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27 Feb 2012 NLRB Considers Pilot Program to Consolidate Regional Offices

In an effort to improve efficiencies in its regional structure, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is considering a pilot program that would consolidate Regional Offices in St. Louis, Mo. and Kansas City, Kan. The program would also remove the sub-regional office in Peoria, Ill. from the jurisdiction of the St. Louis office and place it in the hands of the regional office in Indianapolis, Ind.   The NLRB’s press release can be found here. btlaborBT Labor Relations is managed…

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22 Feb 2012 Fight Over Indiana Right-to-Work Moves to Court With New Union Lawsuit

Reports are surfacing this afternoon that the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150 has filed a complaint in federal court challenging Indiana’s new right-to-work law on constitutional grounds, claiming the law violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by treating similar classes of workers differently. The Associated Press is reporting that the suit names Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Attorney General Greg Zoeller, and Labor Commissioner Lori Torres as defendants.   The U.S. Supreme…

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21 Feb 2012 NLRB Weekly Summary: February 6-10, 2012

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) weekly summary of decisions for last week, February 6-10, 2012, is now available on the Board’s website. You can access the report by clicking here. 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…

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20 Feb 2012 Any hope for right-to-work in Michigan?

The question of whether right-to-work may spill over into neighboring states continues to be debated following the passage of Indiana’s right-to-work legislation earlier this month.  We highlighted the status of the issue among Ohio voters last week.  Michigan has also been at the forefront of this debate, with the issue more recently becoming entangled in the contentious upcoming Republican Michigan primary.   Although no legislation has been officially introduced, several Michigan legislators have indicated their…

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17 Feb 2012 B&T’s Ken Yerkes Speaks on Indiana Right to Work

Ken Yerkes, chair of Barnes & Thornburg’s Labor & Employment Law Department appeared on the Indiana statewide television program, Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick, to discuss Right to Work and what employers should consider leading up to implementation. Below is a link to an excerpt from the show. It will appear at various times this weekend throughout the state of Indiana (see second link below). In the coming days a link to the full interview will also appear on the Inside…

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17 Feb 2012 RTW: Are Unions Looking for Early Renewals of CBAs to Lock-In Dues? Is Ohio Next?

We’re hearing reports that many unions are approaching employers in the wake of Indiana’s new Right-to-Work Act to see if the employers are willing to sign early before the March 14 deadline. Remember that the Act provides that if employers are in collective bargaining agreements as of March 14, 2012 that have a union security clause, then employees will be stuck paying dues at least until the expiration date of that CBA.   We’ve already heard reports that…

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13 Feb 2012 In the Wake of Indiana’s Passage of the Right to Work law, Questions Remain Unanswered

Less than two weeks ago, Indiana became the first state in the Rust Belt to pass a Right-to-Work law intended to solidify employee choice for union dues and make the state more economically attractive to outside business. However, certain questions regarding the payment of union dues remain unanswered.   For example, when an employee separates his employment and/or resigns from the union, is that employee still required to pay union dues?  Under the current state of…

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10 Feb 2012 Federal Right-To-Work Statute Subject of Congressional Hearings

On February 8, 2012, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, led by Chairman Darrell Issa of California, held a hearing entitled, “The Right to Choose: Protecting Union Workers from Forced Political Contributions.” The hearing’s purpose was to “examine the process by which union dues are collected and how transparent unions are about this process. . . [was] not an examination of the validity of unions or their right to exist, but rather…

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09 Feb 2012 “Major” Strikes Skyrocketed In 2011

While most employers treat any strike as “major,” the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) labels only work stoppages involving 1,000 or more employees as major. The BLS just released the major work stoppage data for 2011. The data, which includes both strikes and lockouts, revealed the five-year highs totals in number of major strikes and numbers of workers involved and a four-year high in the number of idle days involved. The number of major…

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08 Feb 2012 NLRB Quickie Election Rules Under Attack

As has been discussed in this blog recently, the NLRB has adopted “quickie election” rules that, among other union-favoring changes, greatly shorten the already-brief period of time from the filing of an election petition to the time the election takes place. These new rules are scheduled to go into effect on April 30, 2012. In December of last year, the United States Chamber of Commerce and the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District…

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