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21 Apr 2017 Union Body Count and Big Spending

  Last year, some of the country’s biggest unions continue to hemorrhage membership, while others spent big dollars on organizing for modest gains in membership. In 2016, the union membership body count was not insignificant. According to LM-2 filings:   Steelworkers lost 20,000 members United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) lost nearly 14,000 members Teamsters lost almost 5,800 members Machinists lost nearly 5,500 members   This continues a trend seen over the last decades. The…

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14 Apr 2017 Tax Breaks for Union Members Despite New York’s Financial Problems

  New York’s Legislature is giving union dues payers a tax break. While a number of states (and even municipalities) have passed right-to-work laws so union workers do not have to forcibly pay union dues, New York has taken a decidedly different approach. On April 10, New York passed a law allowing union dues and agency fees to be completely tax deductible, effectively giving a tax break to union members.   New York’s union “dues deduction”…

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16 Mar 2017 Sixth Circuit Refuses to Vacate; Lets Local Municipal Right-To-Work Decision Stand

  Following up on our post from earlier this week, on March 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has refused to vacate its ruling in Autoworkers Local 3047 v. Hardin County, a Kentucky case. In doing so, the court allows to stand its ruling that municipalities can pass enforceable right-to-work provisions. The unions wanted the decision vacated as moot based on the state of Kentucky adopting right-to-work legislation, thereby making it…

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14 Mar 2017 The Legality of Local Municipal Right-to-Work Laws; Will A Circuit Split Lead To Supreme Court Review

  On November 21, 2016, we reported that in Autoworkers Local 3047 v. Hardin County, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that local units of government could pass right-to-work ordinances under the National Labor Relations Act. Subsequently, on January 9, 2017 we reported that the state of Kentucky became a right-to-work state, a decision that seemingly ended any controversy concerning the Hardin County ordinance and litigation. However, a group of local unions have continued…

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17 Feb 2017 Right-To-Work On A Roll – Is the Granite State Next?

  As we previously reported, Missouri became the 28th state to adopt right-to-work legislation, which allows employees to opt out of paying dues to a union representing them. No. 29 and the first Northeast state might be on the horizon.   Legislation is pending in New Hampshire, where Gov. Chris Sununu has indicated a willingness to sign a right-to-work bill. The New Hampshire Senate has already passed the measure and the House is now considering…

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15 Feb 2017 ‘Show Your Face’ – IBEW Restrictions On Union Resignation and Dues Checkoff In Right-to-Work States Found Unlawful

  In Local 58, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) 365 NLRB No. 30 (February 10, 2017), the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) struck down IBEW’s requirements that members “appear in person,” show “picture identification,” or “make other arrangements” to verify their identify before being able to resign from the union and revoke prior dues checkoff authorizations. This case is particularly significant for employees in right-to-work states, who as a matter of law cannot be…

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20 Jan 2017 Obama NLRB Deep Sixes Employer Defense on Procedural Grounds Earlier Case Involving Union’s “Peculiar Circumstances” Justifies Inconsistent Application of the Same Rule

  A recent NLRB decision demonstrates again the Obama NLRB’s willingness to entertain inconsistency when the outcome favors a union. Over the last eight years, some have noted that this has been a persistent theme at the NLRB.   The most recent example of this phenomenon is found in the NLRB’s Jan. 9 Williams-Sonoma Direct, Inc., decision. In this union election case involving the NLRB’s controversial Specialty Healthcare “micro unit” decision, the issue was the…

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22 Nov 2016 A Chink in Specialty Healthcare’s Micro Unit Armor?

  On Nov. 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Constellation Brands v. NLRB reviewed the NLRB’s use of the framework set forth in Specialty Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center of Mobile, 357 NLRB 934 (2011) for evaluating proposed bargaining units.   The court upheld the NLRB’s two-step analysis, required under Specialty Healthcare, for determining whether employees share a “community of interest.” Under step one, the NLRB regional director performs a community-of-interest…

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21 Nov 2016 Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Local Subdivisions of Government Can Pass Right-to-Work Ordinances

  In Autoworkers Local 3047 v. Hardin County, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a Kentucky District Court decision that last February found that counties in Kentucky could not pass right-to-work ordinances. Siding with the union plaintiff, the District Court held that Hardin County’s ordinance was preempted by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). At the District Court level, the United Autoworkers (UAW), along with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of…

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28 Oct 2016 White House Launches Website Encouraging Workers to Protect Their Rights, Including Union Organizing Rights, By Filing Charges/Complaints Against Employers

  Today, the White House launched a new website, worker.gov, that makes it easier for employees to file charges and complaints against their employers.   The new website promotes employee rights and the filing of claims, including a strong emphasis on union organizing rights. It is a collaboration between the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, with a stated goal of giving “workers…

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