EFCA Back From The Dead?

Just when everyone was about to the ten count on EFCA, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has breathed some new life into the legislation. Trumka predicts the Labor Bill will pass if it is attached to another crucial piece of legislation that Congress has no choice but to pass.

INK: May 13, 2010

inkquill22 Labor Relations INK

In This Issue:

• EFCA Update • Big Win for Big Labor • Use The Big Stick! • SEIU Watch, Only In A Union, and more…

Preview what is in this issue:

Labor Relations Insight from Phil Wilson

Positive Employee Relations: Is Authentic Leadership Universal?

All positive employee relations environments require strong, authentic leaders. But is authentic leadership universal? Does it apply across different industries or even different cultures?

Let’s say you’re a functional corporate director with a six-figure income and responsibility for a few million dollars of company business.

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Only in a Union

Here’s the scenario: union includes a requirement in its collective-bargaining agreement that employees must report safety hazards. So, Joe union member follows the contract, and reports such a safety violation to his employer. What happens next? The union fines Joe member $2500!

The NLRB charged the IUOE Local with a violation of the Nation Labor Relations Act.

In Tacoma, WA, parents attempting to help out their local school were told not to proceed with some volunteer landscaping work. The reason, of course, is that the union complained that the contribution from parents would take away union work! First it was Boy Scout projects, now it is proud parents. Better be careful if you decide to pick up a piece of trash in a public park – you’re liable to find yourself fighting a

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Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Big labor continues to talk out of both sides of its mouth. On the one hand, they are cheering on new federal laws designed to eliminate the concept of internships within corporate America. At the same time, they are aggressively advertising to fill un-paid internships to aid in their organizing.

To quote from the ad, “Our ground-up model of organizing and our comprehensive corporate campaigns are largely worker and volunteer run.” In this current economic crisis, it is more important than ever for committed local activists to get involved in the fight for workers’ rights.

We have interviewed many former union staff and organizers, and know how well they are paid – often receiving compensation packages multiple-times larger than those of the employees they are attempting to organize. Guess they can continue to afford these extravagant packages when they can get people to work for free!

Use The Big Stick!

Bemoaning the fact that there were only 5 strikes last year of 1000 workers or more (and 3 of those were public union strikes), labor editorialist Joe Burns is calling on unions to man-up, and invoke one of its most powerful weapons.

Harkening back to the nostalgic 1970s, when there were over 200 major strikes per year, Burns calls on Big Labor to look beyond the current emphasis of corporate campaigns and political machinations,

We’ve done 20 years of corporate campaigns. Absent strikes that stop business as usual, they will never hit employers hard enough to fundamentally alter the relationship between workers and bosses. Unionism must be based on power and in particular the power to force a different distribution of wealth in society.

Unionists need a new approach. Labor law reform is stalled, public employees are under attack, and, while unions must organize or die, an organizing

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Big Labor Fights To Protect Bad Nurses

The California Nurses Association (now folded into the United American Nurses super-union) continually promotes mandated nurse/patient ratios based almost solely on the argument that it is in the best interests of the patient. Unfortunately, it is quite obvious that patient care is far from the list of foremost concerns of the nurses union, or any other union for that matter. The Chamber of Commerce neatly sums up the latest travesty perpetrated upon the California public by Big Labor:

ProPublica and the L.A. Times have published the results of a joint investigation into the failed oversight of California’s health professionals, finding underfunding, omitted criminal background checks, failure to monitor those placed on probation and even failure to act against nurses whose egregious misconduct had already been thoroughly documented and sanctioned by other government agencies, including loss

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Inconvenient History

Historian and author Thomas E. Woods, Jr., recently released an editorial on the history of the labor movement. Occasionally, it helps to go back to root issues, so as not to become trapped in fallacious arguments founded on false pretext. We thought it beneficial to quote from the article at length, but I encourage you to read the entire piece.

The standard tale that practically every student hears over the course of his education is that before the emergence of labor unions, American workers were terribly exploited and their wages were consistently falling. The improvement in labor’s condition was due entirely or at least in large part to labor unionism and favorable federal legislation. In the absence of these, it is widely assumed, people would still be working 80-hour weeks and children would still be

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IAM Organizers Get Nasty

Delta employees have apparently been harassed at their homes, incurring a voice message to the employees from CEO Richard Anderson directing them to call the cops for help if they feel threatened. Some employees have charged that organizers for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers have frightened their children and spouses, and even blocked driveways, not allowing residents to leave their homes.

“Conduct like this is harassment. It’s wrong,” Anderson said. “This is not how we treat people at Delta.” IAM officials deny the charge (of course).

When Northwest Airlines was acquired by Delta in a 2008 merger, IAM organizers were energized to attempt to bring the Delta ground workers and flight attendants into the union fold. Similar employees had been unionized at Northwest, but not at Delta. IAM organizers were just handed

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SEIU Watch

Mary Kay Henry

SEIU officially has a new head, Mary Kay Henry. One of Big Labor’s own media voices perhaps painted the picture least tainted by PR “bloat.”

For her part, Mary Kay Henry has been rapidly accumulating plaudits that are similarly disconnected from reality, although widely disseminated by media outlets ranging from Politico to The New York Times to our very own In These Times. For example, it was actually suggested earlier this week, in the Times, that Henry is “someone fresh and new,” when in fact she is a quintessential product of the SEIU managerial class recruited and installed by Stern or his predecessor, John Sweeney, over the last 30 years.

As to her qualifications to represent “working people?” Again, quoting from Working In These Times:

Unlike Stern and Burger—but like a majority of

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Big Win for Big Labor

The National Mediation Board, which oversees union elections in the rail and airline industries, just made it vastly easier for unions to organize those businesses. Rules were changed, so that instead of a majority of all voters needed to vote a union in, all that is now required is a majority of those who vote.