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Union Bailout Update

The groundswell of blowback against union hubris continues to rise, as both state and national legislators and executives work to reign in Big Labor. As the game of political tug-of-war continues, much of the energy will lapse into rhetoric, but there may be enough momentum now to see some benefit for American businesses come out of the bottom of the funnel.

cantor1 Union Bailout Update

Cantor

Last week, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce approved the Workforce Democracy and Fairness Act (H.R. 3094). House majority leader Eric Cantor is determined to bring the bill to the floor this winter. Among other things, the bill would:

Undo the criteria used to determine an appropriate bargaining unit established by the National Labor Relations Board’s recent Specialty Healthcare decision Guarantee

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Union Bailout Update

Hilda Solis 150x150 Union Bailout UpdateThe DOL has postponed for two months enforcement of a new wage rate standard for H-2B guestworkers.[1] The postponement was in response to a barrage of legal challenges from small businesses that rely on guestworkers to meet seasonal demands. The new standard will require employers pay guestworkers a “wage that meets or exceeds the highest of the following: the prevailing wage, the federal minimum wage, the state minimum wage or the local minimum wage.”

The catch is this.  The “prevailing wage” is then defined as the highest of three measures; a wage rate established under Davis-Bacon; the mean (not average) wage for the occupation in the area; or wages established by a union contract. Put simply, the cost of guestworker labor would be set by any isolated union contract in

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Union Bailout Update - Sept 22, 2011

cantor Union Bailout Update Sept 22, 2011

Eric Cantor

The big story brewing in Washington is the Congressional push-back against the rogue NLRB.  Members of both houses are working up proposed legislation to prevent recent NLRB actions or proposed actions, such as implementing quickie elections, forcing employers to put up a poster telling employees how to organize, and preventing employers from opening their businesses where they please (as in the Boeing case).

In a memo sent to House Republicans, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) stated,

“This summer, the NLRB issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that could significantly alter current union representation election procedures, giving both employers and employees little time to react to union formations in the future. The result will increase labor costs and uncertainty for

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Union Bailout Update - Sept 1, 2011

Washington agencies continue to roll out regulations and rules in favor of their Big Labor patrons. The NLRB has been particularly busy. In additional to finalizing the “organizing rights” posting rule, the board also overturned two decisions, making it more difficult for employees to get rid of a union they no longer want. First to be overturned was the 2007 Dana Corp decision. In Dana Corp, if an employer recognized a union by “show of interest” alone (in other words, without giving employees the chance to vote on representation), an immediate appeal by at least 30% of the employees (or a rival union) could force the issue to an election. In overturning this decision, the board said the union should be able to operate for a “reasonable period of time” before the employees were allowed the opportunity to vote it out. The board defined the time

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Put on Your Thinking Caps

600px US DeptOfLabor Seal svg5 300x300 Put on Your Thinking CapsIn compliance with Executive Order 13563, the DOL has published its preliminary plan for A Simpler Smarter Regulatory System. (Hope springs eternal.)

So far, it looks like the only regulatory “streamlining” on tap over at the OLM would be cutting the LM-30 disclosure (Labor Organization Officer and Employee Report) from nine pages down to two with union stewards no longer required to report because, you know, unions are so buried in regulatory paperwork!

And the DOL is requesting your feedback! So if you have any suggestions on DOL, OSHA, EBSA, or OLM reporting requirements or regulations (that you could share in polite company) speak up here.

 

Union Free YouTube Video: NRtW Sues DOL Over Transparency

National Right to Work President Mark Mix appeared on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” to discuss Hilda Solis’s efforts to undermine union transparency by rolling back LM-2 requirements.

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Be sure to visit the LRI Union Free YouTube Channel to view this and other entertaining and informative videos.

The New Empowering DOL Phone App

screen capture 31 The New Empowering DOL Phone AppMeanwhile, just down the avenue, the Department of Labor has launched a smart phone application to help workers track their hours at work.  The free app is available for download at the DOL website. The application also prompts users to contact the DOL Wage and Hour Division Help Line.

“I am pleased that my department is able to leverage increasingly popular and available technology to ensure that workers receive the wages to which they are entitled,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. “This app will help empower workers to understand and stand up for their rights when employers have denied their hard-earned pay.”

Spoken like a true organizer, Hilda. Note how Solis makes no mention of the possibility that the program just might help a random worker here

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White House Labor Love-in

screen capture 12 White House Labor Love inFirst they billed it as a “Women’s History Month Event Honoring Women with the Courage to Make a Difference sponsored by the new White House Council on Women and Girls”.  (Because Men and Boys don’t need White House Councils.) Then it morphed into a “Tribute to Women on the 100th Anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.” Then, at show time, the sign on stage read simply “Women Organize!” but by two minutes into Hilda Solis taking the podium it was clear this was nothing but one big labor lovin’ schmooze fest leading into the kick-off this week of Obama’s 2012 campaign.

In her opening remarks, Solis incorrectly stated that the Triangle victims “gave their lives trying to organize,” carrying on the century long tradition of shamelessly exploiting the

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Should Prospective Members See Union Finances?

 Should Prospective Members See Union Finances?According to Congressional testimony last week by union defender John Logan, Director of Labor and Employment Studies at San Francisco State, the answer is no. In testimony before the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions in a hearing on union accountability and transparency Logan called only upon his experience running a labor study center in San Francisco to conclude that all American union members want to know about their union’s finances can be found in the barebones pre-Bush LM-2.

Logan then went on to cite LRI’s use of the new more detailed LM-2  in union campaigns as one compelling reason to revoke the new standards.  Logan writes, “One of the largest union avoidance firms in the nation, Labor Relations Institute, Inc. (LRI), tells employers that, ‘Facts drawn

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GAO Report: Taxes Wasted on Poor DOL Davis-Bacon Calculations

 GAO Report: Taxes Wasted on Poor DOL Davis Bacon CalculationsThe Government Accounting Office will release a report today slamming the methods used by the Department of Labor to determine the prevailing wage required by law on government projects. If  “prevailing wage rates are too high, they potentially cost the federal government and taxpayers more for publicly funded construction projects,” according to the report. The report criticizes the DOL for using data from projects with six or fewer workers and for not collecting data frequently enough to accurately reflect changes in economic conditions. The GAO also cites a lack of transparency in how the DOL calculates rates.

Representative John Kline, a Minnesota Republican and a member of the workforce protections subcommittee, said lawmakers aren’t sure federally funded projects paid wages that were accurate or fair. “We can

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