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27 Oct 2017 UAW Not Letting Up on Tesla

  The United Auto Workers (UAW) union still has its sights set on Tesla. Earlier this week, the UAW filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) alleging that the car manufacturer illegally terminated employees who support the union’s ongoing organizing efforts. These allegations come on the heels of separate charges filed by the UAW against Tesla related to unionization efforts earlier this year.   The UAW’s recent focus on Tesla is not…

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27 Oct 2017 Right-to-Work Battle in Illinois Enters Cease Fire – For Now

  Illinois is completely surrounded by right-to-work states that have laws making it unlawful for companies to require union dues as a condition of employment. Notwithstanding the recent trend of states enacting such laws, the Illinois legislature tried its best this year to block right-to-work legislation within its borders.   Earlier this year, the Illinois legislature passed a law that would prohibit local governments from enacting their own right-to-work laws after one Illinois municipality attempted…

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25 Oct 2017 No Money, Big Problems: Union Pension and Benefit Obligations May Force Hartford Into Bankruptcy

  Unfunded public union pension obligations have been making headlines for years, perhaps most notably with Detroit being forced into a contentious bankruptcy. Detroit, however, is hardly alone. Many states and municipalities have severely underfunded pension obligations crushing their balance sheets.   The next city to fall victim to promises made to their unions may be Hartford, Connecticut. Moody’s, a credit rating service, is predicting the municipality will be defaulting on debt owed by the…

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18 Oct 2017 What’s Your Preference? NLRB Adopts Federal Court’s Ruling Permitting Hospital’s Nonunion Hiring Preference Policy

  The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently was forced to accept a First Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling earlier this year that a hospital’s hiring preference policy applicable to its nonunion employees was lawful. The board originally had ruled the policy violated the National Labor Relations Act.   The hospital system at issue had both union and nonunion sites. At a union site, there was a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that contained a provision giving…

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16 Oct 2017 Survey Says: Incentive-Based Pay Systems Provide Higher Compensation Than Time-Based Models

  Anyone who has engaged in collective bargaining knows that, generally, unions throw their arms up at any proposal dealing with incentive-based pay versus time-based pay systems. Their rationale can range from distrust to unfounded beliefs that incentive-based pay somehow detracts from seniority. However, new data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) – a government entity that tracks labor data in the U.S. – gives some nice bargaining ammunition to employers looking to…

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06 Oct 2017 Will Congress Act to Stave Off the Broadening Definition of Joint Employment?

  Congressional efforts to potentially undo the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Browning-Ferris decision took a step forward on Oct. 4. The House Committee on Education and the Workforce passed legislation that would redefine “joint employer” under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to only cover instances when two or more companies have direct control (as opposed to merely indirect or potential control) over a group of workers. In other words, if ultimately signed into…

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04 Oct 2017 NLRB Dodges Massive Budget Cuts, But Some Predict Changes Still on the Horizon

  A recent Republican attempt to cut the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) budget failed, but some are speculating that similar future appropriations efforts may prevail and, at a minimum, the recent board appointments by President Trump likely will result in changes at the agency.   The appropriations bill at issue was introduced by Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.), and it sought to slash the NLRB’s discretionary spending budget by nearly half. In support of his…

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18 Sep 2017 Keeping Up With the NLRB: Agency Releases Updated Outline of Law and Procedure in Representation Cases

  The web of rules imposed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on union elections always is rapidly evolving. From the “quickie election rules” implemented by the NLRB in April 2015 to decisions altering the types of misconduct that can be used to “re-run” a vote, it can be hard to keep up.   One great resource available to employers is the NLRB’s “Outline of Law and Procedure in Representation Cases,” which summarizes and…

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15 Sep 2017 Follow the Money: Union Organizers Set Their Sights on Silicon Valley, Tech Companies

  With their numbers on a continued decline, private sector American unions are on the search for new members. According to a recent Bloomberg article, labor organizers are setting their sights on the booming tech market and Silicon Valley in an attempt to grow their ranks. The article details how in recent years various unions, such as UNITE HERE and the Teamsters, have prevailed in organizing more than 5,000 workers on various tech giants’ campuses….

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13 Sep 2017 Iowa Law Targeting Public Sector Unions Going into Effect

  Iowa recently passed a law that significantly curtails the powers of its public sector unions. Specifically, the law drastically limits the subjects over which those unions can bargain, primarily to wages. Further, before entering into any collective bargaining negotiation, each local public union must hold and prevail in a “recertification election.” A majority of the covered employees must vote to assent to continued union representation.   The law became effective in February, but the…

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