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07 Dec 2012 NLRB Hears Oral Argument in <i>Noel Canning v. NLRB</i>

On Dec. 5, 2012, oral argument in Noel Canning v. NLRB was held before a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Our prior posts on this topic can be found here. Barnes & Thornburg attorney Teresa Jakubowski was present for the oral argument. As a result, the BT Labor Relations Blog is able to offer our readers a quick play-by-play. A.                Background The primary issue before the Court…

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06 Dec 2012 Hand It Over: D.C. Circuit Affirms NLRB Ruling on Data Request

KLB Industries manufactures aluminum extrusions at its Bellefontaine, Ohio, facility. Since taking over the plant in 1997, KLB had signed three collective bargaining agreements with its 16-member union. On Sept. 20, 2007, 10 days before the third agreement expired, the parties began negotiating a fourth agreement. During negotiations, KLB claimed that it was facing increased competition from Asian manufacturers, rising production costs, and decreased productivity. Based on these claims, KLB demanded substantial wage concessions. The union subsequently…

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05 Dec 2012 Debate Continues Over President’s NLRB Recess Appointments

Several media outlets and political pundits are weighing in on the ongoing legal battle over President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.  Our prior reports on this topic can be found here. On one side, the Wall Street Journal editorial board opined that President Obama “is exceeding his constitutional authority” with the appointments. They argue that following the President’s logic would mean he “could presumably make recess appointments every weekend, or during lunch.” The editorial…

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30 Nov 2012 Advice memo from NLRB again affirms <i>D.R. Horton</i>, finds employer arbitration agreement unlawful

The NLRB continued to hold its position on arbitration agreements in an advice memorandum released last week, finding that an employer’s mandatory arbitration agreement violated the NLRA despite the fact that it explicitly excluded claims in front of the NLRB and was silent as to whether it prohibited arbitration on a class basis. The Division of Advice applied the Board’s holding in D.R. Horton, 357 NLRB No. 184 (2012), and held that the fact that…

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30 Nov 2012 D.C. Circuit refuses to enforce Board’s bargaining order, finds lawful impasse

The D.C. Circuit Court on Tuesday reversed a decision by the NLRB which had found that Erie Brush & Manufacturing Corp. had unlawfully declared impasse and refused to bargain with SEIU. The D.C. Circuit found that while the employer and the union were only in disagreement on two issues – union security and arbitration of grievances – this was enough to put the parties at impasse, noting that “impasse on a single critical issue can create…

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28 Nov 2012 NHLPA Decertification in the Works?

Jeff Z. Klein of the New York Times has a great blog post this morning saying momentum is building for the NHL Players Association (NHLPA) to follow the strategies used by the players’ unions in the NBA and NFL lockouts – decertify the union and file suit as a “trade association” against the league and the owners under the anti-trust laws in an effort to break the lock-out. Here’s a link to Klein’s story – Slap…

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27 Nov 2012 NHL Lockout: Day 73

The NHL lockout, which has reached Day 73, continues to be one of the biggest labor law stories of the year. And with 2 1/2 months of the season already canceled, you’ve got to believe that it is becoming less and less likely that we’ll see any major league hockey in the 2012-13 season. Already the Winter Classic has been cancelled as has the All-Star weekend originally scheduled for Columbus, Ohio. The NHL and the Players Association appear to be at…

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21 Nov 2012 Study Shows Companies Have Had More NLRB Election Success in 2012 (and Other Intriguing Statistics)

BNA’s Research and Custom Solutions division analyzed data provided by the NLRB and came to a few surprising conclusions. The study shows that, although the number of elections has remained roughly the same from 2011 to 2012, unions have actually been less successful in 2012. This paradigm applies to representation and decertification elections. The study also compares the relative success rates of different unions and analyzes these elections per major industry. Adam BartromAdam Bartrom of the firm’s Labor…

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21 Nov 2012 Michigan’s Second PLA Law Also Pre-empted by NLRA

Back in July, we told you about Michigan’s second stab at putting limits on the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLA) in the state. Michigan’s first PLA-limiting law was blocked by a federal court ruling that the subject area covered by the PLA law was pre-empted by the National Labor Relations Act. Late last week, a federal court judge in Michigan called strike two on the state finding the revised version of the PLA bill also was pre-empted by the…

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21 Nov 2012 They Know They Have It Too Good

As we reported earlier this week, federal government over pays its employees compared to the private sector by anywhere from 15-59% in wages (depending upon how you do the calculations) and by 44% when it comes to benefits.  Using these figures, bringing the $200 billion the government spends on civilian employee compensation in line with the private sector could save the government hundreds of billions of dollars over 10 years — before cutting any programs…

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