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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.

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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

Union Money Shell Game

In 2016, the UNITE HERE financial disclosure forms indicate that it contributed more than $237,000 to Yale’s graduate student union, which eventually became UNITE HERE Local 33. However, the Local failed to disclose the receipt of the funds, leaving it anybody’s guess how the money was spent and highlighting again union transparency concerns.

In another shell game, a former USW employee and her husband siphoned off over $50,000 from an Institute of Career Development fund set up between the Steelworkers union and major steel companies, designed to provide educational services to Steelworker union members.

SEIU Watch

We stumbled upon a job posting for an SEIU Local 509 Internal Organizer. Nothing unusual about that. Until you read the note about SEIU’s newly created Member Action Resource Center. MARC is a call center for local members to use when reporting a grievance. That’s right. Members won’t speak directly to their local anymore about anything grievance related. Instead, they’ll be directed to a call center.

screen shot of note from the job posting

 

Mary Kay Henry

Mary Kay Henry placed SEIU Nevada under a trusteeship. And now the International is being sued by a member of the

Continue reading SEIU Watch

Labor Relations INK April 2017

In this issue:

UFCW Reveals Strategy for 2017 Union Leaders & Money – A Bad Combination No Opting Out Allowed Taxpayers Pickpocketed By Unions Sticky Fingers, SEIU Watch, Insight 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

My 10 Top Takeaways from CUE

I am flying back today from the 40th anniversary CUE conference. If you aren’t a member of CUE you are really missing out. It is simply the best conference around for people focused on creating positive workplaces. I enjoyed presenting on two panels around the future of work. And today I had the honor of teaching some incredible leaders the ins and outs of Approachable Leadership.

The

Continue reading Labor Relations INK April 2017

Union Leaders And Money – A Bad Combination

Five years ago, the Boilermakers union was called out for its lavish spending on leadership salaries and expenses. In response, the union made a big show of cutting the fluff. And a show was all it was. As reported by the Kansas City Star, in the five years since, the union has quickly gone back to their old ways of

six-figure salaries for officers and their relatives. Fine dining, stays in posh hotels and expensive hunting retreats. Cars as parting gifts for retired employees, and hundreds of thousands spent on promotional events and videos. All while membership continues its downward spiral and the pension fund struggles to stay afloat.

Newton B. Jones

Let us put some numbers to it. The salaries and expenses of President Newton B. Jones and his

Continue reading Union Leaders And Money – A Bad Combination

Taxpayers Pickpocketed By Unions

As bad as it is that employees of unionized companies are lied to about the money that is forced out of their paychecks and into union coffers, equally disgusting is how much non-union U.S. taxpayers pay for union political and representational activities. According to a recent report by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), government employees working on behalf of unions during work hours (and away from their normal jobs) cost taxpayers $162.5 million in 2014 – up $5 million from 2012.

Another report by the Competitive Enterprise Institute disclosed findings that 700 federal government employees do absolutely no work for which they were hired, and work exclusively for the union. Here’s a quick list of some of the agencies identified and the number of workers who

Continue reading Taxpayers Pickpocketed By Unions

SEIU Watch

Two top officials from SEIU Healthcare Michigan have been removed from their positions as an investigation into large amounts of money missing from the organization’s treasury plays out. The local has also been placed under an emergency trusteeship.

Deceased SEIU Payroll “recipient” Paul Policicchio

While a hearing is expected soon to uncover all the details regarding the misuse of funds, one source did some research of its own into recent financial transactions by SEIU Healthcare Michigan. One of the most interesting bits of information he found comes from the union’s LM-2s.

What these documents show is that the local has been making payments of $53,400 per year to Paul Policicchio, the local’s former president. The most recent verification of this payment comes from the 2015 report (the

Continue reading SEIU Watch

Teamster Beat

The NLRB has issued a complaint against Teamsters Local 455 for “violating workers’ fundamental rights.” It all started late last year when Francisco Manjarrez began speaking to his coworkers about a decertification vote.

As a refresher, if 30 percent of a unionized workforce signs a petition stating they no longer want union representation, a decertification vote must be held.

Manjarrez had been working to gather the signatures when Local 455 officials threatened Manjarrez and the other workers who signed the petition with “the loss of their benefits, discharge and a lawsuit.”

The charges against the local came just weeks after the NLRB issued two other decisions against the union for failure to represent and for lying to workers about the connection between their dues and promotions.

The hearing against Local 455

Continue reading Teamster Beat

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…