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21 Sep 2017 President Trump Taps New England Labor Lawyer for NLRB’s General Counsel Post

  Late on Sept. 15, the White House formally announced that President Trump will, in fact, nominate Peter B. Robb, a management-side labor lawyer from Vermont, to be the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) general counsel.   If confirmed, Robb will replace the NLRB’s current pro-union general counsel, Richard Griffin, in November. While Robb has had a lengthy career as a labor lawyer, he may be best known for being lead counsel for the Federal…

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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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13 Sep 2017 Iowa Law Targeting Public Sector Unions Going into Effect

  Iowa recently passed a law that significantly curtails the powers of its public sector unions. Specifically, the law drastically limits the subjects over which those unions can bargain, primarily to wages. Further, before entering into any collective bargaining negotiation, each local public union must hold and prevail in a “recertification election.” A majority of the covered employees must vote to assent to continued union representation.   The law became effective in February, but the…

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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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05 Sep 2017 Second Circuit Affirms NLRB Position on Broad Confidentiality Agreements

  You can’t force employees to sign confidentiality agreements that prohibit them from disclosing “non-public information intended for internal purposes” or that bar them from speaking with any “media source” without the employer‘s permission. The NLRB decided that issue on June 14, 2016, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the NLRB’s decision on Aug. 31.   The employer, Long Island Association for AIDS Care Inc. (LIAAC), is a not-for-profit, non-union…

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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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25 Aug 2017 Businesses Say ‘Yes’ to Robb as Labor Board’s Top Lawyer

  Peter Robb, a Vermont management-side labor lawyer, is expected to be named general counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), pending a background check as reported in various industry publications. Robb would replace outgoing NLRB General Counsel Richard Griffin whose term expires Oct. 31.   Robb currently represents businesses in labor disputes at Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC and, with the board slated to have a GOP majority for the first time in a…

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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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