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08 Nov 2017 Action! House Passes Legislation to Stave Off Broadening Definition of Joint Employment

  Congressional efforts to potentially undo the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Browning-Ferris decision took another step forward on Nov. 8. The House of Representatives 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 law, the bill would…

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06 Nov 2017 Senior Officials Tossed from Union in Wake of Sexual Harassment Allegations

  A tidal wave of sexual harassment allegations has been making headlines recently. Now, throw the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) – the nation’s second largest union – into the discussion of organizations reeling from sexual harassment claims.   It has been reported that a couple of high ranking officials in the SEIU have been fired or forced to resign in the wake of sexual harassment/sexual misconduct allegations. The problem may be widespread within labor…

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03 Nov 2017 FBI Autocompany/Union Training Center Corruption Investigation Widens

  The Detroit News is reporting that the corruption investigation into the United Auto Workers (UAW) training centers for workers is expanding to training centers funded by all three Detroit automakers. The article also indicates the automakers themselves are not a target.   The initial FBI investigation focused solely on Fiat Chrysler (FC) and the UAW. Indictments of a FC executive and UAW staff followed. However, the Detroit News is now reporting investigators are possibly interested in Joe Ashton, a retired…

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02 Nov 2017 Union Improperly Used Strikes and Grievances to Obtain Disputed Work, Says Appeals Court

  In May 2016, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that an International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) local unlawfully used strikes and grievances in an effort to obtain certain work on construction sites that had been given to members of another union.  That decision was challenged in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which upheld the NLRB’s ruling on Oct. 31.   While the NLRB allows a union to utilize…

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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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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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