Union Drags Girls Scouts Through The Mud

Unions tried to compare their activity of handing out flyers asking potential customers to boycott a store to the selling of Girl Scout cookies!

The legal case pending before the NLRB arose when a 26-store grocery chain used non-union contractors to complete remodeling work at their stores. The Milwaukee Building Construction Trades Council, a group of construction industry unions, began handing out flyers asking customers to boycott the stores, even though the chain’s employees were represented by a union. The grocery chain called the police, and the ensuing case is the result.

If the unions have their way, the Girl Scouts may find themselves with far fewer retailers willing to allow them the opportunity to sell cookies to those of us who look forward to the annual ritual.

Wal-Mart Employees Want UFCW To Pack Their Bags!

Wal-Mart employees in Weyburn, Saskatchewan filed for decertification from the United. After five years of legal wrangling, the UFCW won the right to represent some of the employees via the card check process, but after two years of collective bargaining and no contract, the employees have had enough. The law has changed since the original union victory and now allows for a secret ballot election. The employees wish to decertify the UFCW, and then hold such an election to determine whether they will be represented or not.

AFL-CIO Chief Economist Confused?

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INK: November 18, 2010

inkquill22 Labor Relations INK

In this issue:

EFCA Update Social Media Savvy Campus Heat Scoreboard, ULP Charge of the Month, Sticky Fingers and more…

EFCA Update The Administration is using another federal agency to bring pressure on health care organizations. The goal is to subject these heavily regulated organizations to further legal scrutiny, which can in turn be used by Big Labor in organizing and/or corporate campaigns. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) is trying to use hospitals’ status as a TRICARE network provider (TRICARE is the Defense Department’s healthcare program for uniformed service members and their families) to qualify them as “subcontractors” who would fall under the OFCCP jurisdiction.

In yet

Continue reading INK: November 18, 2010

Union Life Raft Losing Air

The upcoming reapportionment, based on the 2010 census, is a study in contrasts.

States that will gain seats include Texas (four seats), Florida (two seats), Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington (one seat each). States losing seats are New York and Ohio (two seats each) and Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania at one seat apiece.

Now, do a quick comparison. The states gaining seats have an average state personal tax rate of 2.8% – those losing seats 6.05%. Per capita government spending is lower in the states gaining seats ($4008) vs. the losers ($5117). And, in 8 of the 10 loser states, workers can be forced to join a union as a condition of their employment, whereas 7 of the 8 winning states are Right-To-Work states.

Americans intuitively know what’s best for

Continue reading Union Life Raft Losing Air

More Money Madness?

Law officials are still trying to unravel how much Big Labor was involved in money shenanigans during the recent election cycle. The Manhattan DA’s office has opened a probe into the Transport Workers Union Local 100, attempting to ascertain whether the union local’s new boss, John Samuelsen, mishandled some of the $400,000 pot of political money.

The probe started when documents were allegedly handed over by an employee recently fired by Samuelsen. “This is all political nonsense,” Samuelsen said. “Everything I’ve done was done responsibly and within the boundaries of the union’s constitution.” That may be true. Unfortunately for Samuelson, being within the boundaries of the union’s constitution isn’t quite the same thing as being legal.

A Change Of Uniform

Fidel Garza used to wear the logo of American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO Local Union 2063. He’ll soon wear the uniform of the New Mexico prison system. It seems he couldn’t distinguish between his personal credit cards and those of his union.

Garza will serve four months in prison and three years of supervised probation, and is required to pay $77,400 in restitution to the union local, and $10,000 to Fidelity Deposit Company of Maryland.

SEIU Watch

When two SEIU members attempted to support a rival union (UNITE HERE), SEIU retaliated by attempting to include contract language during the latest round of talks with their employer to reduce their pay and advancement opportunities. The NLRB lodged an unfair labor practice against the Rochester Regional Joint Board of Workers United (an SEIU affiliate).

In its ongoing battle with the NUHW, a judge denied the SEIU’s request to squelch the activities of the NUHW by increasing the amount of the bond the NUHW was required to post after the April $1.57 million jury verdict. “The court is convinced that the true reasons motivating plaintiffs’ counsel and plaintiffs have to do with vengeance and retribution and not with maintaining the integrity of the Bar of the State of California,” the judge stated in court documents.

SEIU lost

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Campus Heat

In a 2 to 1 NLRB decision, the board agreed to reconsider allowing graduate students to unionize, paving the way for the board to issues a full-hearing decision soon. Private universities would then have to contend with the potential of grad students organizing under such stalwart unions as the United Auto Workers, much like their public university cousins do now. Prof. Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research at Cornell, believes that urban universities would be the most ripe for organizing, because they have more “students of color and students with a personal or family background in labor.”

Almost under the radar, the SEIU is running a full court press to organize on private university campuses (see this recent example at Colgate). They are also extending their reach beyond their usual constituents (cafeteria and janitorial

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Social Media Savvy

This week, we had an interesting conversation with the HR director of a large company that recently defeated a union organizing drive. When we asked her about the use of social media and technology in the counter-organizing campaign, she laughed and described how her efforts were trounced by the union. Their internal email systems were constantly taken over by those working on behalf of the union, text messages and voice mails were left on employees cell phones at two o’clock in the morning, and web sites and social media pages in support of the union effort flourished. She had to adopt a strategy of simply conceding the social media/technology effort to the union, and apologizing to the employees for the unauthorized messaging they were receiving through supposedly protected, internal channels.

In just the last week we have run two related stories:

Continue reading Social Media Savvy