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26 Apr 2017 Trump Appoints Miscimarra as Chairman of NLRB

  President Trump has named Philip A. Miscimarra Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board. Chairman Miscimarra had been acting chairman since Jan. 23, 2017.  The position, while largely administrative, may bode well for Miscimarra’s renomination to a new term. Chairman Miscimarra’s term expires on Dec. 16, 2017.  Two seats on the five-member board remain vacant.   Scott WitlinScott J. Witlin is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Barnes & Thornburg and a member of…

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21 Apr 2017 Union Body Count and Big Spending

  Last year, some of the country’s biggest unions continue to hemorrhage membership, while others spent big dollars on organizing for modest gains in membership. In 2016, the union membership body count was not insignificant. According to LM-2 filings:   Steelworkers lost 20,000 members United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) lost nearly 14,000 members Teamsters lost almost 5,800 members Machinists lost nearly 5,500 members   This continues a trend seen over the last decades. The…

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18 Apr 2017 Union Wins Representation Vote in Atlanta Area

  In a reminder to Georgia employers not to take the state’s typically low unionization rates for granted, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that a union has won the right to represent workers at an Atlanta-area logistics and distribution center. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union won the representation election 49-46 at a Nestlé facility in McDonough, Georgia.   While the overall unionization rate in the private sector in Georgia is very low (around 3…

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18 Apr 2017 Summary of NLRB Decisions for Week of April 3 – 7

  The summary of NLRB decisions for the week of April 3-7 is now available.   Summarized Board Decisions   Saint Xavier University  (13-RC-092296; 365 NLRB No. 54)  Chicago, IL, April 6, 2017.   The Board (Members Pearce and McFerran; Acting Chairman Miscimarra, dissenting) found that the Board has jurisdiction over housekeepers employed by the Employer, a self-identified religious educational institution.  Applying Hanna Boys Center, 284 NLRB 1080 (1987), the Board found that it will…

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17 Apr 2017 NLRB Invalidates Another Employer Arbitration Agreement – But NOT Under D.R. Horton

  On April 13, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) invalidated yet another employer arbitration program. This time, however, the NLRB did not do so under its infamous D.R. Horton case. In Dish Network, LLC, the NLRB struck down an arbitration agreement an employer used with its workforce because: 1) as drafted, employees would reasonably construe it as limiting or prohibiting them from filing charges with the NLRB; and 2) a confidentiality provision within the…

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14 Apr 2017 Tax Breaks for Union Members Despite New York’s Financial Problems

  New York’s Legislature is giving union dues payers a tax break. While a number of states (and even municipalities) have passed right-to-work laws so union workers do not have to forcibly pay union dues, New York has taken a decidedly different approach. On April 10, New York passed a law allowing union dues and agency fees to be completely tax deductible, effectively giving a tax break to union members.   New York’s union “dues deduction”…

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13 Apr 2017 Purple Communications NLRB Decision Teed Up for Appeal?

  In a curious brief decision last week, the NLRB determined Purple Communications Inc. had conceded that there existed no “special circumstances” justifying its corporate email policy. As a result, the board entered an order confirming that the company’s email policy violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).   As you may remember from a previous post, the NLRB’s 2014 decision in Purple Communications set off a bit of a firestorm when the board concluded…

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07 Apr 2017 A Dancer With an Attitude? Fired Vegas Show Dancer Pursues Workers’ Rights

  Many of my recent posts have focused on what I am dubbing the “new” unions. From Uber drivers to college athletes, the collection of workforces seeking to unionize and assert labor rights is growing more and more diverse (in spite of – or maybe as a result of – the shrinking number of unionized workers overall).   While scrolling through cases in search of such examples, I quickly stumbled on David Saxe Productions LLC…

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31 Mar 2017 Labor Secretary Nominee Inching Toward Confirmation

  A day after the ranking Democrat, Patty Murray (D-Wa), of the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (the Labor Committee) promised to vote against the nomination of Alexander Acosta to serve as Secretary of Labor, the Labor Committee nevertheless favorably  reported out the nomination of Acosta for consideration by the full senate. Acosta, the child of Cuban immigrants, is currently the dean of Florida International University’s law school and has served as an…

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27 Mar 2017 Summary of NLRB Decisions for Week of March 13 – 17

  The summary of NLRB decisions for the week of March 13-17 is now available.   Summarized Board Decisions   Taylor Motors, Inc.  (10-CA-141565, et al.; 365 NLRB No. 21)  Ft. Campbell, KY, March 13, 2017.   The Board (Members Pearce and McFerran; Acting Chairman Miscimarra dissenting) remanded this case to the Administrative Law Judge, who had found that the Respondent violated Section 8(a)(1) when it suspended and discharged an employee for protected conduct he engaged…

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