Hostess, Unions Obtain Court Approval to Modify Contracts: Lisa Uhlman of Law360.com ($) writes that a federal bankruptcy judge allowed Hostess Brands Inc. and certain unions to enter into settlement agreements regarding labor issues.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert D. Drain approved the settlements, which modify collective bargaining agreements Hostess and its affiliated debtors have with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters' various local affiliates; with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union; and with several other unions working with the debtors.
Union's Duty to Nonmembers Might Go Before the Supreme Court: Abigail Rubenstein of Law360.com ($) reports that Teamsters Local 523 is urging the Supreme Court to resolve a circuit split regarding whether unions can give preference to members of its bargaining unit over employees it does not represent.
Interstate Brands, which has changed its name to Hostess Brands Inc., was consolidating bargaining units consisting of drivers for its Dolly Madison, Hostess and Wonder Bread products, and since the Teamsters local represented both units it agreed to “dovetail” the seniority of workers in both units. But because Rammage, who had worked for the company for 15 years, had not been a part of either unit, he was put at the end of the combined unit's seniority list.
The NLRB concluded that the treatment of Rammage was a violation of the National Labor Relations Act, and the Tenth Circuit agreed.
The Tenth Circuit's decision conflicts with a First Circuit opinion striking down a similar NLRB order.
Walmart Workers Hold Sit-In, Walk Off Job: Indybay.org carries a press release stating that workers at a Richmond, California Walmart held a sit-in and then walked off the job. The workers claim to be on strike "in protest of attempts to silence and retaliate workers.... At the Richmond store, Walmart workers have been working hard to help the store reach today's grand re-opening date all while facing illegal intimidation from a store manager, including racist remarks and threats of physical violence."