Labor Relations Today
@LRToday Morning Round-Up: February 21, 2013
Texas Legislature Introduces Secret Ballot Bills: Jess Davis of Law360 ($$) reports that identical bills have been introduced in the Texas House and Senate that would require labor union elections to be conducted by secret ballot. Furthermore, a majority of those who would be affected by union representation would have to sign on in order to approve union representation, as opposed to the current rule that only requires a simple majority of those voting. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott heaped praise upon the legislation.
“By enhancing our existing protections for Texas workers and developing a Workers Bill of Rights, the initiatives announced today can help ensure that the state of Texas continues to be a national leader in job creation and economic prosperity,” Abbott said.
Labor leaders in the state decried the bill, saying it would have a negative impact on police and firefighters in particular. We here at @LRToday will keep you updated as this legislation moves forward.
MI Woman Files ULP Over Facebook Firing: Jonathan Lowe of WNEM.com reports that a woman in Saginaw, MI has filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against her former employer after being fired for comments she posted on Facebook. While the exact details are unclear at the moment, it appears that the former employee had made several disparaging comments about her employer on the popular social-networking site. When management discovered her postings, she was discharged.
If this case moves forward and is prosecuted by AGC Lafe Solomon, it could provide more needed-guidance regarding the Board's social media policies, which at the moment are unclear to say the least. We will be watching this case closely as it develops.
Labor Group in CA Pushing Immigration Reform: Andrew Galvin of the Orange County Register writes that members of the Orange County Labor Federation (OCLF) rallied in front of Anaheim City Hall yesterday in an effort to help stir up support for comprehensive immigration reform. The OCLF, in particular, is pushing for a path to citizenship for America's more than 11 million undocumented workers.
Tefere Gebre, executive director of the Orange County Labor Federation, which organized the event, said labor representatives will be "visiting every congressional office multiple times," activating a "heavy letter writing campaign" and running phone banks in a "good old grass roots campaign to do the right thing."
The OCLF has indicated that the rally was not a "press conference," but instead marked the beginning of a long and loud campaign advocating for reforms.
In related news, members of the AFL-CIO have been meeting with U.S. Chamber of Commerce advocates in order to come to an agreement regarding temporary visas for low-skilled workers. Thus far, little progress has been made. As any change in immigration policy will have a ripple-effect through the world of labor law, we will be following this story closely.
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