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SEIU Watch

In early September, clerical workers staged a lunchtime picket of the SEIU’s headquarters after Mary Kay Henry, SEIU president, demanded a three-year wage freeze for the office workers – a deal which the workers voted down.

“If SEIU was hurting financially, things would be different,” said Virginia Rodino, Chief Steward for the picketing workers. “But they just got done at our national convention saying how well they’re doing, so to demand a 3-year wage freeze just feels like a slap in the face to staff who are so dedicated to the union and to the movement.”

148 of the SEIU’s clerical staff are members of OPEIU Local 2, which represents professional, technical and clerical workers at SEIU and SEIU’s pension fund. Contract negotiations are still in progress, but workers have approved the possibility for

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Union Bailout Update

It’s sure has been a quiet summer over at the NLRB – especially compared to the drama of last summer — and most Board watchers have expected at least a revote on the quickie election rule long before now. Instead, the Board has contented itself with tidying up and looking busy.  It’s almost as if they were straining to find something – anything – to rule on that wouldn’t attract too much negative media attention.  Some observers even say the NLRB is churning out rulings just to stay relevant.

For example, take the third report in nine months on social media policy, offered up as if Lafe Solomon actually believes social media organizing works.  Wouldn’t one 24-page federal report on social media policy have sufficed?  Can’t we all just agree that managers should

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INK May 24, 2012

In this issue:

Union Bailout Update Becker Returns to His People Target Election Gets Tossed IBT Organizers Honored to Remain Union-Free   SEIU Watch, Sticky Fingers and more…

NOTICE:  You can make a PDF of this issue of INK directly from the post.  Click here for instructions on how to do so.



Union Bailout Update

It’s been almost two weeks of uncertainty since a U.S. District judge declared the NLRB quickee election rules invalid and we still have no official word from the board on what happens next.  On May 14 Judge James Boasberg ruled that the board did not have a legal quorum when Members Becker and Pearce voted on the changes without Member Hayes present.  Boasberg noted that

Continue reading INK May 24, 2012

INK May 10, 2012

In this issue: 

Union Bailout Update Bill Would Permit Merit Pay in Union Shops Machinists Striking  Once a Member Always a Member Labor Relations Insight, Sticky Fingers and more…

NOTICE:  You can make a PDF of this issue of INK directly from the post.  Click here for instructions on how to do so.



Labor Relations Insight by Phillip Wilson


What have we learned in the first week of the “ambush election” rules?

There are two questions I’ve been asked a lot over the last couple of months, and especially in the last week:

Will petitions increase after the new “ambush election” rules go into effect? How far will election times decrease under the new “ambush election” rules?

Here’s what we’ve seen in the first 8 days under the new “ambush”

Continue reading INK May 10, 2012

Taking it to the Streets, DOL Style

Not to be out-done by the dramatics over at the NLRB, Department of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis has approved a series of motivational posters for DOL employees (Jealous?) that elevate Solis from lifelong do-nothing political appointee to transformational leader in the war to stop the capitalist re-enslavement of all mankind.

The poster is raising more than a few eyebrows in Washington for what seems a fairly inelegant attempt to radicalize a government agency that should at least at times appear even-handed.  In a letter to Solis complaining about the posters, Rep. Joe Walsh, R-IL said some department employees have complained to him about the posters’ bald-faced politicizing of their work and the veiled call to civil disobedience.

The first poster features a backlit close-up of Solis marching arm in arm with Al Sharpton, Jesse

Continue reading Taking it to the Streets, DOL Style

Update: Persuader Disclosure Changes

DOL documents appear to point to an August 2012 implementation of new persuader reporting rules.   The changes to the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act will put every employer in the country under a “gag order” by forcing them – under threat of criminal penalty – to report things like money spent on supervisory training, attendance at seminars and even employee opinion surveys.  This proposed rule dramatically limits the so-called “advice” exception and means that most discussions about unions between company managers and their attorney or consultant will be subject to public reporting requirements.

INK January 19, 2012

In this issue:

•  Union Bailout Update •  Yes, America, the Unions Are Killing Your Twinkies •  Will the Unions Screw Up the Superbowl? •  Laborers Vow Never to Forget Keystone •  Picket Line Do’s and Don’ts •  Teamsters Watch, Sticky Fingers and more…

NOTICE:  You can make a PDF of this issue of INK directly from the post.  Click here for instructions on how to do so.

Union Bailout Update

The NLRB held a “meet and greet” on Jan. 12 between lawmakers and the three newly sworn in Board members at the center of the latest NLRB firestorm.  Members of Congress were denied the chance to question or even scan the resumes of Richard Griffin and Sharon Block as the two Democrats’ names were only first sent to Congress on December 15, the

Continue reading INK January 19, 2012

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.


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 that no representation

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Union Bailout Update

The 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 the area. Employers and industry

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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 nearly all private employers in the

Continue reading Union Bailout Update – Sept 22, 2011