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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.

SEIU Watch

As we relayed last month, SEIU and AFSCME are considering a merger. This goes back to Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. Before Justice Scalia died, it looked probable that Rebecca Friedrichs was going to win her case against CTA. This would have set a precedent prohibiting public sector unions from collecting representation dues from nonmembers who worked alongside union members.

SEIU and AFSCME, who together represent 3 million public sector workers, knew this would present a problem for them and began the discussion of joining forces. Though the merger isn’t as imminent as it might have been (with the Supreme Court ruling against Friedrichs), the discussion is still on the table. At SEIU’s Convention last month, a resolution was presented calling for collaborative effort to continue exploring this option.

SEIU Watch

SEIU and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees are considering a merger. This partnership, which will be voted on first by SEIU members and then ratified by AFSCME members, will result in establishing the largest labor union in the country. SEIU votes on Sunday. Stay tuned.

Assemblywoman Shannon Groves

Assemblywoman Shannon Groves

California Assemblywoman Shannon Groves had two bills on deck for SEIU Local 1000 members – AB 2753 and AB 2754. The first would require California’s public employee unions “post an itemized version of its budget online, making it accessible for its members.” The second would “require public unions to hold an election every two years to determine if the current labor union should continue to represent its members.” Both these bills were

Continue reading SEIU Watch

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

Continue reading Only In A Union

Only In a Union

Unions are the champion of the little guy, the disenfranchised, those who need a leg-up or protection from corporate capitalists. Of course they would support the United Negro College Fund.

Not so fast! When the UNCF accepted a $25 million grant from Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation, AFSCME President Lee Saunders informed UNCF that after 10 years of supporting the Fund, they were cutting off further assistance. In his letter to UNCF PresidentMichael Lomax, Saunders bemoaned, “We are doing this as a result of actions you have taken as president of the UNCF that are not only deeply hostile to the rights and dignity of public employees, but also a profound betrayal of the ideals of the civil rights movement.”

Big Labor benevolence on display.

Unions Cash in on Obamacare

Exemptions aren’t the only benefit unions are set to receive from Obamacare. The list goes on to include a wealth of federal money via grants technically being distributed to the “navigators,” trained people or organizations that help enrollees as they search for new health coverage in the Marketplace. Many of these navigator roles are being filled by union front organizations called working centers, two of which have already received PPACA [Obamacare] grants.

While the additional money is certainly something to keep an eye on, it is the union organizing opportunities that these navigating positions lend themselves to that is the most alarming. The current safeguards in place do little to insure that the personal information received from enrollees isn’t later used in a union organizing campaign.

Chairmen of the House Subcommittee on Employment, Labor, and Pensions, Rep. John Kline (R-MN) and Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), said it best

Continue reading Unions Cash in on Obamacare

NEA Fesses Up

The National Education Association (NEA) has finally dropped any pretense of being simply a “professional association.” Until recently, NEA officials have tried to distance the organization from the union label and in the past they even went so far as to shun the AFL-CIO.

Apparently the NEA has since had a change of heart. Today, more than one-quarter of NEA members are affiliated with the AFL-CIO and the labor federation is part of a larger co-op that consists of over two dozen organizations who teamed up to promote the “national day of action” which took place on December 10 this year.

Within that co-op, three of the largest public employee unions – the NEA,

Continue reading NEA Fesses Up

Sticky Fingers

Current charges or sentences of embezzling union officials:
Donald Philip Atkinson – DSA: $300,000 Jonathan Deutsch – CLC: $120,000 Angelo Schifino – USW: $9,917 Richard Ikerd – AFSCME: $20,000

INK ~ July 5, 2012

In this issue:

Union Bailout Update Latest Union Tactics Revealed UAW Decides on Nissan, No Fooling SEIU Watch: Thanks for Nothing, Citizens United Social Media Spotlight, Sticky Fingers and more…

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

NOTICE: You can make a PDF of this issue of INK directly from the post. Click here for instructions on how to do so.

http://lrionline.com/easy-way-to-make-our-posts-and-ink-issues-into-pdfs

**********

Labor Relations Insight by Phil Wilson:

How the Health Care Decision Could Impact Mandatory Dues Deductions

The Supreme Court finally ruled on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Just in case you haven’t heard

Continue reading INK ~ July 5, 2012

Sticky Fingers

Current charges or sentences of embezzling union officials:

 

Deborah Small – IBEW: $10,000

 

Rachel Lanham – IAM: $104,876

 

David Ing – NALC: $82,293

 

Jonathon Felix – AFSCME: $400,000

 

Tony Cummings – USW: $6,451

 

http://www.nlpc.org/union-corruption-update