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Union Bailout Update – December 2015


Sen. Elizabeth Warren

As if the Fight for Fifteen wasn’t enough, the retail, food service and cleaning industries face another spectre in the form of the “Schedules That Work Act” introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Under the bill, employees are given the “right” to have more say in:

The number of hours the employee is required to work or be on call The times when the employee is required to work or be on call The location where they work The amount of notification the employee receives for schedule assignments Minimizing fluctuations in the number of hours scheduled on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Work schedules or schedule changes must be provided in writing 14 days in advance, and there are financial penalties

Continue reading Union Bailout Update – December 2015

ULP Charge of the Month

ULPWe’ve reported on the huge confrontation at the Oregon port over the last year or so, including our account in this issue of the NLRB getting a hand-slap for inappropriate involvement. Last month, this employee of United Grain Corporation filed this ULP, accusing ILWU Local 4 members of threatening “we know where you live” and “we are going to kill you.” Interestingly, the employee reports that these threats have extended to vendors and service providers of United Grain up to 100 miles away from the port! You can click on the image to download a PDF of the ULP charge.


Can You Guess What’s Next From the NLRB?

The last Board decision of 2011 was on the surface unremarkable and easily overlooked in the outrage over Obama’s Board appointments on Jan. 3. However according to Lexology, there are powerful clues buried in 2 Sisters Food Group on what to expect from the NLRB in the coming year. (Spoiler alert: things can get much scarier than just elections in ten days.)

The 2 Sisters decision itself was a no-brainer – the company was found to have illegally terminated a leader of the unionization effort. A finding of illegal termination is generally enough alone to overturn a close election. However the bulk of what Members Becker and Pearce wrote on 2 Sisters considered issues that had no bearing on their decision

Continue reading Can You Guess What’s Next From the NLRB?

SEIU Watch - Sept 22, 2011

A federal Administrative Law Judge issued a 26-page decision dismissing all of SEIU’s ULP charges against Kitsap Mental Health Services (KMHS) in Washington state. When employees filed a decertification petition with the board asking it to withdraw recognition from SEIU 1199NW, KMHS withdrew recognition from the union, causing SEIU to file the flurry of ULPs. When the Seattle office of the NLRB ruled that the union’s claims should all be dismissed, the union appealed to the Appeals Division in Washington, D.C. In typical Washington fashion, the Appeals board reversed the original Seattle decision, ordering the Seattle office to prosecute KMHS based on the charges. A 3-day trial was held, and the ALJ upheld the original Seattle Division ruling, finding all of the union’s claims unsupported by fact and law.

SEIU Watch – Sept 22, 2011

NLRB Cannot Mandate Backpay Remedy

From the NLRB website:

“The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that a 2002 U.S. Supreme Court decision compels the conclusion that the Board lacks remedial authority to award backpay to undocumented immigrant workers whose rights have been violated under the National Labor Relations Act, even in cases where their illegal status was known to the employer at the time of hiring.

A three-member panel of the Board – Chairman Wilma B. Liebman and Members Mark Gaston Pearce and Brian Hayes – issued the unanimous decision in Mezonos Maven Bakery, with Member Craig Becker recused. The Board cited broad language in the Supreme Court decision, Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB, 535 U.S. 137(2002), which made clear that “awarding backpay to undocumented workers lies beyond the scope of [the Board’s] remedial authority, regardless of whether the employee or employer violated” the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).”


Continue reading NLRB Cannot Mandate Backpay Remedy

Phil Wilson Explains Verizon & CWA ULPs

Connected Planet interviewed Phil Wilson to gain some insight into the filing of Unfair Labor Practice charges amid the strike by the Communication Workers of America against Verizon. As Phil explained, “They’re both arguing that the other side is not bargaining in good faith,” and the filings were basically saber rattling.

Phil described the typical process, and clarified that the usual NLRB process takes a month or two to investigate accusations of the sort embodied by the ULPs, but that strikes against U.S. telcos have generally lasted only a few weeks. It is typical that once they come to an agreement on contract terms, they will drop the charges against each other.


How to Lose a Union Free Election: Part 3 - Cheating

The third way to lose your union free election is by cheating. We have two core beliefs all of our consultants agree to follow. First, we treat union free campaigns as a teaching event. We treat voters with respect and know our job is to help them learn about unions and make their own decision about what is best for them. Our second core principle is that we don’t cheat. By cheating I mean violating the National Labor Relations Act rules on how to conduct a free and fair election.

Unions may not believe that we follow these beliefs, but we take them very seriously. As a lawyer I want my clients stay well within the ground rules of the Act. This is not just good legal practice. It’s also the best way to win.

There are some consultants who like to “push the envelope” during union free elections.

Continue reading How to Lose a Union Free Election: Part 3 – Cheating

Can the Railway Labor Act Save the Post Office

It is not a secret that the US Postal Service (USPS) is losing money. Your Money I might add. A strong case of why the government is not good at business. Not to mention that they are lousy employers. With the movement of commerce in the balance there are those that believe the USPS should be moved to the jurisdiction of the Railway Labor Act (1926). The reasoning is to protecting America’s supply chain from work stoppage.

INK: October 8, 2009

inkquill22 Labor Relations INK

Download a PDF of this issue with links here.

In This Issue:

• Insight from Phil Wilson • EFCA Update • ACORN Corruption Ties With Unions And Politics • SEIU Watch • and more…

Labor Relations Insight from Phil Wilson

The Positive Workplace

I haven’t changed my email signature in years. It is a quote from an economist, Ernst Schumacher. He says: “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.” I love that quote.

Now if you know me you already know that I’m not touched with genius (heck, I’m not even that intelligent of a fool…), but I am a big fan

Continue reading INK: October 8, 2009

INK: September 11, 2009

inkquill22 Labor Relations INK

Download a PDF of this issue with links here.

In This Issue:

• Insight from Phil Wilson • Big Labor Unveils Organizing Secrets • “Public Option” Failures • Union Support Withering • and more…

Labor Relations Insight from Phil Wilson


I love that show Mythbusters. I guess any guy who remains as mature as a 14 years old – like me – probably does. What’s better than watching a bunch of pyromaniacs take on myths like, “can playing your stereo too loud cause loaded AK-47’s in the back seat of your car to spontaneously start firing” (turns out that it can’t).

Yesterday we released our latest White Paper “IS THERE A TARGET ON MY BACK? Myths and Best Practices in Assessing Vulnerability

Continue reading INK: September 11, 2009