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Superb structure and content advisory for the LM avalanche approaching. I particularly liked the tripwire commentary and redirection to the Jump team. Then there are those masterful remarks in the communications tips, especially the employee-centric point.. Liked the set up to the toxic employee in a compressed time period...should be appealing to most managers.
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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 Pension Turmoil

The New York State Teamsters Conference pension fund withdrew their application to cut pensions after getting information that hinted their first application would be denied. While this doesn’t mean the 5,200 active and retired Teamsters members in New York are in the clear for good, it does mean that their pensions are safe for a few more months.

Meanwhile, four more unions filed applications with the U.S. Treasury Department asking permission to cut retirement benefits in order to keep their funds solvent (hopefully). The United Furniture Workers’ (merged with IUE-CWA) fund is in the worst shape of the new applicants with projected insolvency expected to take place in the next five years if nothing is done. In total, if all applications are approved, as many as 20,309 union members could

Continue reading Union Pension Turmoil

Labor Relations INK March 2017

In this issue:

It’s All Academic AFL-CIO Headquarters Staff Dwindles Longshoremen Union Out of Step with Membership Insight, Fight for $15, SEIU Watch and more…

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

Labor Relations Insight

by Phil Wilson

The Clash, The Beatles and Lafe Solomon

Radio DJ Wolfman Jack

The Supreme Court at last issued its decision in National Labor Relations Board v. SW General, Inc. The Court found that Lafe Solomon’s stint as Acting General Counsel to the NLRB violated the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (“FVRA”). While Chief Justice Roberts took pains to make clear its decision is not “the son of Noel Canning” it at least qualifies as a first cousin.

Unless you have

Continue reading Labor Relations INK March 2017

Union Pension Turmoil

Well it finally happened. As of late last month, one of the strongest and most successful pension funds officially ran out of money. The Teamsters Local 707 fund began their efforts to avoid this insolvency in early 2016 when they lowered payouts for already retired members. Now, the 4,000 already retired Local 707 members are left with nothing.

While this news is disastrous for members of Local 707, it also speaks to the problem of underfunded pensions as a whole. Namely, it begs the question: “if one of the strongest funds couldn’t survive, why should any other plans?”

There are currently 68 pensions plans that have been listed as having “critical and declining status.” This means these 68 will soon have to apply to cut benefits. Meanwhile, there are 10 private-sector funds that have already applied to the U.S. Treasury Department for approval to slash benefits.

As it stands,

Continue reading Union Pension Turmoil

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 October 2016

In this issue:

Another Union Business Dies Union Pickpockets Unions On The Campaign Trail SEIU Watch, 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

Come November…

Election day is (mercifully) just around the corner. While I hesitate to make predictions this election season it looks very much like Hillary Clinton will win the White House and based on everything I’ve read there is a much better than 50% chance Democrats will gain control of the Senate. Barring a complete wipeout in down ballot races it looks like Republicans will maintain narrow control over the House of Representatives.

hillary-clinton

What do results like this mean for labor professionals? The easiest answer is “more

Continue reading Labor Relations INK October 2016

Teamsters Beat

Tensions are rising as the Teamsters International Officer election comes to a head. 17-year incumbent James P. Hoffa, son of the infamous former Teamster leader James (Jimmy) R. Hoffa, is going up against Local 89 President Fred Zuckerman.

Zuckerman represents a group of “pissed off Teamsters” who feel strongly that it’s time to oust the Hoffas once and for all if they want real change. The key to a victory, they say, will be voter turnout, as only 1 in 5 Teamster members voted in the last election.

The Teamsters are one of the few U.S. unions that are “constitutionally guaranteed the right to directly elect their international union officers every five years.”

zuckerman-hoffa

Teamster Beat

top-chef-ibt

You may remember a couple years ago when Teamsters Local 25 members were accused of threatening, heckling, harassing, and slashing tires of crew members for Bravo’s Top Chef tv show. At the time, local leaders completely denied these allegations. Well, former Local 25 official Mark Harrington finally plead guilty in an agreement that “spares him any jail time and calls for two years of probation.”

 

Union Pension Woes

The New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund is expected to file an application today to reduce benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014. According to the last 5500 filing in 2014, this plan was 46.5% funded. In a letter on February 5th to the plan’s 34,639 participants, fund trustees estimated that the plan will go insolvent within the next 19 years.

The Teamsters application to the Treasury Department follows two other applications submitted by the Bricklayers and Allied Craftsworkers Locals 5 and 7.

Meanwhile, Congress is considering legislation that would use taxpayer dollars to bail out the “overpromised, underfunded pension plan of the United Mine Workers of America.” This article gives a great synopsis of why that’s a terrible idea. Here’s a quick quote:

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Teamster Beat

The Teamsters and Longshoremen always seem to keep things interesting at the ports. Most recently, IBT is heading up a movement to “ban trucking companies from Port property when they illegally misclassify truck drivers” as independent contractors.

In Connecticut, 120 members of Teamsters Local 1035 have been locked out by their employer, Hartford Distributors, after failing to reach a contract during the last four months of negotiations.

Former Local 20 President, Bill Lichtenwald, is leaving his post after a 10-month investigation into accusations of “financial impropriety.” Why a person who makes $200,000 a year would feel the need to commit any misconduct for financial gains is beyond us. Perhaps it has something to do with the failing Teamsters Central States Pension fund—which he also served as board member of.

An interim president will be assigned to complete Lichtenwald’s post as Local 20 president through the end of

Continue reading Teamster Beat