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BT Labor Relations - Current News and Practical Analysis
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25 Jan 2018 Indiana’s Union Membership Falls 12.5 Percent

  Is Indiana’s Right-to-Work Act adversely affecting union membership throughout the state? That seems to be the logical conclusion based upon statistics released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).   According to the recently released BLS numbers, Indiana had 266,000 dues-paying union members in 2017, down from 304,000 union members in 2016. That’s a 12.5 percent decline in union membership.   Those 266,000 union members are 8.9 percent of Indiana’s total 2017 workforce. In…

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23 Jan 2018 Purple in the Face: Union Urges Federal Court to Permit Non-Business Use of Company Email Systems by Employees

  Many companies have policies that limit or outright restrict the use of their email systems by employees for non-work related purposes, but are those policies lawful? According to an infamous Dec. 2014 ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – Purple Communications – such policies may run afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).   Specifically, in Purple Communications, the board concluded that the company’s email policy completely banning personal use of…

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22 Jan 2018 CLOSED: NLRB Among Agencies Closed During Government Shutdown

  Thinking about filing something with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) today? You’ll have to put those plans on hold, as the agency finds itself with many others that have been temporarily shut down while the country’s budget impasse continues. The NLRB has posted its contingency plan on its website.   The contingency plan notes that limited services, such as the Office of the Inspector General’s hotline, will remain in effect because they are…

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19 Jan 2018 Potential Organizational Changes at the NLRB Could Drastically Affect Labor Board Case Handling

  The way the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) handles charges, representation cases, and other everyday issues may soon see significant change. According to a recent report by Bloomberg BNA, NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb recently held a conference call with board regional directors where he discussed potential changes to the way the NLRB is structured and handles cases.   Specifically, the report states: “[Robb] told the directors he is considering reorganizing the agency’s 26…

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19 Jan 2018 Trump Fills Final Vacancy on NLRB, Returns NLRB to Republican-Led Majority

  Employers may have thought the good news emanating from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the last month has died down. But things are only just getting started. On Jan. 12, President Trump filled the final vacant position on the NLRB, replacing the recently departing board chair Phillip Miscimarra with John Ring, a management-side labor law attorney with Morgan Lewis. This appointment would return the five-member board to a 3-2 Republican-led majority, and…

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17 Jan 2018 How Will the Booming Economy, Corporate Tax Cuts, and Healthcare Uncertainty Affect Labor Negotiations in 2018?

  Bloomberg BNA recently published a report predicting that labor unions will be seeking to score more in wages and benefits in their 2018 collective bargaining agreements than in recent years. This is in light of the relative hot economy and significant corporate tax cuts going into effect. The fact that many non-union companies have publicly announced higher wages and bonuses for their employees based on the tax overhaul may encourage the unions to be…

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12 Jan 2018 Union Sabotages Its Own Request For Information, Says NLRB

  The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) generally places few limits on unions’ ability to request and receive information from employers related to members’ terms and conditions of employment, but a recent case demonstrates there are limits. On Jan. 9, the NLRB issued a decision in a case against IronTiger Logistics, Inc. in which the Machinists union alleged the company failed to timely and adequately respond to an extensive information request related to work assignments…

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10 Jan 2018 Dirty Money: Report Shows Union Corruption Still Widespread

  Unfortunately, union corruption continues across the country. According to a recent report by the Detroit Free Press, “U.S. Department of Labor documents obtained by the Free Press show embezzlement from hundreds of union offices nationwide over the past decade. In just the past two years, more than 300 union locations have discovered theft, often resulting in more than one person charged in each instance, the records show. Two UAW incidents uncovered in 2017, one…

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09 Jan 2018 Union Retirees Win Certification In Class Action Regarding Lifetime Medical Insurance Benefits

  Retiree benefits are a huge issue for many employers – from pure economic cost to administrative burdens. Accordingly, some companies have moved to limit or cut such benefits entirely. Of course, when doing so, companies need to navigate various legal issues, including under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and, to the extent a union is in the picture, the National Labor Relations Act and/or Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA). A federal court…

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08 Jan 2018 A Hail Mary? Union Fights To Keep NLRB Joint-Employer Case In Federal Court

  On Jan. 4, the Teamsters union filed a motion with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in the infamous Browning-Ferris case requesting that the court reconsider its Dec. 22 order that remanded the case back to the NLRB. The reason? The Teamsters argue that one of the new NLRB members’ law firms was involved in the related Browning-Ferris case. The case was on appeal to the court from the NLRB.  …

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