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L. Hill

Had an opportunity to meet and listen to Phil in this week's CUE Conf. His presentation was an absolute home run - which is very appropriate for the host city - home of the Louisville Slugger. This information clearly focuses on "preventive medicine" which should eliminate or greatly minimize the risk of any serious "illness" - Left of The Boom is a great way to show importance of being pro active and what happens when we wait to react. Great job !
S. Bloom

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

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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

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SEIU Watch

Two top officials from SEIU Healthcare Michigan have been removed from their positions as an investigation into large amounts of money missing from the organization’s treasury plays out. The local has also been placed under an emergency trusteeship.

Deceased SEIU Payroll “recipient” Paul Policicchio

While a hearing is expected soon to uncover all the details regarding the misuse of funds, one source did some research of its own into recent financial transactions by SEIU Healthcare Michigan. One of the most interesting bits of information he found comes from the union’s LM-2s.

What these documents show is that the local has been making payments of $53,400 per year to Paul Policicchio, the local’s former president. The most recent verification of this payment comes from the 2015 report (the

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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,

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SEIU Watch

SEIU is facing more accusations of fraud; similar to those from 2014 when the Supreme Court ruled that the union was illegally collecting dues from personal home health care workers. “Members” of the union have recently filed a petition to decertify SEIU, making this the “largest union decertification effort ever” with 27,000 supposedly organized people.

Christine Boardman, former President of SEIU Local 73

Christine Boardman, President of SEIU Local 73, appealed the International’s decision to keep the Local under trusteeship for the time being. Local 73 was placed into an emergency trusteeship last August. The most interesting part about all of this is that when it comes to SEIU, you never really can tell who you can trust less—the Local who has been placed under

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Labor Relations INK January 2017

Union Membership Shrinks Again! New App for Bargainers and Union Members Union Leadership Manipulation of Election Results Another Innovation Stifled by Big Labor SEIU Watch, Insight, Scoreboard and more…

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

http://lrionline.com/labor-relations-ink-january-2016

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Labor Relations Insight

by Phil Wilson

How carefully do you craft messages to your employees? Have you ever announced something and then wished you’d said it a different way?

We recently ran across a messaging document posted on Facebook originally produced by the PR firm Park Street Strategies for the United Food and Commercial Workers. (Memo to self: The Google sees ALL the web pages).

According to their 2015 LM-2, the UFCW payed

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SEIU Watch

The Service Employees District 5, currently in bankruptcy, have asked a judge to reject Professional Janitorial Service’s bid to liquidate the organization. SEIU argues that the janitorial company is trying to force SEIU out of business in Texas. Others might say that PJS is simply trying to collect on the debt SEIU owes them after a jury ruled the union pay over $7.8 million for malicious actions taken against the company in an organizing campaign.

SEIU’s International is also making some big financial decisions in light of the recent inauguration of President Trump. They plan to cut their budget by 30 percent in preparation for what they expect to be a rough road ahead for unions in general. Their current budget is set at $300 million per year.

One SEIU local is suing former members after they decided to pull out of the local and form their

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SEIU Watch

SEIU members in a school district in Michigan are being sued by the SEIU Local over the ownership of a banquet hall. The employees of the Taylor school district had built the hall with money secured via fund raising efforts (as opposed to union dues), prior to a merger of the Taylor local with an SEIU local in Lansing. What happened?

Typical SEIU strong-arm tactics. The Taylor employees decided they wanted to undo the 10-year-old merger with the Lansing local and remain a distinct SEIU local, but the Lansing local didn’t want to want to play nice. Kathie Fields, former president of the Taylor union local, and a defendant in the lawsuit, sent a petition with nearly 400 signatures to the International headquarters, asking the International to dissolve the merger or send legal help. After this request was ignored, a 200-signature petition was sent to the Michigan Employment Relations

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Refining The Definition of “Employee”

Brishen Rogers

Brishen Rogers

Pro-union law professor and former SEIU organizer Brishen Rogers has penned a treatise for the American Constitution Society suggesting legislative changes to “expand and clarify” the meaning of the term “employment.” His suggestions include:

Redefine employment per the “suffer or permit” test and specify that the “suffer or permit” test defines employment very broadly; Define workers in certain highly fissured industries as the legal employees of firms who contract with them individually for labor, and/or the joint employees of user firms who obtain their labor through subcontracting or franchising arrangements; Develop concrete guidance for courts to apply in other industries, or direct an expert agency to do the same; and Place the burden of proof on the party seeking to avoid employment status and

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SEIU Watch

People join unions because they want “representation.” The union tells them that when the going gets tough, we’ll be here to fight for you. For your respect. For your working conditions. The list goes on.

But what about when your union doesn’t fight for you? After years of paying dues for representation, that’s exactly what happened to Starla Rollins.

Rollins is a member of SEIU-UHW and served as a Ward Clerk at Dignity Health’s Community Hospital of San Bernardino for over 20 years. In 2012, Dignity Health issued a “reduction in force” and Rollins was laid off.

dignityhealth

Unions are huge on seniority (the people who have been here the longest are the last to get laid off and the first to get promoted, they make the most money, etc.). This system

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