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Labor Relations INK – February 2017

In this issue:

Union Membership Drops Yet Again Just Another Lazy Union Afternoon… Union Pension Turmoil Insight, Right-to-Work, 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

Is there a “Trump Effect” on Union Organizing?

Just about every call I’ve had since Donald Trump’s November surprise gets around to THE question. Will Donald Trump’s election mean the end for labor unions? Or will unions rise like a phoenix from the ashes and organize like never before as a reaction to the new administration? Or maybe something in between?

I’ve mostly answered this question the way lawyers tend to answer questions (sorry): “It depends.” But we are now beginning to get some data that is shedding light on the “Trump Effect” on labor unions. And for unions the data is not looking good.

First,

Continue reading Labor Relations INK – February 2017

Union Pension Turmoil

The Iron Workers Local 17 in Ohio has become the first pension fund to get Treasury Department approval to cut benefits. Had cuts not been approved, the fund was projected to go insolvent by 2024. “As for current retirees, there are 336 who will see cuts of 30 percent to 60 percent.”

In Nebraska, two cities are looking to change their police and fire benefits plan from one that is defined to a cash-balance plan, similar to a 401k. The proposed bill drew protests from firefighters and police officers in Omaha and Lincoln.

Pension Woes

Ironworker retirees are next on the chopping block to see their pensions reduced. On December 16, the Treasury Department approved cuts to the Ironworkers Local 17 Pension Fund. There are 2,000 members represented in this fund. On average, benefits will be reduced by about 20 percent. But some members could take more severe cuts. Pension administrators argue these cuts are the only way to keep the fund afloat.

Criminals And Bullies

Some people truly believe the days of union corruption, bullying, and intimidation tactics are a thing of the past; well it’s not – far from it in fact.

Joseph Dougherty - Source: Philly.com

Joseph Dougherty – Source: Philly.com

Take the Ironworkers Local 401 for example who, under the charge of Joseph Dougherty, committed an immense array of flagrant acts in recent years including: attempted arson at a Malvern construction site after the builder resisted calls to hire the union, the successful 2012 arson of a Quaker meeting house in Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, the baseball-bat beatings of nonunion workers outside a Toys-R-Us, and the extortion of a nonunion builder who was erecting an apartment complex in Philadelphia. Dougherty was found guilty on 6 counts in January. Government

Continue reading Criminals And Bullies

Laziness At Terminal 6

In 2010 when ICTSI Oregon, the company that operates Terminal 6 at the Port of Portland, first took over operations, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union put on a happy face and welcomed the company with open arms. Since then, the two have been involved in a major dispute over who would be responsible for plugging and unplugging the power cords on reefers (refrigerated containers). Last December, the decision was made to reassign those jobs from members of the electrical union to longshore workers.

Since that decision was made, the Port’s general manager and ICTSI’s manager at Terminal 6 have both filed affidavit’s with the NLRB claiming that productivity has severely decreased, estimating that the performance cost for this operation has tripled from $300,000 a year when the Electrical Workers were responsible to $900,000 a year now that ILWU has taken over.

The union has continued to ignore the

Continue reading Laziness At Terminal 6