Bending Over Backwards

raymond burse Bending Over Backwards

Raymond Burse

Starbucks has gone to great lengths recently in an effort to earn the trust and loyalty of its workforce, including tuition help. In its latest move, the coffee shop will revise scheduling procedures to put an end to irregular scheduling practices for its baristas. The new policies are designed to end such practices as giving only a few days’ notice of working hours; sending workers home early when sales are slow; shifting hours significantly from week to week, and scheduling employees to close one night while opening the next morning (known as “clopening”). Employees seem cautiously optimistic, knowing that it is up to individual store managers to take the initiative to override the scheduling software in order to implement the new policy.

Kentucky State interim president

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Healthcare Happenings

broken arm graphic 300x211 Healthcare HappeningsHealth care unions have found Montgomery and Fulton counties in New York to be a hotbed of unhappy healthcare workers. Most of the upheaval is tied to companies trying to reduce costs as they attempt to satisfy requirements put in place by the Affordable Care Act.

Teamsters Local 294 garnered 60 new members this week when healthcare workers at River Ridge Living Center voted in favor of union representation. There are more than 400 additional healthcare employees in the area who are either looking to unionize as well or are currently caught in the middle of negotiations between their union and company.

Across the country, 57 percent of the employees at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, California voted against the California Nurses Association.


SEIU Watch - August 2014

236929258 seiu 775 nonmember appeal 00001 231x300 SEIU Watch August 2014The Supreme Court’s Harris v. Quinn decision has created somewhat of a domino effect for the Service Employees. Local 775 in Washington State has decided to abandon its forced dues scheme of home health care workers, opting instead for a proactive approach wherein they sent a misleading letter to all 40,000 providers they represent in the state. The majority of the letter consists of help-us-help-you statements, and asks that the letter be returned with the providers’ signature to show their support of the union. There is just one small statement in the fine print, however, that releases the union from having to pay back the dues they unlawfully took from these members, and further informs the members that if they sign this document, they agree

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Sticky Fingers – August 2014

prisoner3 200x300 Sticky Fingers August 2014Current charges or sentences of embezzling union officials:

Dale Hull – BLET:  $14,000 Milton Hilliard – SPFPA:  $25,575 William Hainsey – AFGE:  $45,000 Robert Mays – USW:  $24,833 Cynthia Collins – APWU:  $23,345 Sheron Gibson – IAFF:  $100,000 Eric Givens – FOP:  $100,000 David Lynch – NALC:  $10,000 Timothy Gamble – USW:  $9,345

One Step Closer to Joint Employer

The General Counsel for the NLRB issued a ruling on July 29th establishing a joint employer status for McDonald’s and its franchisees. In reviewing 181 ULP claims, GC Richard Griffin said he found merit in 43 cases and that he would include McDonald’s as a joint employer.

It will now be up to administrative law judges, the full board, and eventually the courts, to finally decide the issue. McDonald’s has stated they will contest the issue, arguing that the ruling goes against 30 years of law.

BREAKING NEWS: Micro-Units Hit Retail

This week, the NLRB applied the controversial Specialty Healthcare decision to the retail industry, allowing a UFCW local to carve out a unit of cosmetics and fragrance employees in a large national retail chain store.

The snowball has officially been tipped over the edge. Keep an eye out for it!

Avalanche BREAKING NEWS: Micro Units Hit Retail

Labor Relations Ink July 2014

Screen Shot 2014 07 24 at 11.42.00 AM Labor Relations Ink July 2014

In this issue:

Harris vs. Quinn Setback Hollow Pension Plans Keep Your Eye On The Ball Teamster-Affiliated Taxi Drivers Fear The Future SEIU Watch, Sticky Fingers, Only In a Union, Scoreboard and more…

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

hula girl 226x300 Labor Relations Ink July 2014Labor Relations Insight by Phil Wilson

Unfortunately, at the time of the submission deadline for this issue, Phil was on a beach in Hawaii trying to keep the sand out of his ukulele. Thus no pithy insight from Phil included in this issue of INK. However, I’m sure the couple of weeks in the sun will

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Union Bailout Update

“The legal advisory department of the NLRB is on track to issue a ruling that could have devastating consequences for the nation’s 770,000 franchisees, the mom-and-pop owners of neighborhood restaurants, hotels, print centers, realtors and flower shops that directly employ 8.5 million workers.

Thus another bogus decision by the NLRB on the issue of  “joint employer” status could devastate the franchise industry. As usual, Big Labor effort (and money) is behind it. Fortunately, the courts have so far defended the line between franchisor and franchisee. Keep a sharp eye peeled for this one.

vitter 300x204 Union Bailout Update

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.)

The NLRB has condoned sexual harassment – as long as it occurs on a picket line! Another example of the double standard that exists for unions and their minions.

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Harris vs. Quinn Setback

Harris vs. Quinn took a bite out of one of Big Labor’s easiest recent pipelines of cash. Prior to the ruling, 12 states had allowed unions to “bloodsuck” on those providing home health care to recipients of Medicaid funding (3 subsequently repealed the law), collecting “dues” while providing nothing of substance in exchange.

The ruling was a shot across the bow. Big Labor feared that the court might have applied the ruling to all government employees (in this case, it was determined that the “members” in question weren’t “employees”). The court did not, but left the door open for future rulings that could potentially put an end to mandatory dues, though that seems unlikely.

Further investigation into the system set up by SEIU in Michigan indicates a huge likelihood of fraud (no surprise).

Although the ruling impacted only public sector “employees,” many of the unions involved in

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Whistlin’ Dixie

111229 uaw vw hmed 0738p 300x225 Whistlin DixieOn June 27, approximately 400 students, activists, ministers, and workers rallied in front of Nissan’s Canton plant to demand an election, or should I say, another election for UAW representation. It seemed the perfect time to garner support as the Mississippi Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary Conference was being held only 25 miles away. The event brought together legendary civil and labor rights activists to declare, “Labor rights are civil rights.”

The comparison is bogus, and “labor rights” doesn’t mean guaranteed union representation. It means any employee of a company has the right to bring the discussion of union representation into their workplace; and all employees have the right to vote for or against such representation – which is exactly what happened at Volkswagen’s Chattanooga plant when the employees elected NOT to

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