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30 Aug 2013 Unions Continue Alternative Organizing Methods with Fast Food One-Day Strikes

Just in time for Labor Day, unions organized one-day strikes at fast food locations around the country yesterday to demand higher wages. Thursday’s protests follow similar walk-outs in July and May of this year. As we have previously reported, this type of one-day strike is evidence of unions’ changing models for labor organizing aimed at combating the decline of union membership nationwide.  Thursday’s protests were supported and funded by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). And it…

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29 Aug 2013 First Social Media Policies and Now E-Mail?

In what could be the first salvo in the NLRB’s latest assault, the NLRB Division of Advice has recommended that an NLRB Regional Director issue a complaint against a call center company (Alpine Access) for the restrictions it placed on employee use of the company’s e-mail system. The Advice Division not only concluded that the actions taken by the employer were unlawful under current Board authority in the Register Guard case, the advice memorandum went…

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28 Aug 2013 A Weekly Summary of NLRB Decisions for Aug. 19-23, 2013

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has updated their website with a summary of decisions for the week of Aug. 19-23, 2013. The summary of NLRB decisions can be accessed by visiting the NLRB’s website here, or by clicking on the link below. National Labor Relations Board: Summary of Decisions for Aug. 19-23, 2013. Keith BrodieKeith J. Brodie is a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Grand Rapids, Michigan office. He devotes his practice exclusively…

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22 Aug 2013 Federal Judge Rules NLRB General Counsel’s Appointment Invalid

Although all five NLRB members have been properly confirmed, there remains an issue with the status of the Acting General Counsel, Lafe Solomon. On Aug. 13, 2013, United States District Judge Benjamin H. Settle of the Western District of Washington dismissed the petition of Region 19, of the NLRB seeking injunctive relief pursuant to section 10(j) of the Act. In reaching that determination, Judge Settle reviewed whether the NLRB had the authority to issue the complaint…

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21 Aug 2013 A Weekly Summary of NLRB Decisions for Aug. 12-16, 2013

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has updated their website with a summary of decisions for the week of Aug.12-16, 2013. The summary of NLRB decisions can be accessed by visiting the NLRB’s website here, or by clicking on the link below. National Labor Relations Board: Summary of Decisions for Aug. 12-16, 2013. Keith BrodieKeith J. Brodie is a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Grand Rapids, Michigan office. He devotes his practice exclusively to…

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19 Aug 2013 Michigan Right to Work Act Upheld by Court of Appeals

The United Auto Workers suffered yet another defeat in its effort to overturn Michigan’s public sector Right to Work Act. The Michigan Court of Appeals has, in a 2-1 decision, upheld the lower court’s decision that the State has the authority to enact laws that effect the state’s civil service employees. The appellate court rejected the argument that the Michigan Constitution gave the state’s Civil Service Commission the exclusive authority to set employment conditions for those…

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19 Aug 2013 Sixth Circuit Upholds NLRB’s Specialty Healthcare “Micro-Union” Decision

  On Aug. 15, 2013, the Sixth Circuit upheld the NLRB’s controversial 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision which many have argued will promote “micro-unions” in the workplace and make it easier for unions to dictate the group of employees they wish to organize.   What does this mean for employers going forward? The new standard for evaluating whether it is necessary to expand a bargaining unit will be difficult for employers to surmount. Accordingly, unions will…

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16 Aug 2013 NLRB Is Working With A Full Slate

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently swore in four Senate-confirmed members.  This is the first time that the panel has been fully staffed with approved members in nearly a decade. The current NLRB members are: Nancy Schiffer, Kent Hirozawa, Harry Johnson, Philip Miscimarra, and Mark Gaston Pearce. This development follows the controversy associated with President Obama’s controversial recess appointments. The full story from the Washington Post can be found here. btlaborBT Labor Relations is managed…

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14 Aug 2013 A Weekly Summary of NLRB Decisions for Aug. 5-9, 2013

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has updated their website with a summary of decisions for the week of Aug. 5-9, 2013. The summary of NLRB decisions can be accessed by visiting the NLRB’s website here, or by clicking on the link below. National Labor Relations Board: Summary of Decisions for Aug. 5-9, 2013.   Keith BrodieKeith J. Brodie is a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Grand Rapids, Michigan office. He devotes his practice exclusively…

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13 Aug 2013 Unions Explore New Organizing Tactics

The Associated Press offers an interesting article on union efforts to move beyond their largely unsuccessful, traditional organizing tactics. The story as reported by the Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette can be found here.  The article quotes AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka saying, “To be blunt, our basic system of workplace representation is failing to meet the needs of America’s workers by every critical measure.”  The story notes several union efforts to recruit new dues paying members, including…

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