Home-Care Providers Make a Stand

We’ve mentioned that at least one governor elect is working to rescind the agreement made by a former union-friendly governor to force the state’s home health care workers into unions. Several Democrat governors had signed similar executive orders on behalf of the SEIU, AFSCME, and other unions.

Governor Pat Quinn of Illinois was one of those who used the back-door scheme, forcing 4500 home care providers for persons with disabilities into unions. A class action suit to overturn the executive order has moved passed District court and is headed to appeal, with the help of the National Right To Work Foundation.

Stark Realities

Members of the Grain Millers (BCTGM) ran smack into the reality of the collective bargaining process in September. When the members voted down a contract (bargained for by their union), they returned to work only to discover they had been locked out.

The corn processor in Keokuk, IA, apparently were concerned how the negotiations were going and how the vote would turn out, and began a month or so in advance to train replacement workers. When the lockout occurred, production didn’t skip a beat.

Union Pensions Spike Property Taxes

In Evanston, IL, aldermen approved a 2011 budget that includes a 3% increase in property taxes to aid in funding the pension fund for Teamster members of the fire and police departments.

Delta Standing Strong

Despite the efforts of the National Mediation Board to make it easier for unions to organize in the airline industry, Delta employees have consistently turned the union down flat. In the last election, the gate and reservation agents voted 8,746 against and 3,638 for the IAM. This makes the last of 9 groups that have said NO to unions since the Delta-Northwest merger in 2008.

The IAM doesn’t seem to understand the nature of an election process, and is not accepting the results, asking the NMB for a re-vote. They are charging the airlines with inappropriately interfering with the election process. The alleged interference includes explaining the truth about unions to their employees, and allowing them to vote on company computers.

A group of Delta flight attendants held a picket outside the Association of Flight

Continue reading Delta Standing Strong

CNA-NNU Marching Strong

After experiencing success across the southwest recently, the National Nurses United marched into Florida and signed up nurses in five hospitals in just the last few weeks. As we mentioned above, the healthcare industry is a prime organizing target, and the nurses super-union is on a role. If you are in healthcare, “Katie bar the door!”

LRI

2010 has been one of the most interesting years for labor relations and union activity in decades. The outlook for 2011 is shaping up to be just as eventful. Here are a few thoughts about our expectations for next year:

• State, county and other municipal governments will continue to push back against unions in an effort to bring budgets under control. We expect to see more layoffs and nullified collective bargaining agreements in the public sphere. This will spark new PR campaigns, funded by Big Labor (especially AFSCME), promoting the “value of public service employees,” and attempting to position austerity measures by governments as violations of civil rights or even racially motivated.

• Several cities, particularly in the west and northeast, will seek bankruptcy protection due to pension and healthcare fund liabilities. State governments in these same areas will seek

Continue reading LRI’s Labor Predictions for 2011

EFCA Update

The aggressive NLRB continues to forcefully tilt the field in favor of its Big Labor patrons. On Dec. 6th, the board reconsidered the Dana Corp. decision, dismissing a complaint that an employer and the UAW had violated the Act by respectively rendering and accepting unlawful support. Dissenting Board Member Hayes noted that the holding threatens “the establishment of collective-bargaining relationships based on self-interested union-employer agreements that preempt employee choice and input as to their representation and desired terms and conditions of employment.”

The board continues to ratchet up the penalties for violations of the Act, which was one of the tenets of the proposed Employee Free Choice Act. In November, an employer in Deja Vu Mechanicals, 356 NLRB No. 37 (Nov. 24, 2010) settled ULP charges which included paying a particular employee several “make-whole” payments. However, language was

Continue reading EFCA Update

NLRB Smack Down!

Health care provider Lincoln Park Care Center experienced the National Labor Relations Board’s recently adopted aggressive use of injunctions. A federal judge ordered the nursing home to reinstate two employees after they had been terminated supposedly for their involvement in union organizing activity. The NLRB is investigating unfair labor practice claims that supervisors made “coercive statements to employees to deter their union support.”

Wisconsin Playing Hardball With Public Unions!

To control rising employee benefits costs and reduce the state’s budget deficit, Republican Governor-elect Scott Walker is considering abolishing state employee unions. Walker is considering many options that would at the very least weaken unions, including “anything from the decertify all the way through modifications of the current laws in place.” Walker said the state’s red ink and his pledge to focus on economic recovery require cuts in workers’ health and pension benefits. “We can no longer live in a society where the public employees are the haves and taxpayers who foot the bills are the have-nots.” The Governor-elect’s first priority will be to raise the percentage of health care benefits paid by union member to 12% from 4% to 6%, and require employees to make a 5% contribution to their pensions.

YouTube Video: Leader of NYC Taxi Union Calls for Racial Profiling Due to Violence on Drivers

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