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Labor Relations INK July 2017

In this issue:

Philly Building Trades Council Head Under Investigation Union Goats? Alt-Labor Sticky Fingers, Insight, Scoreboard, SEIU Watch and more…

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

Labor Relations Insight by Phil Wilson Employee Handbooks: Finally, a Little Sanity

Every summer my family visits Dodgeville, Wisconsin to camp with my great friend Greg and his family. And almost every year we make the pilgrimage to Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio just up the road in Spring Green.

If you don’t know much about Mr. Wright here are some highlights. He was a genius. His architecture work was at least 50 years ahead of his time. Like a lot of geniuses, he was a

Continue reading Labor Relations INK July 2017

Labor Relations INK May 2017

In this issue:

Make It Go Away AFL-CIO Skews the Facts Union Money Shell Game Fight For $15 Insight, Scoreboard, Sticky Fingers and more…

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


Labor Relations Insight by Phil Wilson

Can We Confirm a Board Already?

This is getting pretty frustrating.

Believe me, I understand that the labor relations tail is never going to wag the dog of any new administration. And to be fair, it took President Obama more than a year to get his first two NLRB seats filled (with the controversial recess appointments of Craig Becker and Mark Pearce). But still.

As far as labor law goes we are currently in the 9th year

Continue reading Labor Relations INK May 2017

Alt-labor and Trump, a Must-Read Boston Globe Article

Will ‘Alt-labor’ continue to find the same success in the political arena under a Trump administration?

That is the question.

Boston Globe published a great article this week entitled, “Alt-labor reorganizes politics in the age of Trump.”

This is a must read for anyone looking to have a better understanding of how the ‘Alt-labor’ movement is not only changing the game in union organizing, but also how this new paradigm is put to work in the political sphere.


Uberization Of Work

idg-logoA new style of “representation” is emerging in the gig economy. Uber drivers have expressed frustration over the appeal process for deactivated accounts. Now, with assistance provided by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the 40,000 Uber drivers in New York City can take their cases to arbitration with a group called the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG), which Uber funds.

The drivers did not vote for the IDG, it doesn’t represent them in collective bargaining, and the drivers pay no dues to the organization. Additionally, the IDG has agreed that it will not attempt to organize Uber drivers while the current agreement is in place (it expires in 2021) nor attempt to get the drivers reclassified as employees (they are independent contractors to Uber).

Uber isn’t out of

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Beautiful Rising is a digital toolbox that has been in the making since 2014. Its purpose is to give guidance, action planning tips, and, in essence, a platform for organizers of social movements across the Global South.

While in places like Bangladesh, Uganda, Mexico, and the Middle East this tool could be a just what underprivileged or suppressed peoples need to stand up to mistreatment and government regimes without those spearheading the movement being caught in the line of fire, it is also something that we should be aware of when facing union organizing attempts here at home.

This is the future of organizing.

Click here to check out the Beautiful Rising platform yourself.

Fight For $15

Fight for $15 workers had a big win earlier this month when the Seattle City Council passed “secure scheduling” legislation. This legislation requires large food and retail companies to do two things.

Create schedules at least two weeks in advance; and Pay workers extra when they’re on call and/or when management makes last-minute changes to those schedules.

This article provides a great infographic that outlines the details even further.

While this new piece of legislation is a seemingly great step forward for fast food workers as individuals, the Fight for $15 movement is having a negative on the industry as a whole. Some analysts are even noting the beginning of what they’re calling a “restaurant recession.”


Earlier this month Don Pablo’s filed for bankruptcy.This is the nation’s second-largest Mexican restaurant

Continue reading Fight For $15

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.


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

Continue reading Labor Relations INK – August 2016

Alt Labor

BlackLivesMatterUnions really began embracing their alt-labor organizing approach back in 2012. Groups like Our Walmart and Fight for $15 are the most well-known today. While they continue to claim to be a grassroots effort, began out of the sheer desire of working people to demand more, they weren’t. Unions provided the organization and funding. Now they are moving out of the workplace and into the community (e.g. Black Lives Matter) protesting things like police brutality, racial injustice, and the cyclical cycles of poverty. And now that the veil has been removed, unions are less concerned with covering up their association.

Take the Future Fighters for example. This group

Continue reading Alt Labor

Fight For $15

f-4-15The Fight for $15 momentum continues as more municipalities consider enacting an increased minimum wage. Washington, D.C. probably comes as no surprise, and Cleveland is now considering the measure.

In New York, similar to the Obamacare health policy penalty, activists are even pushing for a law that would create a penalty for companies that do not pay a “living wage.”

As is often the case with issues charged by emotion, facts don’t appear relevant to proponents of the movement, or unfortunately even to those public officials making the decisions to implement such a policy. The majority of economists who have weighed in on the issue are concerned that repercussions of a higher minimum wage will be injurious to both large corporations and young workers.

What The Uber Settlement Means

uberMost folks are aware of the high-profile class-action suits against Uber and Lyft. The two companies’ drivers – independent contractors – are claiming they should be classified as employees.

In Uber’s settlement, it retained the right to classify the drivers as independent contractors while amending some of its policies, changing the nature of the relationship to look more like an employer/employee model in some respects.

The case is interesting in that it presages a possible third category of workers that share characteristics of both employees and independent contractors. It has been suggested that American labor law is due for such modifications to bring it out of the 20th century. With the rise of the “gig economy,” some such changes are probably inevitable.

Another interesting result of the agreement was the formation of the Independent

Continue reading What The Uber Settlement Means