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BT Labor Relations - Current News and Practical Analysis
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23 Jul 2018 Don’t Pull The Tapes: Employer Dinged By NLRB For Surveilling Employee Union Activity On Video Archives

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) puts limits on what employers can do if/when their employees express interest in forming a union in the workplace. Generally, employers cannot threaten employees based on their union activity; interrogate workers about their union activity, sentiments, etc.; make promises to employees to induce them to forgo joining a union; or engage in surveillance (i.e., spying) on workers’ union organizing efforts. To the extent an employer violates the NLRA by…

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27 Jun 2018 Janus Decided: Supreme Court Invalidates Mandatory Public Union Fees

The U.S. Supreme Court waited until the last day of its term to release the much-anticipated decision over mandatory public union fees in Janus v. AFSCME. In a 5-4 decision along party lines, the court ruled that public unions cannot force non-members to pay dues, giving every public sector employee in the United States right-to-work protections. The opinion’s author, Justice Samuel Alito, held that “employees must choose to support the union before anything is taken…

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12 Jun 2018 UAW Sues Over UAW-Chrysler National Training Center Scandal

  Since July 2017 a number of federal indictments have been handed down involving former Fiat Chrysler executives and UAW union leaders. Rumors abound about a widening probe, targets of that probe, and more indictments. Now, in an apparent offensive move the UAW has filed a lawsuit in Oakland County Circuit Court.   The UAW’s June 8 lawsuit seeks to recover millions diverted from the UAW-Chrysler National Training Center.  Articles point out the UAW’s lawsuit…

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04 Jun 2018 Fractured Workforce: Union Scores “Micro-Unit” Election Win At Boeing

Employers breathed a collective sigh of relief at the end of last year when the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that it had overruled the agency’s infamous 2011 Specialty Healthcare decision that made it easier for unions to form “micro-units” (i.e., organize smaller segments of workforces at company sites).   For those unfamiliar with micro-units, when filing an election petition with the NLRB, a union must identify a legally appropriate group of employees (i.e.,…

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26 Jan 2018 Kentucky’s Right-to-Work Law Upheld by Court

  A Kentucky state court judge has granted a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Teamsters’ Local 89 from Louisville, which claimed that Kentucky’s new Right-to-Work Act constituted a “taking” by the state in violation of the Kentucky Constitution.   The state’s constitution prohibits the state from “taking … private property for public use without compensation.” The Teamsters argued that the new law constituted a “taking” because it allowed “freeloaders” to have the benefit…

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12 Dec 2017 And So It Begins…Trump NLRB Overturns Obama NLRB Precedent for First Time

  On Dec. 11, the newly constituted National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – which has a 3-2 pro-employer majority for the first time in nearly a decade due to appointments made by President Trump – overruled, for the first time, Obama-era precedent. Specifically, in a case involving the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), the NLRB overruled Obama-board precedent that made it more difficult for employers to resolve unfair labor practice complaints.   The NLRB released…

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20 Nov 2017 Unions Struggling to Negotiate Wage Increases on Par With 2016

  A collection of 590 union contracts negotiated in September and October reveals that on average, unions have been unable to obtain pay hikes at the levels they did last year. In 2016, the average first-year increase negotiated by unions was 2.8 percent. However, the most recent contracts from this year reveal an average first-year increase of only 2.5 percent. The data on these recent contracts show that private sector non-manufacturing unions have struggled more…

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16 Oct 2017 Survey Says: Incentive-Based Pay Systems Provide Higher Compensation Than Time-Based Models

  Anyone who has engaged in collective bargaining knows that, generally, unions throw their arms up at any proposal dealing with incentive-based pay versus time-based pay systems. Their rationale can range from distrust to unfounded beliefs that incentive-based pay somehow detracts from seniority. However, new data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) – a government entity that tracks labor data in the U.S. – gives some nice bargaining ammunition to employers looking to…

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21 Jun 2017 Untangling the Web? Senator Introduces Bill to Reverse Obama-Era Ambush Union Election Rules

  During President Obama’s two terms in office, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a slew of game-changing decisions and rules affecting labor-management relations in the U.S. Perhaps none more so than the “ambush election rules” that took effect in April 2015. Those rules dramatically shortened the time an employer has to campaign against a union prior to an election in its workplace, among other things, and they continue to make headlines.   On…

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13 Jun 2017 ‘BIG Little Lies’: Employer’s Inconsistent Practice Invalidates Employee Termination for Dishonesty, Says NLRB

  A little white lie never hurt anyone, right? That age-old saying appears to be false, at least when it comes to a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). On June 9, the NLRB issued its decision in Cellco Partnership, 365 NLRB No. 93 (2017), which found that an employer unlawfully discharged an employee for dishonesty because the employer had handled terminations for lying inconsistently.   In the case, employee Bianca Cunningham,…

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