Auto Workers Feeling The Squeeze

UAW membership rose 1.3 percent in 2015. This brings their current membership to 408,639, still drastically lower than the 700,000 members they had in 2002. But it’s not all good news for the Auto Workers right now.

Fiat Chrysler announced on April 6 that they will lay off 1,300 workers, represented by the UAW, at their plant in Sterling Heights Michigan on July 5. The number of lost jobs represents 41 percent of the assembly plant’s current workforce.

In St. Louis, one UAW leader, Vice President Cindy Estrada, has been effectively banned from her membership’s Facebook page. This decision was made via a vote by the members and is quite representative of their dislike for the woman. These feelings are understandable and can be pinpointed to the “sellout contract” she made last year that affected 55,000 GM workers.

Ford-Chihuahua-Plant-in-Mexico-550x412In other

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Whistlin’ Dixie

Remember when the Auto Workers Local 42 organized 164 skilled workers at Volkswagen in December? Remember before that when they lost the bigger election at Volkswagen Chattanooga 626 to 712? And then, even though it’s “illegal” to pursue another election at the same location for a year, how they set up an office just down the road and started to pursue a “works council” type of representation?

You have to give it to Local 42 – they are persistent. That’s how they pulled off something that no union has done before in the US and changed the organizing game.

But Volkswagen is upset about it and filed a request to review the December election. The NLRB rejected the request. Volkswagen will now appeal that decision.

Labor Around The World

SAflagAfter a month-long strike, the South African Municipal Workers and Pikitup reached an agreement. This is excellent news for the people of Johannesburg, who have dealt with a month’s worth of waste accumulation on their streets.

frenchflagThings have gotten pretty dicey in France since President Francois Hollande and Manuel Valls proposed a reform to the French labor code. The part of the bill that people are taking issue with is the part that makes it easier to lay people off. When put that way, it’s easy to think it’s a bad thing. However, many believe that, as paradoxical as it sounds, this is a contributing factor to the mass unemployment in France. Nonetheless, the people of France are upset. Rioting is

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Wilson Quoted on Verizon Strike

shrm_logoAccording to Phil Wilson, the CWA doesn’t have near the muscle today that it had back in 2000, when 85,000 Verizon employees went on strike. With a smaller employee base and only about half as many union members going on strike, Verizon doesn’t seem to have difficulty keeping up with the workload.

“Strikes are all about leverage. If Verizon can continue operations with replacement workers—and it looks like they can—then the CWA has no leverage and they won’t get anything,” said Wilson in a recent article posted by the Society for Human Resource Management. Wilson continued, “This is why strikes are rarely effective today. Companies are often able to perform at least as well during a strike—many perform better—which takes away all the leverage from the union.”


Wilson Quoted on Fight for $15 Rallies

shrm_logoPhil Wilson was quoted in a recent Society for Human Resource Management article about the Fight for $15 movement and rallies.

NLRB Success Rate Laid Out in Open Letter

On February 4th, the Committee of Practice and Procedure Under the NLRA submitted a letter to the National Labor Relations Board. As you can infer from the name of the committee, the letter posed many questions that had to do with NLRB processes – concerning things like the NexGen online filing system, how often information is subpoenaed, current time-frames for case decisions, etc. The answers to all of these questions and more can be found in the document here.

One of the bits of information we here at LRI found most interesting is the NLRB success rate. In Fiscal Year 2015, there were 20,199 unfair labor practice charges filed. Of those that went to litigation, the NLRB won 88%.

Bottom line, if the NLRB decides to go after you in court you’re dead.

Supreme Court Affirms Friedrichs Decision

In an equally divided 4-4 decision, the Supreme Court affirmed the 9th Circuit’s ruling in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association yesterday. This means public employees in California must continue to pay agency fees to unions even if they’ve opted out of representation.

This is especially relevant when put in the light of the recent passing of Justice Scalia – who would have been the tie-breaking vote.

“With a divided court, thousands of public servants around the nation must still financially assist a government union that they disagree with,” said Trey Kovacs, an analyst with the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

See the decision here.

Fast Company Asks Phil Wilson About Leadership

fast-companyFor a recent Fast Company magazine article titled “6 Signs That You’re Management Material,” Phil Wilsons recent writings about the value of approachability as a leader struck a chord. Point number 2 of the article is “You’re Approachable,” and quoted Phil, “If you’re approachable you’ll be a successful leader. If you’re unapproachable over the long run you will fail.” Phil explained that approachable bosses listen to and respect their employees, acknowledge the contributions of others, and create an open-door policy, among other approachable behaviors. Learn more about approachability here.

Phil Wilson Featured in SHRM Persuader Rule Article

shrm_logoThe Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) featured comments by Phil Wilson in its recent article addressing the Persuader Rule, published today in the Federal Register. Phil addressed the potential impact upon law firms, trade association meetings, and employee survey providers.

Labor Relations INK March 2016

In this issue:

Union Pension Woes Continue Only The Names Have Changed… Fighting Back Labor Around the World Insight, SEIU Watch, Labor Around the World, and more…

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

Labor Relations Insight

by Phil Wilson

Persuader: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

goodbadugly2The persuader rule went final today. I’ve read the rule. All 446 pages (I don’t have a life so you can have one). Okay, I may have skimmed a few pages. Here is what you need to know about the new rule.

The Good

Here’s the good news: This rule is much improved over the proposed rule from 2011.

The Department of Labor deserves some credit for listening to its regulated community. They rolled back a number of

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