Will Trump’s DOL Classify Worker Centers as Unions?

I first covered the budding Worker Center movement here. The takeaway from that blog post was: But worker centers are not “labor organizations” – they are 501(c)(3) charities – so they are not regulated as heavily as unions nor do they pay taxes. Worker centers cannot engage in unfair labor practices and do not have… Continue reading Will Trump’s DOL Classify Worker Centers as Unions?

Worker Center Erroneously Alleged Walmart Unlawfully Fired Strikers

This case illustrates how worker centers and labor unions work closely together when trying to organize a company. The UFCW, which has unsuccessfully tried to organize Walmart for years, utilized its worker center OUR Walmart to allege that Walmart committed unfair labor practices when it fired two employees after they participated in demonstrations led by… Continue reading Worker Center Erroneously Alleged Walmart Unlawfully Fired Strikers

Worker Center ROC Admits It’s a Modern Union

Jose Oliva, a director for the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a prominent worker center, recently explained how worker centers are nonprofit groups that are an alternate form of labor organizing. Most major unions have established and funded their own worker centers to further their own causes. According to Oliva, a union can collect dues from… Continue reading Worker Center ROC Admits It’s a Modern Union

UFCW Again Admits it Owns the Corporate Campaign Worker Center OUR Wal-Mart

Unions are required to file annual LM-2s that transparently track union finances and business dealings. The United Food and Commercial Workers’ union (UFCW) recently filed its LM-2 again admitting that it is the front group for OUR Wal-Mart. Specifically, UFCW’s response to question 11(b) states: “The UFCW has a subsidiary organization maintained in Washington DC… Continue reading UFCW Again Admits it Owns the Corporate Campaign Worker Center OUR Wal-Mart

Unions use Non-Union Worker Centers to Do Heaving Lifting of Union Organizing

Worker centers may be the biggest thing non-union companies never heard of. They are pro-union advocates who organize rallies and protests, try to engage workers into acting collectively, and seek to get companies to discuss wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment. If it sounds a lot like unions to you, it should. Unions… Continue reading Unions use Non-Union Worker Centers to Do Heaving Lifting of Union Organizing

NLRB Removes Consent Requirement for Temp Workers’ Inclusion in Bargaining Units.

This is an issue that has ping-ponged at the NLRB over the years. For decades, the rule was that if a union petitioned to represent direct / permanent employees at a work site along with temporary employees provided by an outside entity, both of the employers (the company and the temporary agency) would have to… Continue reading NLRB Removes Consent Requirement for Temp Workers’ Inclusion in Bargaining Units.

Non-Union Workers Lawfully Filed Unfair Labor Practice Charges and Went on Strike

The Warehouse Worker Resource Center, a non-profit employee advocacy group, filed an unfair labor practice charge against a warehouse company and affiliated agencies that supply the company with some of its workers. The charge alleged that the company interfered with the workers’ concerted protected activities under the National Labor Relations Act. Allegedly, the company’s general… Continue reading Non-Union Workers Lawfully Filed Unfair Labor Practice Charges and Went on Strike

More Temporary Workers Coming to a Union Near You

The Sheet Metal Workers Local 19 petitioned the NLRB to represent employees employed solely by Miller & Anderson, temporary employees employed solely by Tradesmen International, and temporary employees employed jointly by Miller & Anderson and Tradesmen International. Under Board law in Oakwood Care Center, the unit combining temporary employees and regular employees of a sole… Continue reading More Temporary Workers Coming to a Union Near You

Employee Wrongly Terminated for Discussing Discipline with Co-Worker

An employee of a Memphis, Tennessee distribution center for Philips Electronics received a written warning at the conclusion of an investigation into a sexual harassment complaint made against him by a co-worker. A note was then placed in his personnel file indicating he was “aware that disciplinary action forms are confidential and should not be… Continue reading Employee Wrongly Terminated for Discussing Discipline with Co-Worker

Do as I Say, Not as I Do: Big Labor Backers to “Schedules That Work Act” Seeking to End Irregular Work Shifts Ironically Require Their Workers to Work Irregular Hours

A new bill titled the “Schedules that Work Act” is sponsored by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif. and backed by a variety of Big Labor organizations such as the AFL-CIO and the United Food and Commercial Workers, as well as liberal activist groups Demos, Restaurant Opportunities Center United, and the Retail Action Project. This bill is… Continue reading Do as I Say, Not as I Do: Big Labor Backers to “Schedules That Work Act” Seeking to End Irregular Work Shifts Ironically Require Their Workers to Work Irregular Hours

