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Union Bailout Update

For only the second time in history, both houses of Congress used the Congressional Review Act to approve a disapproval resolution for a federal regulation, this time the Ambush Election rule promulgated by the NLRB. The House passed the measure by a 232-186 vote, but the Senate’s 53-46 tally is 14 votes short of the ability to override the sure-to-come veto. Interestingly, the first time this strategy was used in 2001 was to bury a another labor rule, from the outgoing Clinton administration.

The NLRB meanwhile began training regional office employees March 16 to manage affairs under the new rule, and is also holding educational meetings for labor law practitioners March 23 through April 13.

The Supreme Court handed the DOL and NLRB (and other federal agencies) a huge victory in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, potentially opening the floodgates to speedy rule changes or additions. Prior

Continue reading Union Bailout Update

Labor Relations INK February 2015

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In this issue:

Fraudulent Finances Steelworkers Strike Oil Industry Unions Funding Illegal Political Activities? Whistlin’ Dixie SEIU Watch, Sticky Fingers, Scoreboard, 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

It’s that time of year again. The prognosticators are pouring over all the latest statistics. Some teams look like they are making gains – others seem headed for the bottom of the pack. Every year the speculation is even more intense than the last. Sometimes I think it is getting a bit much. You know what I mean?

Oh, I’m not talking about the NFL Draft (I think they’re just scratching the surface of what they can cover there,

Continue reading Labor Relations INK February 2015

Labor Relations Ink January 2014

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In this issue:

SEIU’s Felony Fiasco Right-to-Work Laws – Reality vs. Myth Annunziata’s Encore Chattanooga Choo-Choo SEIU Watch, Sticky Fingers, Scoreboard, 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

union-smileyIf unions are so darn good for you why don’t people join?

If you knew that the only thing standing between you and a happier life was union membership would you want to join?

The New York Times recently reported on a study claiming that people in unions are happier than those who are not. The authors of that study

Continue reading Labor Relations Ink January 2014

Union Bailout Update

The office of the General Counsel of the NLRB issued consolidated complaints against McDonald’s franchisees, and included the franchisor, McDonald’s USA, LLC as a joint employer. Could this be the opening swell of a tidal wave, or a freshening breeze that will quickly dissipate? At least one district court begs to differ with the NLRB, ruling early this month in Vann v. Massage Envy Franchising LLC that the franchisor is not considered the employer of the individual businesses they contract out to.

The NLRB is going to have to fend off a pair of lawsuits over the Ambush Election rule. It comes as no surprise that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would file suit, and they were joined by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), National Retail Federation (NRF), and Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The first suit was quickly

Continue reading Union Bailout Update

Labor Relations INK November 2014

In this issue:

West Coast Gridlock Changes In Labor Law To Come? IBEW Steps In It, Big Time For What It’s Worth SEIU Watch, Social Media Spotlight, Scoreboard, 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

FullSizeRenderA little over a year ago we took a spring break trip down to Austin, TX. I know, I know, touring the LBJ Presidential Library is a questionable spring break activity (it was straight out of “Nerds Gone Wild”). But while on the trip I bought one of those little garden gnomes dressed up like a Michigan fan. I thought it would bring some good luck to the team.

We got the “good luck” gnome home

Continue reading Labor Relations INK November 2014

Labor Relations INK October 2014

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In this issue:

Getting Creative SEIU Hires…Contractors? “Never Let A Good Crisis Go To Waste” More Lessons From Market Basket Whistlin’ Dixie, Sticky Fingers, Scoreboard, 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

The Question

One of my favorite bands is the Old 97s. They’re awesome. If you ever get a chance to see them do it. You won’t regret it.

The Old 97s played last week at the Cain’s Ballroom (if you ever get a chance to see any band at the Cain’s Ballroom do it. You won’t regret that either). Well, at the show they played one of their classic songs “The Question

Continue reading Labor Relations INK October 2014

Union Bailout Update

Protected concerted activity took another leap forward with the NLRB’s ruling in the Dover Energy, Inc.,Blackmer Division ruling. A steward, with no authority for negotiating contracts, twice placed requests for voluminous documents related to company financial and payroll information. When the company responded the second time with a verbal warning, an Administrative Law Judge sided with the company since the steward was not a union negotiator, his requests were not authorized by the union, and there was no indication he acted on anyone else’s behalf. Typically, the board saw it differently and reversed the judge’s ruling.

Another issue likely to follow the winding trail through the legal process to higher courts involves the rules surrounding successorship. In Pressroom Cleaners Inc., the Board increased successor liability when a successor fails to hire employees of its predecessors in an attempt to avoid union representation, overturning precedent established in 2006 in

Continue reading Union Bailout Update

Labor Relations Ink – August 2014

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In this issue:

Between A Rock and a Hard Place? Who’s Got Your Back? Same Song, Different Verse Bending Over Backwards SEIU Watch, Sticky Fingers, Scoreboard, Insight and more…

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

Labor Relations Insight by Phil Wilson

Fast Food Strikes, the NLRB and the One Lesson of Economics

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Credit: RaiseUpMKE.org

Fast food workers protested across the country today in favor of a $15 per hour minimum wage (and “union rights” – which of course they already have). It is always hard to separate the facts from

Continue reading Labor Relations Ink – August 2014

Union Bailout Update - August 2014

Richard Griffin

Richard Griffin

It is getting much harder to discharge an employee for behavior that could jeopardize business, if that behavior can be linked to protected concerted activity, and if the employer is inconsistent in applying disciplinary action. In a recent Starbucks case, an employee was fired for using profanity in the presence of customers. At issue was the wearing of pro-union pins. The NLRB originally found the discharge unlawful, but the Second Circuit court remanded the case back to the board, not buying their reasoning. The board then shifted focus, using a “mixed motive test” and finding that the company’s disciplinary action was inconsistent, and thus could have been related to the protected concerted activity as much as the use of profanity.

The NLRB’s General Counsel filed a

Continue reading Union Bailout Update – August 2014

Labor Relations Ink July 2014

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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-girlLabor 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 contribute to

Continue reading Labor Relations Ink July 2014