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Union Bailout Update

Alex Acosta

At the end of April, the Senate confirmed the appointment of Alex Acosta as Labor Secretary. Acosta replaced initial nominee Andrew Puzder, who withdrew his name from consideration amidst controversy surrounding the hiring of a housekeeper not authorized to work in the U.S., and mishandling the taxes related to her employment.

The Trump administration forwarded the names of two attorneys for background checks, in preparation for appointment to fill the vacant slots on the National Labor Relations Board. Marvin Kaplan is an attorney for the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, an independent federal agency that hears cases involving alleged workplace safety violations and adjudicates disputes between the Labor Department and employers. He previously served as the Republican workforce

Continue reading Union Bailout Update

It’s All Academic

Earlier this month, the NLRB ruled against Vanderbilt’s claim that full-time, non-tenure-track instructors are managers. This means that such instructors are entitled to union representation should they wish to pursue it.

Harvard filed an appeal this month to contest an NLRB hearing officer’s recommendation that a new election be conducted in response to the one held in November 2016 wherein the university’s graduate students did not win union representation. Those who support a new election argue that Harvard had “not substantially complied with the voter list requirements.” Those who believe the results of the election should stand argue, “students were highly engaged, and after nearly two years of organizing on campus by the HGSU-UAW, thousands voted in the November 2016 election—a majority in opposition to unionization.”

In April, SEIU Local 500 cancelled a vote at George Washington University on the eve of the election. We can only assume

Continue reading It’s All Academic

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 Bailout Update

T-Mobile President John Legere

In 2015, T-Mobile established an employee-representative group as a way of securing feedback from front-line employees. The company credited T-Voice, as it called the group, for such changes as free Wi-Fi, mobile phone charging stations, and spa days. The Communication Workers of America (CWA) filed a ULP, and an NLRB judge upheld the charge, claiming the group “unlawfully establishes and maintains a dominated labor organization.” T-Mobile President John Legere has blasted the ruling and declared his intent to fight it.

The NLRB struck down another arbitration agreement. This time the board did not rely on D.R. Horton because there was no explicit provision in the agreement that limited class or collective actions. As the National Law Review article outlines, the agreement was struck down because

Continue reading Union Bailout Update

It’s All Academic

Duquesne University Campus

The NLRB upheld a regional decision stating that Duquesne University must start recognizing the collective bargaining rights of part-time instructors who voted to unionize in 2012. It doesn’t seem like this ruling, however, is going to have much of an actual effect on the actions of Duquesne administration–who wholeheartedly stand by their opinion that the federal labor board has no control over the Catholic university.

A similar situation seems to be playing out at Yale University. However, Yale’s argument has more to do with the union’s strategy for organizing its workers. The administration is still not convinced that Local 33’s micro-unit approach (one that kept 90 percent of the doctoral students out of the vote) was legal.

At Harvard,

Continue reading It’s All Academic

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

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 a case on appeal squarely raising the FVRA issue, the most entertaining part of this opinion is Chief Justice Roberts’ somewhat painful (even for a lawyer) construction of the FVRA language related to “Acting” appointments.:

Suppose a radio station announces: “We play your favorite hits from the ’60s,

Continue reading Labor Relations Insight

Union Bailout Update

Many are hopeful over the course of the nation’s labor laws over the next four years. That hope was invigorated even further when Trump named Phillip Miscimarra as acting chair of the NLRB. On March 1, the Board released a report detailing the top 10 policies they are going to focus on restoring balance to. See the list and find the report here.

Congress is making some headway as well. One of their most notable actions this month is revoking the Labor Department’s fiduciary exemption for government-managed retirement funds, named Erisa (Employee Retirement Income Security Act).

Early this month, the House overturned OSHA’s attempt to rewrite the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Under OSH Act, all employers are required to keep records or workplace injuries and illnesses for five years. OSHA inspectors, however, are only allowed to cite violations for record keeping that occurred within the previous six

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Wilson Presents at SHRM D.C. Gathering

On March 14, LRI President Phil Wilson co-presented at the Society for Human Resource Management Employment Law & Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., with Mike VanDervort, the Executive Director of CUE, Inc.

The two addressed risk assessment to union encroachment in light of the new administration and evolving union strategies. SHRM summarized the take-aways from the presentation in this article.

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