NHL Players' Association Explores Disclaimer of Interest While League Files Suit: The Associated Press reports that NHL players will vote whether they will grant the National Hockey League Players' Association's executive board the authority to dissolve the union.
Two-thirds of the union's membership must vote in favor of allowing the executive board to file a ''disclaimer of interest,'' a source told The Canadian Press on Saturday. Votes will be cast electronically over a five-day period that ends Thursday. If the measure passes, the 30-member executive board would have until Jan. 2 to file the disclaimer.
The union is taking steps toward breaking up even after the NHL started mounting a legal challenge against it.
On Friday, the NHL filed a class-action complaint which asked a federal court in New York to make a declaration on the legality of the lockout.
The NHL has also filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board.
Situation Critical for Labor Unions: Scott Martelle of The Daily Beast writes how Michigan's new right to work law is but the latest blow against organized labor and how unions are becoming irrelevant.
Over the past couple of generations, union strength in America has slid from significant to near-irrelevance. The reasons are myriad. The shift in the economic base from a heavily unionized industrial sector to a lightly unionized service sector. Post-Reagan federal labor policies that mean the decision to strike often is a decision to get replaced. Corporate decisions, aided by national policy, shifting work to overseas factories that offer a fraction of domestic labor costs.
But the more pervasive problem is labor’s image, and a related erosion of public support, a tectonic shift from two generations ago that has left the best—if flawed—agent for the interests of working-class America struggling for its very existence. And at a time, it should be noted, when working Americans desperately need an agent fighting on their behalf.
Port Operator Accused of Surveillance: Michael Welles Shapiro of The Daily Press reports that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 63 filed an unfair labor practice charge against APM Terminals alleging that the employer engaged in eavesdropping on union workers to gain an edge in contract negotiations.
A group of port employers that includes APM is currently negotiating with East Coast dockworker's union, the International Longshoremen's Association, over a contract covering about 15,000 workers at ports from Texas to Maine. Workers recently voted to strike if an agreement isn't reached by Dec. 29.
Though a labor leader criticized the alleged eavesdropping on the ILA's website, the issue doesn't appear to be impacting negotiations.