Can the NLRB Order Bad Faith Bargainers To Pay A Union’s Negotiating Costs?

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Good summary of a recent DC Circuit Court opinion approving a significant new remedy for alleged bad faith bargaining.

 

Amazing Inside Look at an Organizing Campaign

Anyone who deals with union campaigns should read the comments on this post.

Some of the employees at Gawker Media (a collection of numerous websites including one of my favorites, Lifehacker) are voting soon on whether to join the Writers Guild of America. On their website the union supporters asked their coworkers to post how they were voting and why. It's an amazing look at a group of workers (admittedly an unusual group – writers and editors for web properties) struggling to decide how to vote in a union election.

One of the things I think is most interesting is how one of the biggest complaints is the feeling of a “rush to judgment” and how this is a one-time decision. The voices – many of whom generally support the union – who say they are voting no because of the process is really

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NLRB General Counsel Loses Injunction Case in 8th Circuit

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One of the more frustrating things about the General Counsel's office in the Obama Administration (and that is saying a lot – the list of frustrating things is quite long…) is its use and many would say abuse of the 10(j) injunction. It is not uncommon for the General Counsel to let a case languish for months and often years, only to then run to the District Court to seek injunctive relief against an employer. This is especially true in bargaining cases. Unfortunately many District Courts are willing to pretty much grant these injunctions with virtually no proof of irreparable harm (the fact that the injunction is sought years after the alleged misconduct should pretty much tell you all you need to know about irreparable harm).

The 8th Circuit Court of appeals had an opportunity to review this type of conduct in the just-issued Southern Bakeries

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Interesting Read on Former IBT President Daniel Tobin

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For those of you interested in labor history I thought this was an interesting read on Daniel Tobin, Teamsters President for 45 years prior to the Dave Beck and Jimmy Hoffa days. He was inducted into the International Labor Hall of Fame this year.

 

Daniel J. Tobin, grumpy guy on the left

 

Labor Relations Ink May 2015

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 3.47.45 PMIn this issue:

Labor Leaders Cash In on Workers’ Dues The Good Life… Grasping At Straws? Is Militancy In Health Care Good For You? SEIU Watch, Sticky Fingers, Scoreboard, Insight and more…

The bottom of each story contains a link to the individual post on our site.

Labor Relations Insight

by Phil Wilson

Surprising New Data on Ambush Elections

This may come as a shock, but the question I get asked most these days isn’t about where I get my haircut (it doesn’t take long – although getting that “trees running away from the forest” look just right isn’t as easy as it looks). It’s not even about whether I think Rey is the daughter of Han Solo and Leia in The Force Awakens.

Nope. The question I get asked about most is about what unions are

Continue reading Labor Relations Ink May 2015

Surprising New Data on Ambush Elections

This may come as a shock, but the question I get asked most these days isn’t about where I get my haircut (it doesn’t take long – although getting that “trees running away from the forest” look just right isn’t as easy as it looks). It’s not even about whether I think Rey is the daughter of Han Solo and Leia in The Force Awakens.

Nope. The question I get asked about most is about what unions are doing in the month since the ambush election rule went into effect. Seriously, that is what my life has come to. But since you asked…

I’ve said for a while that I don’t think the new ambush rule is going to significantly change organizing trends over the long term. Overall people just aren’t buying what unions are selling, and the ambush rule does nothing to change that. I did expect

Continue reading Surprising New Data on Ambush Elections

Union Bailout Update

The Ambush Rule is having the impact intended (by the unions and their NLRB supporters). According to a random sampling of 42 elections filed since the rule went into effect, the new average time between the date of filing and the election is 23.5 days, which is a 14.5-day decrease to the average prior to the rule. Additional results of the survey include:

A high of 35 days from filing to election. A low of 10 days from filing to election. 3 cases with 13 days or less. 7 cases with 19 days or less.

It’s too early to gage the impact on the winning percentages, but once we have enough data to make an assessment we’ll let you know. Although Congress made noise that they were going to attempt to nullify the rule, they ended up tabling the maneuver, perhaps realizing they couldn’t get past a presidential

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Labor Leaders Cash In On Workers’ Dues

stacks of moneyUnion financial reports are in for 2014 and the data isn’t the least bit surprising – union leaders continue to pocket huge amounts of their members’ dues money.

Excluding pro sports unions, 497 union officers and employees were paid more than $250,000 in 2014 with 19 union bosses raking in more than $500,000. While a few of these unions represent high wage industries like the Independent Pilot Association and the Directors Guild of America, the majority are representatives of some of the lowest paid positions in America’s workforce. We’re talking about teachers, blue-collar workers, and government employees – people who pay dues because they believe the union will be a lobbyist for their value, not a parasite that simply extracts from it.

Click here for more a more detailed summary of the data.

Only In A Union

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 1199J tried recently to pull a fast one over on the employees of one of their bargaining units, the employer of those members, and the NLRB…and failed.

When AFSCME 1199J received notice that a decertification petition had been filed against them, they attempted to invalidate the petition by claiming that the filer owed $666.30 in unpaid dues and initiation fees. During the time leading up to the election, the union slandered this employee to his coworkers and tried to get management to discharge the employee for his lack of payment. When the employer challenged the union’s discharge request, the union withdrew it but did not inform members of the bargaining unit that the whole thing had been a hoax.

The union won the decertification election 15-13, but their celebration didn’t last long. Soon after, the NLRB determined the union’s

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Whistlin’ Dixie

After losing the election to organize Volkswagen employees at its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant last year, the UAW set up an office just down the road to begin its efforts anew. Their hope has been that once they gather enough signatures, they will be approved as the bargaining representative through card check rather than another secret-ballot election. Currently, they claim to have signatures from about 55 percent of the employees.

ACEThe American Council of Employees, the other union looking to organize VW Chattanooga, believes those numbers to be unsubstantiated and urges all parties involved not to make any decision on labor representation without a secret ballot election.

Just south in Alabama the Auto Workers are having far less success. In fact, 80 percent of the employees at Renosol Seating, an extension of Lear Corp., recently signed a petition urging UAW to “leave this

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