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27 Jan 2015 U.S. Union Numbers Continue Their Decline – Reach 100 Year Low

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has released its annual report on unionization data in the United States, and the numbers continue to be on the decline for unions as a whole. Membership in unions nationally dropped from 11.3 percent in 2013 to 11.1 percent in 2014. Other interesting data points in the report include:   Public-sector workers had a union membership rate of 35.7 percent, more than five times higher than that of private-sector…

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26 Jan 2015 A New Frontier for Right-to-Work Laws?

Since December of last year, five different counties in Kentucky have passed “right-to-work laws” making it illegal for employers within their borders to require union membership as a condition of employment. While 24 states have passed such laws to date, this appears to be the first time efforts by smaller units of “state government” (i.e., counties) have been undertaken on this front. While the NLRA allows “states” to pass and implement right-to-work laws, it is…

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23 Jan 2015 NLRB WEEKLY SUMMARY OF DECISIONS, JANUARY 12 – 16, 2015

The Summary of NLRB decisions for the week of January 12 – 16, 2015, is now available on the NLRB’s website. btlaborBT Labor Relations is managed by the labor law attorneys at Barnes & Thornburg. The blog aims to be a source for news, analysis, and commentary on traditional labor legal issues, including news related to the NLRB and a variety of state issues.More Posts – Website

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22 Jan 2015 God in the Details – NLRB Modifies Test for Jurisdiction Over Religious Education Employers

Long-standing U.S. Supreme Court precedent provides that where a federal law results in “excessive entanglement” of the government with religion, it is unconstitutional under the freedom of religion clauses in the First Amendment. This limitation applies equally to the NLRB as a government agency. For decades, the agency struggled to determine whether asserting jurisdiction over religious employers in the education context would result in such entanglement, and on numerous occasions federal courts reversed the NLRB’s…

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21 Jan 2015 BIG LABOR CORRUPTION – FORMER IRON WORKERS PRESIDENT CONVICTED

For years, Big Labor has been tied to allegations of corruption and cronyisms. Yesterday was another black–eye for Big Labor, and specifically the Ironworkers Union. On the fifth day of deliberations, a Philadelphia jury returned guilty verdicts against former Ironworker’s Union leader, Joseph Dougherty, on charges of racketeering, conspiracy, arson and extortion.  The verdicts stem from charges alleging the former Ironworker leader conspired with other Union members to carry out violence and extort non-union contractors….

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20 Jan 2015 MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT HEARS CHALLENGE TO STATES RIGHT TO WORK LAW

Last Tuesday, the Michigan Supreme Court heard arguments in UAW v. Green, Case No. 147700, which the United Autoworkers (UAW) filed to challenge the application of Michigan’s Right to Work law to 35,000 State employees. The UAW has been arguing that Michigan’s Right to Work law does not apply to state employees who are under the jurisdiction of and whose wages are set by the Michigan Civil Service Commission. The UAW suit is an effort…

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20 Jan 2015 DC CIRCUIT OVERTURNS NLRB ON COMPANY ONLY HAT RULE

In a short and sweet decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has overturned an NLRB decision that that declared a “company hat only” policy to be violative of employee Section 7 rights. Quad Graphics, a subsidiary of World Color (USA) Corp., prohibits employees from wearing any baseball caps except for caps bearing the company logo. The Teamsters took issue with the policy and filed an unfair labor practice charge against…

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15 Jan 2015 NLRB WEEKLY SUMMARY OF DECISIONS, JANUARY 5 – 9, 2015

The Summary of NLRB decisions for the week of January 5 – 9, 2015, is now available on the NLRB’s website. btlaborBT Labor Relations is managed by the labor law attorneys at Barnes & Thornburg. The blog aims to be a source for news, analysis, and commentary on traditional labor legal issues, including news related to the NLRB and a variety of state issues.More Posts – Website

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15 Jan 2015 Multiemployer Pension Funds Get Leeway to Cut Retiree Benefits

We’ve written in the past about the looming danger presented by the large number of drastically underfunded union multiemployer pension benefits plans in the U.S. Well, while we were all rushing around in December getting ready for Christmas, Congress passed H.R. 83, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015, to re-fund the Government. Included in that Act were a series of amendments to the Multiemployer Pension Protection Act which will allow trustees operating…

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14 Jan 2015 EVENLY DIVIDED 7TH CIRCUIT REJECTS EN BANC REVIEW OF INDIANA’S RIGHT TO WORK ACT

In a somewhat rare occurrence, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is split right down the middle on whether to rehear a union’s challenge to the constitutionality of Indiana’s Right to Work Act.  The Court voted  5-to-5 Tuesday on whether to rehear the appeal en banc.  The even split means the three-judge panel’s decision from September, 2014 upholding the statute under the United States Constitution stands.   The 2014 decision upholding…

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