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01 Nov 2017 Survivor: Iowa Law Curtailing Public Union’s Powers Fends Off Court Challenge

  A Polk County, Iowa, judge has dismissed a lawsuit we blogged about recently that challenged a new Iowa law curtailing the collective bargaining powers of the state’s public sector unions. Immediately after the law was passed in February, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Iowa Council 61 (AFSCME) filed a lawsuit claiming the law violated the state’s constitution. AFSCME is a large public sector union representing tens of thousands of government workers…

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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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12 Oct 2017 Trouble in Federal Union Paradise

  While private sector union membership has been declining for decades, down to 6.4 percent in 2016, public sector unions have remained relatively strong. But perhaps not everything is as good as it seems for public sector unions. Following news last week of the U.S. Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on mandatory public union fees, we’re now treated to a salacious story of federal employee union in-fighting.   American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Local 12,…

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05 Oct 2017 Will Mandatory Fees to Public Unions Survive? SCOTUS Set to Revisit the Issue

  The U.S. Supreme Court will once again address whether public-sector unions can collect mandatory fees from nonmembers to help pay for collective bargaining.   As previously reported, the high court heard this issue last term in the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association and appeared poised to rule against the union, but deadlocked 4-4 following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. That caused the lower court’s decision in favor of the unions to…

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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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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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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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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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