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Union Bailout Update

The NLRB finally opened their joint employer case with McDonald’s as their target. One of the first NLRB gambits was to shut down McDonald’s attempt to subpoena SEIU and its PR firm, BerlinRosen. McDonald’s had planned to defend itself by arguing it was allowed to protect its brand during the SEIU-sponsored 2012 fast food strikes that created the underlying ULPs in the case. While Board law generally allows franchisors to impose greater control over franchisees if they do so in the name of brand integrity, the board disingenuously (with board member Miscimarra dissenting) discounted the motives of SEIU in the action. The case is speculated to hit the Supreme Court, and could hinge on who fills that court’s vacancy. The Department of Labor has already been ramping up efforts to make joint employer an enforcement priority in FLSA and FMLA issues.

Employer handbooks continue to become a

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Whistlin’ Dixie

By now you’ve likely heard that, after a year of working the system, the Auto Workers finally made their way into the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee as the official representative of 162 maintenance workers.

Volkswagen plans to appeal this decision to the NLRB because they believe that this carve out group shared a compelling community of interest with the balance of the plant’s 1400 employees. According to the company:

“We believe that a union of only maintenance employees fractures our workforce and does not take into account the overwhelming community of interest shared between our maintenance and production employees.”

The American Council of Employees, who share the UAW’s interest in organizing the plant, support Volkswagen’s appeal saying that the avenue the UAW took would serve to “subdivide maintenance workers with no concern for how this might negatively impact employees’ long-term interest.”

For further insight from LRI’s Phil

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Whistlin’ Dixie

The UAW attack of the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga took another turn when the union decided on a carve-out strategy, selecting a group of 162 maintenance employees. The NLRB agreed to the micro-unit election, scheduled to begin on Dec. 3rd. The group comprises about 12% of the total plant workforce.

Mike Cantrell, president of UAW Local 42, characterised the move this way: “There are multiple paths to collective bargaining, and this is a step in the right direction.”

igmetallIn an interesting move, IG Metall, Germany’s largest union, is opening a joint office with the UAW in Spring Hill, TN, a suburb of Nashville. The office will be located near a General Motors plant. According to the German union, over 100,000 Americans work for German-owned automotive companies, most of them not represented by unions.

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BREAKING NEWS: Micro-Units Hit Retail

This week, the NLRB applied the controversial Specialty Healthcare decision to the retail industry, allowing a UFCW local to carve out a unit of cosmetics and fragrance employees in a large national retail chain store.

The snowball has officially been tipped over the edge. Keep an eye out for it!

Avalanche

Union Bailout Update

Democrats foiled another effort by Republicans to lend a hand to struggling US businesses by blocking another attempt to slow down the runaway NLRB. At issue was the recent Specialty Healthcare decision that has opened the door to “micro-unit” organizing. A measure to reverse the ruling was defeated on a 15-15 vote. While introducing the legislation, Senator Lindsey Graham explained his motive for the bill. “The reason I’m involved is because businesspeople from over the country have indicated to me that this ruling is basically creating chaos in the private sector,” Graham said. “The NLRB is becoming the Grim Reaper of job creation.”

The National Retail Federation and its National Council of Chain Restaurants division filed an amicus brief before the NLRB, attempting to defeat micro-units

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