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Informative on current events, trends and pending actions of unions, congress, NLRB, Administration and business community (Chamber, etc.). Helpful for small business owners and management who don't have the time for a daily "watch" of the critical players in this milieu.

great to be able to get good information to educate employees

Always interested in hearing how the Forced Choice Act is progressing. I realy do not like allowing unions access to employees on company property.

Media Overtaken By Big Labor?

media-logosAs the largest digital newsroom yet looks to unionize, we should probably start asking when enough momentum in this media-organizing trend will begin to impact the nature of online journalism.

The HuffPost campaign is just another in a recent spate of online newsroom organizing campaigns, including successes at Gawker, Salon, Vice, ThinkProgress, The Guardian, US and Al Jazeera America.

Because the media typically leans left, it has tended to treat Big Labor kindly. But it brings up some new questions about conflict of interest, when the typical union constitution disallows any dissent or disparagement by its members against the union. Should we consider these newly minted union members extracted from the ranks of “unbiased” journalists? How much farther will this trend go before the impact in reporting is noticeable?

Labor Relations INK November 2015

In this issue:

Right-To-Work Takes the Spotlight Steelworkers Learning The Hard Way Detroit News Labor Around The World SEIU Watch, Sticky Fingers, Scoreboard, Insight and more…

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


Labor Relations Insight

by Phil Wilson

Big Labor’s $6.6 Billion Payday

Big Labor has a lot to be thankful for in 2015. Let’s face it. If you’re counting blessings the National Labor Relations Board offered quite a few. From the Ambush Election Rule to expanded online organizing to the Browning Ferris joint employer decision, unions received a lot of gifts this year.

In spite of these gifts, Big Labor is still running in place. For example, unions got the NLRB to rewrite how it conducts union elections – slashing the average election time by nearly one-third (from 38 to around 25 days). But unions have conducted nearly the

Continue reading Labor Relations INK November 2015

Big Labor Grasping at Straws

Last week, Al Jazeera posted an interesting article on the revitalization of the labor movement. Simply put, it over-glorifies millennial support of organized labor. While it’s true that millennials currently have the most favorable view of unions, the fact is that most of the major worker movements right now (Fast Food Forward, Black Lives Matter, and campaigns in higher education) aren’t about being able to unionize. They are about rallying together for change. This is different than shelling out money for third party representation. It’s about representing yourself. If anything, what millennials are proving right now is that you don’t have to be a part of a union to effect change.

The face of labor is changing and unions know it. They’re struggling to remain relevant, and hoping that they will find some way to monetize their efforts on the back end.


NLRB GC Provides Examples in Electronic Signature Memorandum

As we mentioned in last week’s edition of INK, the General Counsel of the NLRB, Richard Griffin, issued a memorandum detailing the guidelines for submitting electronic signatures as an official declaration in “showing of interest” for union representation. Monday night, Griffin updated that memo to include examples of the necessary documents.

This story was first reported by Politico.

UNIFOR All In! Campaign

Canadian super union UNIFOR is presenting a nicely designed image with their latest All In! Campaign Toolkit booklet. If you’ve got operations in Canada, take a look here.


Whistlin’ Dixie


Last month, the Auto Workers successfully organized Commercial Vehicle Group, Inc., a heavy duty truck parts manufacturer located in Piedmont, Alabama. This is a big win for the union, who has been bumping up their organizing efforts in the South, with little success, over the past couple of years.

The NLRB’s recent ruling on electronic signatures comes as a precious commodity to unions across the country – and the Machinists are no different. Some believe it could be just what they need to finally organize Boeing’s North Charleston plant in South Carolina. Stay tuned for updates on this high-profile campaign.

Labor Relations INK September 2015

In this issue:

New Tool for Organizing Leverage Political Season & Labor Talk Tax Payers Subsidizing Union Labor Debunking Union Myths SEIU Watch, Sticky Fingers, Scoreboard, Insight and more…

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


Labor Relations Insight

by Phil Wilson

Harry Johnson’s NLRB term expired on August 27th. It was way too short. Thankfully Member Johnson was able to leave a few parting shots before he departed. There have been so many important changes over the last few weeks it is impossible to cover them all. These are the things I’ve been asked about most and a few thoughts about the implications:

Who is going to replace Harry Johnson? I haven’t seen much buzz on this so far. The only rumor I’ve seen suggests Roger King. Roger would be a terrific choice – he’s among the sharpest labor

Continue reading Labor Relations INK September 2015

Labor Relations INK - August 2015

In this issue:

Growing Support for Unions Another One Bites The Dust Desperate Ploy Clear As Mud SEIU Watch, Sticky Fingers, Scoreboard, Insight and more…

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


Labor Relations Insight by Phil Wilson

Lately my family’s been watching – okay, binge-watching – the BBC series Sherlock. These brilliant retellings of the classic Conan Doyle tales are set in modern-day England. Every one grabs me, even though I already know the basic plot. Benedict Cumberbatch was born to play the socially inept but brilliant “consulting detective” Holmes. Martin Freeman, who plays Holmes’ friend and sidekick John Watson, is every bit as good as Cumberbatch. They are a much more entertaining duo here than when they played Bilbo and Smaug.

Watching Holmes make incredible deductions from evidence nobody else even sees never gets old. His detective

Continue reading Labor Relations INK – August 2015

High Tech and New Media Employers Beware

cheeseUnions may seem to be clumsy at strategy, but eventually even a blind mouse can follow a trail of cheese crumbs leading to a bigger prize. Such seems to be the case in Silicon Valley, which in recent years has become the focal point of money streams into new businesses, especially high tech and new media. (Even blind unionistas can follow the scent of money…)

With this channeling of the most union-coveted of all assets (cash), and the rash of changes to labor law (faster elections, smaller units, and possible joint-employer relationships), employers in these niches, whether in Silicon Valley or not, should be on the alert.

Similar to the Fight-For-$15 movement in retail, organized and funded by unions, Silicon Valley Rising is a new, well-financed coalition of unions (Teamsters, SEIU,

Continue reading High Tech and New Media Employers Beware

Social Media Spotlight

In an inevitable gaff, a woman who voted for unionization ruined the effort by tweeting a picture of herself casting her ballot, which was the deciding vote in a 5-vote turnout at Webster University in St. Louis. The NLRB Regional Director ruled that by ruining the secrecy of her vote, she nullified her ballot, thus creating a 2-2 tie which goes to the employer. In a world where folks seem to think everybody wants to see what they had for breakfast via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, be prepared to see more of this.

Another social media development is worth keeping an eye on, for two different reasons. A recent campaign on social organizing site coworker.org, led by Starbucks baristas, forced the company to make changes to dress code policies. Coworker.org has facilitated similar campaigns since its inception in 2013, none of which have been led by unions.

Continue reading Social Media Spotlight