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BT Labor Relations - Current News and Practical Analysis
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05 Sep 2017 Labor Day 2017: State of the U.S. Labor Unions

  A broad look at the U.S. labor relations landscape shows it is a mixed bag for labor groups at the moment. In its just-released annual poll tracking public support for labor unions, Gallup data indicates support for unions is growing.   According to Gallup: “In the U.S., 61 percent of adults say they approve of labor unions, the highest percentage since the 65 percent approval recorded in 2003. The current labor union approval is…

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01 Sep 2017 Elon Musk’s Tesla Targeted By UAW And NLRB

  On the heels of a major election loss at Nissan in Canton, Mississippi, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union has shifted focus to another car manufacturer in which it has no current foothold: Tesla. The UAW has been attempting to unionize workers at Tesla’s since the beginning of this year, but it has been unsuccessful in garnering enough interest to petition a vote.   So what do you do if you are the UAW…

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30 Aug 2017 Federal Court Puts Up Roadblock in Seattle’s Quest to Grant Uber and Lyft Drivers Union Organizing Rights

  A Seattle ordinance that grants drivers for Uber, Lyft and other similar ride-hailing companies the right to form unions remains on hold after an Aug. 29 federal court ruling. Back in 2015, Seattle passed a law allowing the drivers to organize and bargain over pay, benefits, and more. Because Uber and Lyft classify drivers as independent contractors, their drivers are not permitted to unionize under the National Labor Relations Act due to the fact…

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22 Aug 2017 NBA Team’s Electronic Display Operators are Employees, Not Independent Contractors, Says NLRB

  On Aug. 18, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) determined that a group of electronic display operators for the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves were employees, not independent contractors. The case came about after the electronic display crew filed a petition to have a union, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, represent them. The Timberwolves argued that the representation petition should be dismissed on grounds the workers were independent contractors, as the National Labor Relations…

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16 Aug 2017 Fractured Workforce: Federal Court Approves Micro-Unit Certified by NLRB

  Unfortunately, it appears the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) recent trend of certifying micro-units is here to stay until a pro-management majority at the agency is confirmed, which may not happen as soon as we once thought. On Aug. 11, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit affirmed an NLRB decision against Rhino Northwest LLC that found a small, discrete segment of that company’s workers could be properly certified as a bargaining unit….

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15 Aug 2017 A Nice Change of Pace: NLRB Upholds Employer’s Confidential Information Policy

  From social media policies to positive workplace environment statements to non-employee access to company property procedures, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has struck down numerous company personnel policies in recent years on grounds they “chill” employees’ ability to engage in protected activity under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The board generally cites Section 7 of the NLRA as support for its positions, which protects employees engaging in “concerted activity” for “mutual aid…

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11 Aug 2017 Union Corruption: UAW and Auto Manufacturer Officials Allegedly Embezzled Millions in Union-Member Funds

  Union corruption probes, unfortunately, continue to make headlines. One of the latest centers on a United Auto Workers (UAW) National Training Center in Michigan. There, a former executive has pled guilty to siphoning more than $4.5 million in funds that were to be used to train UAW members.   The man, who was controller, helped to “steer funds, plane tickets, mortgage payments and other goods valued at more than $4.5 million to UAW Vice…

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09 Aug 2017 Short-Lived Victory for Employers? NLRB Chairman Reportedly Stepping Down in December

  BNA Bloomberg and Law360 are reporting that National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Chairman Philip Miscimarra is stepping down when his current five-year term expires in December rather than seeking reappointment. Miscimarra reportedly is leaving the agency for personal reasons.   Having been the lone pro-management voice on the NLRB for an extended period and consistently being out-voted by his pro-union counterparts, Chairman Miscimarra’s dissents have been colorful and may provide a glimpse as to…

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09 Aug 2017 Paying the Piper? More Than 30,000 Teamsters to Vote on Pension Cuts

  Multi-employer pension funds around the country continue to face mounting difficulties, as the recession in 2008 accelerated the financial freefall of many of the plans. Things now may be coming to a head: More than 30,000 participants in the New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund – one of the country’s many severely underfunded plans – are voting on proposed cuts to their benefits.   The decreases in benefits   are an attempt…

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07 Aug 2017 Third Time is NOT the Charm: Nissan Smokes UAW Again in Union Vote

  More than 3,500 Nissan workers in Canton, Mississippi, overwhelmingly voted against union representation by the United Auto Workers (UAW) on Aug. 3 and 4. The final vote tally was 2,244 to 1,307.   This follows two prior defeats of the UAW by Nissan in 1989 and 2001, so third time is not the charm. It also is the latest in a long line of losses by the UAW in the South and within foreign…

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