Social Media Spotlight

We mentioned in our Social Media Strategy Call a couple of weeks ago that companies should set up social media “listening” tools, and spend some time researching the kinds of sites and sources that might provide ammunition for organizing drives and/or corporate campaign tactics. We pointed out a recent site that tracks subsidies provided to businesses, and mentioned how information provided by that sight could be used in this fashion. This story highlights how the information has already been used against one such company (IKEA).

In a Canadian court case, after an 18-month tussle, a settlement was reached between Walmart and the UFCW over trademark infringement on a UFCW-managed web site. The only visible impact on the web property was the elimination of a mark that looked similar to the Walmart logo – the rest

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ASA Pitches In With Unite Here

The American Sociological Association pulled their 5000 conference attendees from two Chicago hotels that were scheduled to receive the guests in August during the annual affair. The announcement came one day before a planned Unite Here one-day strike. According to Sally Hillsman, the association’s executive officer, “our members have been concerned that we meet in hotels where workers are treated properly in terms of wages and other working conditions.

Unite Here manages a web site designed to steer guests away from hotels that either are not unionized, or are experiencing contract disputes. Perhaps a better use for the site would be for businesses owners to find non-unionized hotels upon which to bestow their patronage!

Storm Center Over Wisconsin

Between November and December 2010, four University of Wisconsin campuses filed for union representation election with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission. The American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin spearheaded a card signing campaign across the campuses of UW-La Crosse, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, and UW-Stout. Faculty at UW-Eau Claire and UW-Superior elected AFT-Wisconsin to represent them in the spring of 2010.

Union Bailout Update

Since it is acknowledged that any prospect of the Employee Free Choice Act becoming “law” has died with last year’s mid-term elections, we have discontinued the use of the term “EFCA Update” for our newsletter. However, as the NLRB continues to prove by both current actions and revelations of future objectives that it is “pro-union” all the way, it remains prudent to track governmental action that continues to tilt the playing field in favor of Big Labor. You’ll now find that content under the new title “Union Bailout Update.”

The intent of Big Labor to get their money’s worth from the administration they “bought and paid for” in 2008 is still in full bloom, despite the recent election setback. In case you need a reminder, this recent article recaps some of the NLRB actions to date, and lists

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UAW Wants Their Piece Of The Pie

UAW’s President Bob King has stated that the recent success of Ford and General Motors is due to concessions the UAW has allowed in recent contracts. “We want our membership to share in a very meaningful way in the upside of these companies,” King said.

Ford and GM have both made statements agreeing in principle that “all stakeholders benefit” from the rebirth of the automakers, while Chrysler has remained silent. King has also said he is interested in UAW gaining board memberships, but has declined to say if this will be part of the upcoming contract negotiations.

An upcoming article in INK will examine the UAW’s stated objective to organize the ranks of foreign automakers.

Former Teamster Pleads Guilty!

Former secretary-treasurer of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 533 Mark Tracy pleaded guilty on December 6th of embezzling around $125,000 from his union. During Tracy’s three year stint as secretary-treasurer, he made unauthorized purchases with two credit cards and tried to cover his tracks by entering bogus information on Department of Labor financial reporting forms. Tracy faces a prison term of up to five years and a possible fine of $250,000.

Union To Blame For Northeast Slowdown?

Several Staten Island residents have reported suspicious activity by members of the Sanitation Union when it comes to snow removal, and how long it is taking to get their streets cleared of snow. As much as 20+ inches of snow have fallen over the past few days in parts of the Northeast, virtually bringing daily business to a standstill and causing headaches for many. Citizens have reported snow plows being driven around the island with the plow lifted off the ground, another reported seeing snow removal equipment abandoned for hours. Many suspect that the unusual activity is part of a work slowdown, to get back at Mayor Bloomberg for budget cuts and layoffs. One local residents said: “My best friend works for Sanitation and so does

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YouTube Video: Unions Making a Push to Increase Membership

Check out this YouTube video covering: Unions Making a Push to Increase Membership

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Watch this and others on our union video YouTube channel.

Money Hungry Teamsters

Teamsters Union Local 710 may need to have their books audited when it comes to union dues. UPS package sorter Jerry Clair is trying to get to the bottom of what appears to be Teamster’s taking advantage of short term disability entitlements, and the sad thing is it is the second time this has happened. While preparing to undergo shoulder surgery & recovery, Clair signed all necessary paperwork to receive an exemption from his $11 per week union dues, but upon return to work, there was a mysterious $115.25 deduction taken from his paycheck that the union would not take ownership of. After sending an email stating “What’s your problem?” he received a refund of $90.25. “Getting the money back is nice,” he said. “What I’d rather see is a resolution to this thing where someone takes ownership

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NLRB Breaking News

The NLRB just announced a proposed rule requiring businesses to post notices in break rooms to inform employees of their rights to to bargain collectively, distribute union literature or engage in other union activities without reprisal. The NLRB issued a statement saying: “The intended effects of this action are to increase knowledge of the NLRA among employees, to better enable the exercise of rights under the statute, and to promote statutory compliance by employers and unions.” The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow, and members of the public can submit comments on the proposal for 60 days, until February 22, 2011.

We’ll keep an eye on this for you, and will have a response ready for you as soon as the ink dries on this one!