Unions On The Campaign Trail

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Although it is typical for Big Labor to throw all of its support behind the Democratic candidate for president, and for most of union member voters to follow suit, this year could be quite different. Democrat supporters are more squeamish about Clinton, and Trump is just too wild of a wild card to really know whose hearts are being captured by his rhetoric. It does seem clear that this year more than others, union membership are not towing the line behind leadership, which could be particularly crucial in labor-dominated hinge states like Nevada.

 

Auto Workers

President Borack Obama speaks to crown at rally on Labor Day in Detroit, Michigan September 5 2011. UAW local 909 president Ghana Goodwin-Dye introduces President Obama. Richard Trumpka, President AFL-CIO and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis address crowd. Dennis Williams addresses crowd at rally for President Obama photo by Rebecca Cook

UAW President Dennis Williams photo by Rebecca Cook

Volkswagen has officially been ordered by the National Labor Relations Board to begin bargaining with the Auto Workers at their Chattanooga plan. Volkswagen has stood firm in its stance to only bargain with UAW if and when they represent all 1,400 production workers at the factory in Chattanooga. When the UAW failed to organize all workers, and instead carved out a micro-unit, the NLRB consented.

VW has filed

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Labor Around the World

One of the world’s largest ever industrial actions occurred earlier this month in India. Tens of millions of public sector workers, from state bank employees to power station workers to school faculty, protested against government policies.

Relationships continue to remain dicey in France over recent labor law changes that give employers more control over scheduling and layoffs. Last week, approximately 13,000 demonstrators took to the streets in Paris. While most participants were peaceful, sporadic violence broke out amongst some small groups and police officers.

uniforIn Australia, one union is trying to exempt itself from a national anti-bullying policy because they say their union “is not a constitutionally covered business.” The case involves claims against a senior union official who accused of “bullying and harassing” a coworker. The ruling on this could potentially “exclude

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Phil Featured in Fast Company Piece on Approachability

fast-companyEarlier this week, Fast Company released an article all about learning how to put your team at ease. Gwen Moran, author of the piece, provides 8 simple ways to be more approachable and “fine-tune” your communication skills. Guess who kicked off the discussion? That’s right. Good ole’ Phil from right here at Labor Relations Institute. Click here to check it out.

Labor Relations INK – August 2016

In this issue:

Joint Employer Status Between A Rock And A Hard Place Do As I Say, Not As I Do Another Merger To Save A Union SEIU Watch, Insight, Sticky Fingers, Scoreboard and more…

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

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Labor Relations Insight

by Phil Wilson

Blacklisting and The Offer You Can’t Refuse don-vitoDon Vito Corleone famously suggested the way you get a guy to do what you want is to, “make him an offer he can’t refuse.” This week the Department of Labor finally issued its rules for enforcing the “blacklisting” regulation. And unions are ready to use the new regulation to take a page out of the Corleone playbook.

The Obama administration is heading into the home stretch

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Labor Relations Insight by Phil Wilson

Blacklisting and The Offer You Can’t Refuse

don-vitoDon Vito Corleone famously suggested the way you get a guy to do what you want is to, “make him an offer he can’t refuse.” This week the Department of Labor finally issued its rules for enforcing the “blacklisting” regulation. And unions are ready to use the new regulation to take a page out of the Corleone playbook.

The Obama administration is heading into the home stretch and pushing to get as many labor rulings and regulations out the door as possible. If your company is a government contractor, the blacklisting rule is probably the most significant one of the year.

Originally proposed by Executive Order in 2014, the rule gives the DOL the power to discourage and even bar a federal agency from

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Union Bailout Update

Decertification activities are one of the most tricky business maneuvers to pull off properly. The employees risk the wrath of the union, while the employer risks the wrath of the NLRB, and can’t initiate or provide aid other than to answer questions the employees may ask about the logistics and timing of the process. A turn of phrase can make or break the effort. Case in point: a recent decertification petition was overturned this month due to a simple slip up by a couple of supervisors. The pair asked the employees how many signatures they had acquired on their petition, and upon hearing the answer, told the employees to “go out and get more signatures” instead of just providing the facts about what percentage of employees must sign the petition to make it valid.

Purchasing a business with unionized employees just became a bit more complex, as the NLRB

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Joint Employer Status

We reported earlier on Microsoft’s attempt to fight off a joint employer investigation. In July the NLRB denied Microsoft’s petition to revoke the board’s petition. The tenuous vehicle used to attempt to force the joint employer connection in the Microsoft case was a corporate social responsibility policy. The board struck again in Miller Anderson, Inc.

In a related offshoot to the joint employer question, Subway decided to partner with the DOL in a move to improve FLSA compliance among Subway franchisees. Although the agreement does not address joint employer, it remains to be seen how such an alliance may impact the joint employer status under scrutiny of the NLRB.

Between A Rock And A Hard Place

afscmeIn a vivid example of one of the risks associated with union membership, employees of the State of Illinois may face a choice between complying with an AFSCME-called strike, with the potential loss of up to $8000 per month in wages and benefits, or be fined $5000 by the union for crossing the picket line. In an uncharacteristic move, the States website instructs workers how to opt out of the union and acquire fair share payer status, thereby being allowed to work without fear of union retaliation.

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

What makes people believe in unions? “Unions protect the rights of working Americans,” is a typical response. But what about when they don’t?

mseaEarlier this month, the NLRB ruled that one union violated federal labor law in the “actions it took against its own employees” who are, in fact, members of another union. The Michigan State Employees Association (MSEA) is being held accountable for “illegal firings and discipline and refusals to turn over information” to the Central Office Staff Association (COSA). COSA is the union that represents MSEA employees.

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) has been on the front lines of the Fight for $15 movement, spending members’ dues money on the Fight for $15 movement since the beginning. However, in recent contract negotiations with Kroger, UFCW agreed to set starting

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