Steelworkers Playbook on How They Plan to Reform Labor Law

The United Steelworkers of America recently wrapped its annual convention where it called for “true labor law reform in the United States” and where it vowed to enact these changes: Workers should have a right to a representation election within 30 days of filing a petition for one Workers should have access to neutral voting… Continue reading Steelworkers Playbook on How They Plan to Reform Labor Law

Fast Food Workers and Pot Pushers are the Same Thing to Unions

Tomorrow is supposed to be a nationwide fast food worker strike. Organized by worker centers representing labor unions, this strike is the latest outburst by unions seeking to organize the largely non-union fast food industry. With union membership at (or near) an historic low, unions are trying to organize fast food workers and newly legalized… Continue reading Fast Food Workers and Pot Pushers are the Same Thing to Unions

Unions Target Home Workers

As posted June 19, 2013 at http://online.wsj.com As the population ages, more people are being paid by the government to care for the elderly in their homes. That has prompted unions to try to organize more such workers, who typically receive modest wages and few or no benefits. But others question whether these workers even… Continue reading Unions Target Home Workers

President Trump’s Proposed Budget Eliminates Union-Funding Harwood Grant

President Trump’s budget slashed the Department of Labor’s funding from $12.2 billion this year to $9.6 billion next year. This equals a 21% cut. On the chopping block is the DOL’s Susan Harwood Training Grant Program. You don’t know what the Susan Harwood Grant is? I didn’t either. The Susan Harwood grant gives out grants… Continue reading President Trump’s Proposed Budget Eliminates Union-Funding Harwood Grant

Unions Seek to Reverse the Elusiveness of Organizing Retail

Since 1980 real wages in retail have fallen by 11% while on-call scheduling, involuntary part-time work, and “clopening” (where workers lock up the store at night and reopen the next morning) have, according to unions, wreaked havoc with workers’ lives. But the retail sector has one of the lowest rates of unionization in the economy… Continue reading Unions Seek to Reverse the Elusiveness of Organizing Retail

Organized Labor Stakes Future Success on Non-Traditional Measures

As followers of Roetzel Recap: Labor Relations know, the labor movement is slowly shifting away from traditional boots on the ground union organizing to a more holistic approach of worker centers and getting municipalities to change ordinances to benefit unions, to name a few. At a recent conference geared toward union organizers, it was noted… Continue reading Organized Labor Stakes Future Success on Non-Traditional Measures

Subway Franchise Employees Vote In Favor of Union Validating Union’s Efforts to Organize Fast Food Industry

Employees of a Subway franchise in Bloomsbury, N.J. voted 8-5 to join the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) Local 108. While this is great fodder for unions to hark the success of its 3-year effort to organize the fast food industry, these 13 employees are hardly the poster children for a successful campaign.… Continue reading Subway Franchise Employees Vote In Favor of Union Validating Union’s Efforts to Organize Fast Food Industry

Legal Developments’ Potential Impact on Franchisees

Labor unions are targeting franchisees and the restaurant industry as a whole, and they are not alone. Worker centers, including Fast Food Forward and Worker’s Organizing Committee are generally closely affiliated with, i.e. fully funded by, labor unions, and are the brains behind the fast food strikes, Black Friday strikes at Wal-Mart, and raising the… Continue reading Legal Developments’ Potential Impact on Franchisees

Complaint Issues Against UFCW for Unlawful Coercion of Walmart Employees

Region 7 of the NLRB in Detroit, Michigan issued a complaint, alleging that the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) violated Section the NLRA by restraining and coercing Walmart employees during a 2012 Black Friday protest at a store in Dearborn, Michigan. According to the complaint, an organizing director for UFCW Local 876 and… Continue reading Complaint Issues Against UFCW for Unlawful Coercion of Walmart Employees

LA Times Publishes Bogus SEIU-Led “Poll” About the Restaurant Industry

The Los Angeles Times recently reported on a “poll” by Hart Research purporting to show widespread labor law violations in the restaurant industry – an industry currently under intense unionization efforts from many major labor unions. The “poll” was commissioned by SEIU worker center “Low Pay is Not OK” – the group orchestrating strikes at… Continue reading LA Times Publishes Bogus SEIU-Led “Poll” About the Restaurant Industry

Sham Litigation Violates Secondary Boycott Provisions of NLRA

The takeaway from this case is pretty simple: a union that files 14 baseless lawsuits against a company developing a grocery store engages in sham litigation and violates the National Labor Relations Act’s law against pressuring a secondary (or neutral) employer to cease doing business with the primary employer because the union has a dispute… Continue reading Sham Litigation Violates Secondary Boycott Provisions of NLRA

Unions have a Love-Hate Relationship with President Trump

President Trump has championed many issues straight out of organized labor’s wish list – he is pressing manufactures not to ship jobs overseas, he has promised $1 trillion in infrastructure spending, he has threatened a 35% tariff to slow down Mexican imports, and he has vowed to overhaul NAFTA. While President Reagan lined up support… Continue reading Unions have a Love-Hate Relationship with President Trump

