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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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28 Dec 2011 NLRB Weekly Summary – December 19-23, 2011

The National Labor Relations Board’s weekly summary of decisions for last week, December 19-23, 2011, is now available on the Board’s website. btlaborBT Labor Relations is managed by the labor law attorneys at Barnes & Thornburg. The blog aims to be a source for news, analysis, and commentary on traditional labor legal issues, including news related to the NLRB and a variety of state issues.More Posts – Website

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23 Dec 2011 NLRB Again Delays Employer Notice Posting Deadline to April 30

The NLRB announced today that it will postpone, until April 30, 2012, the deadline for employers to post a notice outlining employee rights to organize under the National Labor Relations Act. More information is available here. The NLRB agreed to the deadline postponement at the request of the federal judge who is hearing the case challenging the Board’s right to create such a posting requirement. Adam BartromAdam Bartrom of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law…

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23 Dec 2011 New Facebook Cases – No Protected Concerted Activity, But Is It Surveillance??

Facebook cases continue to be examined by the NLRB as a new technology cloaked in traditional case law.  The NLRB’s General Counsel has recently decided to dismiss three complaints brought by terminated employees who were fired for their Facebook posts.  In all three cases, the GC found the conduct not to be protected concerted activity under Section 7 of the NLRA.  That approach is consistent with the GC’s memo earlier this year which emphasized that content and context…

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21 Dec 2011 After A Long Wait, the NLRB Has Finalized the “Quickie Election” Rules

The NLRB has finalized the amendments to its quickie election rules and will publish these rules in Thursday’s Federal Register. The new rules eliminate avenues for employers to challenge union activity prior to an election and also shorten time periods during which employers can campaign against unionization. This departure from the historical norm comes just days before controversial Democratic Board Member Craig Becker’s term is set to expire. Without Becker, the Board will be reduced to two…

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21 Dec 2011 Ninth Circuit Remands Board Decision Regarding Employee’s Profanity-Laced Tirade Against Owner

This week the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals took a step towards undoing a controversial recent Board decision when it found that the Board erred in analyzing whether an employee lost the protection of the Act during a profanity-laced tirade against the company owner.   This case involves a car salesman who was terminated just months after his hire.  During that brief tenure, the employee complained about meal and restroom breaks, commissions, salary, and the owner’s refusal to disclose the direct dealer costs of the…

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20 Dec 2011 Los Angeles County Bar Association 2012 Entertainment Labor Law Symposium

On Feb. 9, 2012, the Los Angeles County Bar Association will hold its bi-annual Entertainment Labor Law Symposium. Barnes & Thornburg Partner, Scott J. Witlin, is scheduled to speak at the event. The topic of Scott’s presentation is entitled, “New Media’s Impact on Production, Residuals, and How Cast and Crew are Engaged.”   Other sessions slated to take place during the event include: “Social Media in the Entertainment Workplace,” “The State of the Plans: Dealing with the Economy and Health Care…

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19 Dec 2011 D.C. Circuit Upholds Rule Change by National Mediation Board

Union elections in the airline and rail industries just got a bit easier for Unions.    The U.S. Circuit of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in a 2-1 decision upheld a decision by the National Mediation Board (NMB) to change the majority of votes rule in representation elections. Since 1934, members of the proposed bargaining units were counted as “no” votes if they decided not to vote in the election. But the NMB decided earlier last year that the rule…

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16 Dec 2011 Corruption Update

Curiously, a case involving the allegations of theft larger than any reported on the DOL website is omitted from the DOL’s report. That case involved a UFCW Local in New York City and three of its union leaders who are alleged to have “extorted or stole over $2.4 million from the Union and employers whose employees belonged to the Union” over the period set forth in the indictment.   The United States Attorney’s press release…

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