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25 May 2017 Getting Away With Murder? NLRB Tells Federal Court Union Election Observer’s Use Of Fake Firearm Did NOT Invalidate Union Election Results

  The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) often sets aside union election results where an employer has prevailed when the agency finds “objectionable conduct” occurred. This has been done in cases where, for example, an employer’s handbook contained an overbroad confidentiality policy; supervisors have made “promises” to employees with respect to how they may be treated if they vote to keep a union out; or when a company has given an otherwise lawful “captive audience…

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19 May 2017 First-Year Report Card on Graduate Student Assistants Unionization

  Last fall, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) re-opened the door to unionization by graduate student assistants. The NLRB overturned 12 years of precedent and ruled that graduate assistants at Columbia were employees eligible to unionize under the NLRA. An entire school year has passed since that ruling in August 2016, so we wanted to provide a progress report on graduate student unionization.   At Columbia, the university at issue in the August NLRB case,…

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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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15 Mar 2017 Seattle Legal Battles Mount: Uber Drivers and U.S. Chamber Fight Driver Unionization Law

  In January we shared a post about a labor battle brewing in Seattle and things look to be heating up. As we reported, the City of Seattle adopted its final rules to implement an ordinance allowing Uber and other for-hire drivers to unionize. The rules drew fire from both sides of the debate as they set specific unionization requirements, including the driver eligible requirements to vote for a union.   As of January, the…

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21 Feb 2017 UAW Announces ‘Buy Union American-Made’ Ad Campaign

  Looking to piggyback off the “keep jobs in America” theme touted by President Trump, the United Auto Workers (UAW) Union announced an ad campaign that urges people to buy union- and American-made cars.  UAW President Dennis Williams said the campaign could be similar to the “Look for the Union Label” jingle in in the 1970s in support of the now-defunct International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union. “If it’s not built in the United States, then don’t…

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09 Feb 2017 Missouri Adopts Right-to-Work, Are the Feds Next?

  This week, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens signed into law Missouri’s new Right-to-Work Act. At roughly the same time, Republican Reps. Steve King of Iowa and Joe Wilson of South Carolina introduced the national Right-to-Work Act that would amend the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act to remove language allowing unions to require membership as a condition of employment.   Republicans, including King and Wilson in 2015, have tried to push a…

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29 Nov 2016 And You Thought Trump-Clinton Was Close: Hoffa Squeaks Out Win To Remain Teamsters’ President

  It is (or was) election season and while the spotlight is (or was) focused on the Trump-Clinton and other federal and state government races, another significant election occurred this month: voting for officers of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union. James P. Hoffa – son of the late Jimmy Hoffa – has been the general president of the Teamsters since 1998. During his tenure, he has overseen various changes within the Teamsters, such as the union’s…

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26 Jul 2016 What’s Next For Central States?

  Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund appears to have thrown up its collective hands following the Department of the Treasury’s rejection of its emergency rescue plan on May 6, 2016. A copy of the rejection letter is available here. Central States’ proposal, which would have cut benefits for more than 270,000 Teamsters retirees by as much as 70 percent, was filed with the government under the procedures set up in the 2014…

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