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BT Labor Relations - Current News and Practical Analysis
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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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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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24 Aug 2017 Union Corruption Double Take: The UAW, FCA, Shoes, Shotguns and a Deepening Federal Probe

  As we reported on Aug. 11, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating United Auto Workers (UAW) officials and a former Fiat Chrysler official in a massive $4.5 million corruption probe. On Aug. 18, the stakes were raised for the UAW.   The DOJ officially charged former UAW official Virdell King on Aug. 18 with violations of the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA). King was a senior UAW official responsible for administering national collective…

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23 Aug 2017 There’s a Hole in Your Bucket: 114 Multiemployer Pension Funds on Track to Fail

  Some 114 multiemployer pension funds are on track to fail within the next 20 years, according to a report published this week by Cheiron, Inc., an actuarial consulting firm. Cheiron’s report indicates that these 114 pension plans covering nearly 1.3 million workers are underfunded by $36.4 billion and lack sufficient assets to pay retirees and current employees the full benefits under their pension plans.   Multiemployer pension plans, also called Taft-Hartley Funds, are used…

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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 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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23 Jun 2017 Negotiating Tips: The Art of the Ratification Bonus

  Every negotiation, especially complex negotiations, requires careful planning and, once things get underway, creative ideas and tools to bring the deal to completion. In the collective bargaining context, one often overlooked tool available to companies that can help “grease the skids” is the ratification bonus (aka “signing bonus”). There are two critical components to an effective ratification bonus: 1) structuring it in a way that truly incentivizes a union to accept the deal you…

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20 Jun 2017 Public Union Forced “Agency Fees” on the Chopping Block Again

  The issue of forcing unionized public employees to pay union “agency fees” is teed-up for the Supreme Court once again. Mark Janus, an employee of the state government of Illinois who is represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees appealed a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit last week that upheld 40-year-old Supreme Court precedent holding that forcing public employees represented by unions to pay…

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16 Jun 2017 Retirees Proceed to Arbitration Over Slashed Benefits

  Retiree benefits are a big issue for many employers – from pure economic cost to administrative burdens. Accordingly, some companies have moved to limit or cut such benefits entirely over the years. Of course, when doing so, companies need to navigate various legal issues, including under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and, to the extent a union is in the picture, the National Labor Relations Act and/or Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA)….

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