Teamsters Focuses on Organizing the Logistics Industry

This post hits close to home – like really close – since Columbus, Ohio is flush with logistics industry companies, warehouses, airports, and thousands of freight trucks. That’s what you get with “greater access to the US market within a 10-hour drive than any other major metro.” And the floundering Teamsters Union wants a piece… Continue reading Teamsters Focuses on Organizing the Logistics Industry

President Trump’s Anticipated Effect on Workplace Policies

In 2016 the National Labor Relations Board maintained its generally pro-union, anti-employer stance in ways that affect both unionized and non-unionized employers. The Board currently has two openings, which, once President Trump fills, will result in a pro-business NLRB. However, due to the Board’s rules, employers might not see immediate improvement. After all it wasn’t… Continue reading President Trump’s Anticipated Effect on Workplace Policies

Keeping Up with the Changing Landscape of Joint Employer

NLRB Tightens its Joint Employer Standard In 1984 the NLRB issued a decision known as TLI, Inc. that set the standard of when it would find two or more companies to be joint employers. There, joint-employment would only be found when both entities actually exercised direct or immediate control over the employment of the same workers.… Continue reading Keeping Up with the Changing Landscape of Joint Employer

Collective Bargaining: Short Term Wage Increase Equals Long Term Wage Decrease

Unions do more than raise labor costs of employers with whom they negotiate. They also reduce wages and job growth in states where they are most prevalent. That’s the conclusion of a new monograph published by the Washington, D.C. based Competitive Enterprise Institute titled “The Unintended Consequences of Collective Bargaining.” The authors, economist Lowell Gallaway… Continue reading Collective Bargaining: Short Term Wage Increase Equals Long Term Wage Decrease

Employees Reinstated Despite Post-Discharge Conduct Unless Serving Time in Prison

Employee Neel began working at a call center in early 2011 that solicited donations for non-profits. He was instrumental in organizing workers into a union, was elected union steward, and became a member on the union negotiating committee. Neel was fired in 2012 for breaking multiple protocols while on the phone. Yet, the Board ruled… Continue reading Employees Reinstated Despite Post-Discharge Conduct Unless Serving Time in Prison

Written Warnings Not Needed to be Negotiated with Union During First Contract Bargaining

In 2012, the National Labor Relations Board issued the Alan Ritchey decision that changed the landscape of disciplining employees while negotiating with a union for an initial collective bargaining agreement. Until Alan Ritchey, companies that lost a union election were free to continue operating as non-union until a union contract was signed. Under Alan Ritchey,… Continue reading Written Warnings Not Needed to be Negotiated with Union During First Contract Bargaining

Union Buttons in Patient Care Areas, Allowed

Companies frequently stop workers from wearing union buttons to show support for a union. This is permissible under the right circumstances. However, most companies, including this one, do not know when those circumstances are. The Union representing workers at a Health Bridge care center posted fliers and wore stickers on their clothes that said “Busted”… Continue reading Union Buttons in Patient Care Areas, Allowed

NLRB Widens Weingarten Rights

When an employer held a pre-disciplinary investigative interview of an employee for possible fraudulent Medicaid billing and timekeeping practices, a coworker who served as the union steward attended the interview as the employee’s Weingarten representative. During the interview, the union steward repeatedly asked the employer to explain the purpose of the questioning, and the union steward… Continue reading NLRB Widens Weingarten Rights

Hotels and Unions Follow Auto Industry’s Pattern Bargaining

Union contracts between UNITE HERE – the largest union representing hotel workers – and hotels across the country are starting to look very similar. In 2009, 2010, and 2011 UNITE HERE took a very aggressive, combative approach to negotiations that resulted in strikes, boycotts, and high profile acts of civil disobedience. The union approached hotels… Continue reading Hotels and Unions Follow Auto Industry’s Pattern Bargaining

AFL-CIO’s Blueprint to Add Millions of Non-Union Members

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO believes that if unions are having a hard time increasing their ranks, they can at least restore their clout by building a broad coalition to advance a worker-friendly political and economic agenda. He will invite millions of non-union workers into the labor movement even if their own workplaces are… Continue reading AFL-CIO’s Blueprint to Add Millions of Non-Union Members

What is a Duty to Bargain in Good Faith?

The duty to bargain in good faith is found in Section 8(d) of the National Labor Relations Act.and governs negotiating collective bargaining agreements between labor unions and management. Both unions and employers must bargain in good faith. To bargain in good faith means to meet at reasonable times and confer in good faith with respect to wages, hours,… Continue reading What is a Duty to Bargain in Good Faith?