately distorted” information about the company. She said the union is angry that CVS won’t agree to card check recognition in organizing campaigns, but instead continues to insist on secret ballot elections to protect the privacy of employees.

The 3-year contract to provide the pharmacy services expires in December, and as the Kansas legislature seeks bids for contract renewal, Change to Win is interjecting its accusations into the process.

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