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Labor Relations INK, May 2013



In this issue:

The Fight for 15 – or What? Former NLRB Chair Speaks Out Right To Work: An Excuse For Union Intimidation? SEIU Watch, Sticky Fingers, Scoreboard, Insight and more…[based on current issue]

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

View the web-based version of this newsletter (including links and graphics) by visiting:



Labor Relations Insight by Phil Wilson

Why Union Members Should be Up In Arms Over “Alt-Labor”

This month has been a big one for alt-labor. Alt-labor, for the uninitiated, stands for alternative labor groups. Unlike traditional unions who focus on organizing companies, alt-labor groups focus more on organizing worker populations independent from companies.

While these groups have been around a long time, they are now ascendant and the latest in a long line of

Continue reading Labor Relations INK, May 2013

Union Bailout Update

The recent nomination for the post of Labor Secretary fits the Obama administration’s trend of disregard for rule of law and promotion of blatant progressive agendas. This Cato Institute article summarized several of Thomas Perez’s controversial actions:

Source: Don Ryan / AP, file

Source: Don Ryan / AP, file

Interference with the Supreme Court case of Magner v. Gallagher, getting the City of St. Paul to dismiss its appeal to prevent what would’ve been a sharp (and probably unanimous) rebuke to the federal government regarding its use of “disparate impact” racial theories in housing policy, to the detriment of minorities and poor people everywhere; Refusal to comply with subpoenas from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; Dismissal of the Justice Department’s already-won prosecution of the Black Panthers for voter intimidation during the

Continue reading Union Bailout Update

Noel Canning vs. NLRB Goes to Supreme Court

This directly from the NLRB today:

The National Labor Relations Board has determined not to seek en banc rehearing in Noel Canning v. NLRB, in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit held that the January 4, 2012 recess appointments of three members to the Board were invalid. The Board, in consultation with the Department of Justice, intends to file a petition for certiorari with the United States Supreme Court for review of that decision. The petition for certiorari is due on April 25, 2013.

Rather than ask the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to rehear the case with a full bench, the board will instead ask the Supreme Court to review the ruling.

Labor Relations INK ~ February 2013

In this issue:

Labor Relations Insight by Phil Wilson Union Bailout Update LRIOnline 2013 Annual Report Feature Love You or Leave You by Eric Vanetti SEIU Watch, Scoreboard, Sticky Fingers, and more…



Labor Relations Insight by Phil Wilson

Unions love to hate companies, especially publicly traded ones. After all, attacking big companies lets unions combine some of their favorite pastimes. They get to rail against the 1%, hang out with politicians and celebrities, get on TV and, perhaps most important of all, bring out The Rat.

Scabby the Rat is a fixture at these events. Earlier this month the Teamsters brought Scabby to the SuperInvestor Conference (you probably deserve

Continue reading Labor Relations INK ~ February 2013

SEIU Watch

Trending more than ever among scorned and alienated SEIU members, is the instinct to fight back against their oppressor – by becoming key players in the Big Labor arena through the creation of new unions.

The California League of City Employee Associations (CLOCEA), which was formed by Bill Shawhan in 2011 after an SEIU Local fired him, recently won a nearly two-year battle for a contract for Kings County employees.

According to Shawhan, CLOCEA doesn’t get involved in partisan politics and does not financially support politics in Sacramento or Washington, D.C.

Sal Rosselli started the trend in 2009 when he split from SEIU and founded the NUHW which recently joined forces with the California Nurses Association (CNA), and is about to embark on a long-awaited re-run election with SEIU-UHW for

Continue reading SEIU Watch

Labor Relations Insight by Phil Wilson

Could Right to Work Save the Labor Movement?

Unions are dead. Kaput. Finished. At least that’s what you’d think if you spent much time reading the labor press the last few weeks.

First, Michigan went right-to-work. Then, this week, the Department of Labor announced that union membership declined to its lowest level since the Roosevelt administration. And I’m not talking about the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration (who adopted the National Labor Relations Act). I’m talking about Teddy Roosevelt. You actually have to go back to 1901 to find a time when unions represented 6.6% of private sector workers – the same percentage they represent today.

Predictably, most of the articles (and all of the pro-union quotes) blame our ineffective labor laws, aggressively pro-union state governments and the slow economic recovery for the decline. One of the most ironic

Continue reading Labor Relations Insight by Phil Wilson

Democracy, Union-Style

Steelworkers Local 1104 demonstrated the union brand of “democracy” during a recent election for a variety of the local’s offices, including: president, vice president, financial secretary, recording secretary, treasurer, three trustee positions, guide, inside guard and outside guard. One month prior to the election, the union decided to apply a bylaw that had not been used for the last 3 elections, effectively eliminating 95% of all union members from qualification for office, leaving almost every race uncontested.

When a member complained to the International, the local action was upheld. The member then contacted the Department of Labor, which investigated the case and ruled against the local. They called for a new election, stating that a labor violation had taken place, “denying members in good standing the right to be nominated and run for office when (the

Continue reading Democracy, Union-Style

Social Media Update

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has dramatically increased their investigation of restaurants and hotels regarding tips, uniform deductions, proper overtime compensation and more. In addition they are starting investigations with no or very little notice at best, requiring liquidated “double damages” payment to resolve the investigation, or assessing civil money penalties.

Even more outrageous is the Department’s new tactic of “shaming” (that’s their word, not ours) of employers under investigation through press releases and social media. The DOL is issuing press releases and making this information available to the general public through a social media application called Eat, Sleep, Shop, which is designed for consumers to shop the application for restaurants, hotels and retailers. In the app, consumers can read both the Yelp! rating and their DOL enforcement history, all in

Continue reading Social Media Update

Government Oversight or Union Favoritism?

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently reported that the DOL’s Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS), overseen by Secretary Solis, is failing in their duty to effectively administer and oversee the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA), a law meant to promote transparency within labor organizations.

The LMRDA requires labor unions to file annual financial reports with the OLMS. A primary purpose of the law is to help union members keep an eye on the union officials’ management of the union’s finances. Unfortunately, if the OLMS’s annual compliance audits fall short, the purpose of this requirement is then moot.

The OIG, acting as a watchdog, reported that not only have the OLMS audits been ineffective, but the agency also can’t properly measure their own performance in terms of effectively

Continue reading Government Oversight or Union Favoritism?

INK ~ October 4, 2012

In this issue: Union Bailout Update Unions May Lose Power If Prop. 32 Passes In California Lafe Solomon Being Investigated SEIU To Mug Healthcare Employees Into Fitness Social Media Spotlight SEIU Watch, Sticky Fingers, and more… **********


Union Bailout Update

It’s been a quiet few weeks on the national scene where government largess to Big Labor is concerned. Maybe the left/union/progressive front is waiting for the furor to die down over the Chicago teachers strike … maybe they’ve been told to lay low for the rest of the presidential campaign … or maybe they’re just gasping for air.

Meanwhile, there are some local issues steaming on the sidelines.

In Michigan, it

Continue reading INK ~ October 4, 2012