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28 Jul 2017 WARNING: No Solicitation

  Few things are more painful for a company to go through than a union election. One of those things is when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) orders a “re-run” election due to alleged misconduct by the employer (i.e., the company has to go through the entire contentious, cumbersome, and costly process again).   Various types of misconduct by companies can give rise to a re-run election. One such category is “solicitation of grievances,”…

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11 Jul 2017 If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try, Try Again: UAW Files Petition for Union Vote at Nissan

  For years the United Autoworkers Union (UAW) has attempted to organize foreign auto manufacturers in the U.S., but its efforts have largely failed. Indeed, while the UAW continues to represent most production and maintenance workers at the big American car companies’ sites in this country, the union has failed to gain any strongholds within its Japanese counterparts, despite constant efforts over the years.   Now, the UAW is trying again. It was recently announced…

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27 Jun 2017 Will Amazon’s Acquisition Impact Labor Relations at Whole Foods?

  The grocery industry has a relatively high unionization rate – especially in this day and age where private sector union membership in general is below 7%. While Whole Foods has been a target of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) union for years, the company nevertheless has been able to remain one of the only big supermarket players without a union presence. According to its CEO, it’s been able to do so because…

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10 May 2017 Judge Blocks Pilot Slowdown at Spirit Airlines

  Spirit Airlines secured a temporary restraining order on May 9 against the Air Lines Pilot Association (ALPA) that called for the pilots’ union to stop its alleged work slowdown against the carrier.   U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas issued the emergency order, saying that Spirit “will suffer immediate and irreparable damage in the form of damage to its business reputation and customer goodwill, increased costs for measures designed to avoid flight delays and…

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01 Dec 2016 UFC Fighters Seek to Unionize

  A group of prominent current and former UFC fighters, including past champion Georges St-Pierre, announced the formation of the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association on Nov. 30. In its official announcement, the group said “The Association’s sole concentration is to fight for the rights of MMA fighters and force UFC’s ownership to dramatically alter the company’s decade plus outrageous treatment of its athletes.” The group also included Bjorn Rebney, former CEO of MMA promotion company Bellator MMA.  …

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28 Oct 2016 White House Launches Website Encouraging Workers to Protect Their Rights, Including Union Organizing Rights, By Filing Charges/Complaints Against Employers

  Today, the White House launched a new website, worker.gov, that makes it easier for employees to file charges and complaints against their employers.   The new website promotes employee rights and the filing of claims, including a strong emphasis on union organizing rights. It is a collaboration between the Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Justice and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, with a stated goal of giving “workers…

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08 Aug 2016 Employers’ Role In Decertification Efforts Continue To Receive Intense Scrutiny

  Decertification petitions are a mechanism under which employees can vote to get rid of their union in the workplace. Employers’ efforts during employees’ decertification efforts, however, always receive much scrutiny from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).   The NLRB generally only permits “ministerial aid” by an employer prior to the filing of a petition (e.g., an employer may be able to answer technical questions about the timing for filing such a petition in…

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18 Apr 2016 GOP Moves to Block New Persuader Rule

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) has introduced a resolution (H.J. Res. 87) to block the implementation of the Department of Labor’s new “Persuader” Rule. The resolution is made pursuant to the Congressional Review Act and seeks to block the rule which is scheduled to go into effect on April 25.   Critics of the new rule argue that the regulation will make it harder for employers to communicate with employees and undermine the right of workers…

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23 Mar 2016 DOL Publishes Final Persuader Rule

  The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has published its long-awaited final rule regarding “persuaders” hired by employers during union organizing campaigns. The text of the full rule (clocking in at 446 pages) can be found here.   The rule essentially rewrites (although, the DOL uses the word “realigns”) the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (LMRDA). As stated by the DOL, “This Final Rule requires that employers and the consultants they hire file reports…

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12 Jan 2016 Court Poised to Strike Down Union Agency Fees for Public Employees?

  The U.S. Supreme Court, in argument on Jan. 11, from all accounts appears poised to strike down its prior decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Education and conclude that mandatory agency fees paid by public employees to unions that represent them are unconstitutional.   In Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, the petitioners contend that mandatory fair share dues to cover the cost of collective bargaining and other representational activities violate the free-speech rights…

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