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11 Jan 2012 NLRB Back to Full Strength with Pro-Union Majority

The NLRB has returned to its full complement of five Board members. Board Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce administered the oath of office this week to recess appointees Sharon Block (D), Terence F. Flynn (R) and Richard F. Griffin (D). They join Pearce and Republican Brian Hayes. This marks the first time since August 2010 that the Board has all five of its posts filled. The swearing-in means that the controversial and sweeping changes in the…

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10 Jan 2012 Compulsory Unionization Pushback Week

This week shaping up as a big week for news about compulsory unionization. As noted in previous blog posts that can be found here and here, the Indiana state legislature is taking up a right to work law that would criminalize union security agreements. The measure should come up for a vote in both houses of the legislature. On Monday, Democratic Representatives ended their three day boycott which could permit a vote on the measure….

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07 Jan 2012 Board Finds Certain Arbitration Agreements Violate NLRA

Although his term is over, the reverberations of Member Becker’s recess appointment term continue. In another seemingly novel decision, if not one at odds with recent U.S. Supreme court precedent, a NLRB majority comprised of Members Pearce and Becker reversed an ALJ’s decision and ruled that an arbitration agreement containing a class action waiver violated the NLRA because it infringed on the right employees have to “engage in concerted action for mutual aid or protection.”…

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06 Jan 2012 A Short Update on the Indiana Right-To-Work Legislation

Indiana’s Republican House leader has promised to move quickly on the controversial right-to-work legislation. A joint committee hearing held today represents the first major step for the measure this legislative session.  Most of the hearing (beginning at 9 a.m. and concluding at 2:30 p.m.) was taken up by testimony of proponents, opponents, and follow-up questions from committee members. The Senate Pensions and Labor Committee approved the measure 6-4.  The measure will now move on to the full Senate for…

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06 Jan 2012 Best Lawyer’s Lawyer of the Year, Howard D. Fabrick Joins Barnes & Thornburg

We don’t often use this blog to toot our own horn. However, in keeping with the New Year we thought it appropriate to announce a significant new addition to our growing Los Angeles Office.   Howard D. Fabrick has joined the firm’s Los Angeles office as a partner in the Labor and Employment Law Department and Entertainment and Music Practice Group. Howard previously was a partner in the Los Angeles office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer &…

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05 Jan 2012 White House Announces Recess Appointments to NLRB

Yesterday, the White House announced the following recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB):   – Richard Griffin (D) – General Counsel of the International Union of Operating Engineers; – Sharon Block (D) – Deputy Asst. Secretary for Congressional Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor; and – Terrence Flynn (R) – Chief Counsel, NLRB Member Hayes.   This is a controversial move on the part of President Obama. Conventional wisdom has been that a…

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04 Jan 2012 Recent NLRB Memo Identifies “Hot Topic” Cases for 2012

The NLRB recently circulated a memorandum asking all Regional Directors, Officers-in-Charge and Residential Officers to begin tracking what the Agency has defined as “Hot Topic” Cases.  The categories include:   – Cessation of Dues Check-Off; – Information Requests for Financial Records; – Post Arbitration Deferral; – Social Media; and – Use of Employer e-Mail.   The memorandum provides insight into the types of issues likely to grab the NLRB’s attention in 2012.  The memorandum can…

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30 Dec 2011 BT Labor Relations’ Top Ten Traditional Labor Stories of 2011 (Part 2)

Here’s the conclusion to our countdown of the top ten traditional labor issues that made the news this year. Our top five are below; see numbers 6-10 in our post yesterday.   5. The Board mandates employee-rights posters, but lawsuits delay implementation   In a move that will affect virtually all private employers, whether unionized or not, the Board approved a final rule in August which requires employers to notify employees of their rights under…

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30 Dec 2011 UAW Targets Foreign Automakers in the U.S.

Reuters is reporting today that the UAW has settled on U.S. plants owned by Volkswagen and Daimler AG as organizing targets, in part because they are “seen as easier nuts to crack than the Japanese and South Koreans.”   The entire article can be seen here.  John KoenigJohn T.L. Koenig is a partner in the Labor & Employment Department of Barnes & Thornburg LLP. He maintains a national, full-service practice representing management exclusively in all aspects of…

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29 Dec 2011 BT Labor Relations’ Top Ten Traditional Labor Stories of 2011 (Part 1)

‘Tis the season for year-end recaps, and we here at BT Labor Relations couldn’t resist taking our own look back at the year in traditional labor. As we move into 2012, here’s our countdown of the top ten traditional labor issues that made the news this year. Numbers 10 through 6 are below, and an article highlighting our top-5 can be accessed by clicking here.    10. The Board sues Arizona over secret ballot constitutional amendment…

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