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Labor Relations INK – February 2017

In this issue:

Union Membership Drops Yet Again Just Another Lazy Union Afternoon… Union Pension Turmoil Insight, Right-to-Work, Sticky Fingers 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

Is there a “Trump Effect” on Union Organizing?

Just about every call I’ve had since Donald Trump’s November surprise gets around to THE question. Will Donald Trump’s election mean the end for labor unions? Or will unions rise like a phoenix from the ashes and organize like never before as a reaction to the new administration? Or maybe something in between?

I’ve mostly answered this question the way lawyers tend to answer questions (sorry): “It depends.” But we are now beginning to get some data that is shedding light on the “Trump Effect” on labor unions. And for unions the data is not looking good.

First,

Continue reading Labor Relations INK – February 2017

Just Another Lazy Union Afternoon…

Just another day at the docks for the International Longshoremen’s Association as they shut down a shipping terminal at the Port of Charleston in South Carolina, while another Virginia ILA official was sentenced to 3 ½ years in federal prison for defrauding his union members of $1 million. Robert Smith, a former business agent for the dockworkers, pleaded guilty last October.

Meanwhile, the UFCW demonstrated their method for dealing with employees bold enough to speak out against discrimination and harassment. When Chula Vista-based UFCW organizer Anabel Arauz filed a complaint against beleaguered UFCW boss Mickey Kasparian, the single mother was sent to frigid Utah and demoted to handling paperwork and grievance filings. Arauz said Steven Marrs, president of the Federation of Agents and International Representatives (FAIR – an offshoot of the UFCW) told

Continue reading Just Another Lazy Union Afternoon…

SEIU Watch

SEIU is facing more accusations of fraud; similar to those from 2014 when the Supreme Court ruled that the union was illegally collecting dues from personal home health care workers. “Members” of the union have recently filed a petition to decertify SEIU, making this the “largest union decertification effort ever” with 27,000 supposedly organized people.

Christine Boardman, former President of SEIU Local 73

Christine Boardman, President of SEIU Local 73, appealed the International’s decision to keep the Local under trusteeship for the time being. Local 73 was placed into an emergency trusteeship last August. The most interesting part about all of this is that when it comes to SEIU, you never really can tell who you can trust less—the Local who has been placed under

Continue reading SEIU Watch

Labor Relations INK January 2017

Union Membership Shrinks Again! New App for Bargainers and Union Members Union Leadership Manipulation of Election Results Another Innovation Stifled by Big Labor SEIU Watch, Insight, Scoreboard and more…

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

http://lrionline.com/labor-relations-ink-january-2016

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Labor Relations Insight

by Phil Wilson

How carefully do you craft messages to your employees? Have you ever announced something and then wished you’d said it a different way?

We recently ran across a messaging document posted on Facebook originally produced by the PR firm Park Street Strategies for the United Food and Commercial Workers. (Memo to self: The Google sees ALL the web pages).

According to their 2015 LM-2, the UFCW payed

Continue reading Labor Relations INK January 2017

Union Bailout Update

Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s during organizing campaigns remains critical, as the recent URS Federal Services, Inc. case demonstrates. In this case, the employees overwhelming voted against unionization (91-54). However, although the union had been provided the Excelsior list by the required deadline, it called for an overturning of the election results because the union received the list from the NLRB regional director instead of directly from the employer, as the rule specifies, as amended in December 2014. The NLRB reversed the regional director’s ruling and nullified the election.

The issue of whether or not employer arbitration policies that prohibit employees from filing class or collective actions are a violation of the NLRA is on it’s way to the Supreme Court. The NLRB contends such policies inhibit concerted protected activity and are thus a violation of the law. The circuit courts are split on the issue,

Continue reading Union Bailout Update

Union Leader Faces Two Lawsuits

Two former employees have sued Mickey Kasparian, president of Food and Commercial Workers Local 135. While the two cases themselves are very different in substance, one theme is a constant among them both. Kasparian created a hostile work environment and used intimidation to discourage employees from reporting acts against them.

Specifically, Kasparian has been accused of forcing one woman to carry on a sexual relationship with him for years. He has also been accused of wrongly firing another woman when she was “incorrectly suspected of being on the wrong side of a political issue.”

SEIU Watch

SEIU members in a school district in Michigan are being sued by the SEIU Local over the ownership of a banquet hall. The employees of the Taylor school district had built the hall with money secured via fund raising efforts (as opposed to union dues), prior to a merger of the Taylor local with an SEIU local in Lansing. What happened?

Typical SEIU strong-arm tactics. The Taylor employees decided they wanted to undo the 10-year-old merger with the Lansing local and remain a distinct SEIU local, but the Lansing local didn’t want to want to play nice. Kathie Fields, former president of the Taylor union local, and a defendant in the lawsuit, sent a petition with nearly 400 signatures to the International headquarters, asking the International to dissolve the merger or send legal help. After this request was ignored, a 200-signature petition was sent to the Michigan Employment Relations

Continue reading SEIU Watch

Teamster Beat

Teamsters Sec-Treas Ken Hall

Teamsters Sec-Treas Ken Hall

The Teamsters union has a history of corruption. It’s the reason why, until last year, the Independent Review Board overlooked “all” union affairs for more than a quarter-century. Though the decree has been lifted, the union found itself involved in another investigation earlier this year. And that investigation is making everyone think maybe that decree should have stayed in place.

Late last month, a court-appointed independent investigator alleged:

“Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall, the union’s second in command, withheld e-mails and other documents from review earlier this year. The obstruction was intentional and happened while Hall knew about the investigation of ‘current high ranking Teamsters officers, fund trustees and union employees, including Hall.’”

Between this and so many Teamsters retirees losing

Continue reading Teamster Beat

Labor Relations INK October 2016

In this issue:

Another Union Business Dies Union Pickpockets Unions On The Campaign Trail SEIU Watch, Insight, Scoreboard, Sticky Fingers 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

Come November…

Election day is (mercifully) just around the corner. While I hesitate to make predictions this election season it looks very much like Hillary Clinton will win the White House and based on everything I’ve read there is a much better than 50% chance Democrats will gain control of the Senate. Barring a complete wipeout in down ballot races it looks like Republicans will maintain narrow control over the House of Representatives.

hillary-clinton

What do results like this mean for labor professionals? The easiest answer is “more

Continue reading Labor Relations INK October 2016

Union Pickpockets

We share with you each month a list of union officials and employees indicted or convicted for misusing union funds for personal gain in the Sticky Fingers section. Keep in mind that union embezzlement and fund mismanagement is a different animal from the same activity occurring in a corporate setting. Within a business environment, the stolen money is derived from legitimate business activities – from the operating profits of the company. In a union context however, the stolen funds are mostly derived from dues withheld directly from the paychecks of hard-working Americans, and for whom those funds are supposed to be used on behalf of their welfare. In addition to the Sticky Fingers list this month, we thought we’d share a few detailed examples of this egregious theft.

David Sager, the former president of United Steelworkers Local 5000 (which represented only about 100 employees) was indicted on nine counts of

Continue reading Union Pickpockets