Labor Relations Today

Labor Relations Today

Category Archives: Unions

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Employers Face High Hurdle To Show Employee Communications Concerning Labor Disputes Unprotected

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
Last week, the National Labor Relations Board upheld an Administrative Law Judge’s decision that a Jimmy John’s franchisor violated the National Labor Relations Act for disciplining and discharging several employees who were engaged in protected and concerted activity. In MikLin Enterprises, Inc., 361 NLRB No. 27 (Aug. 21, 2014), the Board determined that Respondent MikLin … Continue Reading

Prime Smacks SEIU With RICO Complaint

Posted in Federal Court Litigation, Quick Hits, Unions
Yesterday, Prime Healthcare Services, Inc. (Prime) filed a Complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, alleging that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and others conspired to force Prime to allow its employees to form a labor union.  The Complaint alleges in pertinent part that the SEIU has violated the Racketeering Influenced … Continue Reading

UFCW Contract Talks With Food 4 Less Struggling

Posted in Negotiations, Quick Hits, Unions
Last week, it was reported that talks between the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and Food 4 Less officials were not bearing fruit, increasing the likelihood that Food 4 Less’ 6,500 union workers would go on strike.  The parties’ most recent collective bargaining agreement expired in early June.  While there are no indications from … Continue Reading

Board Orders Reinstatement and Backpay of Employee Due To ‘Zero Tolerance’ Inconsistency

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Remedies, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
This past Monday, the National Labor Relations Board reversed an Administrative Law Judge’s decision and held that Nichols Aluminum, LLC had unlawfully discharged an employee in violation of the National Labor Relations Act because he engaged in concerted and protected activity.  In Nichols Aluminum, LLC, 361 NLRB No. 22 (August 18, 2014), Nichols’ longtime employee … Continue Reading

Teachers Unions Won’t Endorse Gov. Cuomo

Posted in Quick Hits, State/Local Issues, Unions
The New York State United Teachers Union (the union) announced yesterday that it will not be endorsing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s re-election campaign.  This is the second time in the last four years where the union has refused to endorse the Governor. The union, which is composed of approximately 600,000 members, has butted heads with the Governor … Continue Reading

Co. Sues Board For Exceeding Authority

Posted in Federal Court Litigation, NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
Sanderson Farms Inc. filed a complaint in federal district court in Mississippi against the National Labor Relations Board on Monday, alleging that the Board exceeded its authority by continuing to pursue unfair labor practice charges against Sanderson even though the charging party withdrew them.  Local 693 of the Laborers International Union of North America AFL-CIO … Continue Reading

New Vista, NLRB Square Off In 3d Circuit

Posted in Federal Court Litigation, NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
New Vista Nursing and Rehabilitation LC filed an Answer to a National Labor Relations Board brief last week in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that the court should decline the Board’s invitation to revisit a previous ruling denying the NLRB’s bargaining order.  The current dispute before the court stems from a July 2013 rehearing request from … Continue Reading

LaVerne Adjuncts Pull Election Petition

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Representation Elections, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
Earlier this week, union organizers working with adjunct professors at LaVerne University in California made the unusual move to withdraw their petition for a representation election.  The adjuncts actually held an election, which was supervised by the National Labor Relations Board in February of this year.  However, the votes were initially impounded and have yet … Continue Reading

Union Files ULP Charge Against Guitar Center

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
Earlier this week, the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) filed unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board against Guitar Center.  The complaint alleges that Guitar Center has bargained in bad faith and has also sought to punish its employees for organizing. The RWDSU began organizing efforts at a host of Guitar Center … Continue Reading

Met Strike On Pause

Posted in Negotiations, Quick Hits, Unions
Last week, we noted that unionized employees working at the Metropolitan Opera (the Met) in New York City were set to strike for the first time since the 1980s.  However, it looks like the strike has been set aside for the moment.  Negotiations between the 12 labor unions and Met management will take a break … Continue Reading

Board Orders Make Whole Remedy After Employee’s Weingarten Rights Violated

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, NLRB Decisions, Quick Hits, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
Last week, the National Labor Relations Board upheld and Administrative Law Judge’s determination that an employer violated the National Labor Relations Act by terminating an employee who refused to take a drug test before being allowed to speak to a union representative.  In Ralph’s Grocery, 361 NLRB No. 9 (July 31, 2014), an employee of … Continue Reading

Northwestern, CAPA Square Off In Reply Briefs

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Representation Elections, Unions
Both Northwestern University and the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) filed reply briefs with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) yesterday to further strengthen their respective positions regarding whether Northwestern’s football players should be able to form a labor union.  The reader may recall that the players filed a representation petition last January.  NLRB regional director Peter … Continue Reading

Met Threatens To Lock Out Workers

Posted in Interest Arbitration, Negotiations, Quick Hits, Unions
When one lockout ends, another begins?  That’s the message coming from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, anyway.  Officials representing the Metropolitan Opera (the Met) have announced that they are ready and willing to lock out unionized employees as early as tomorrow unless the parties can agree to a new collective bargaining agreement by … Continue Reading

Locked Out Kelloggs Employees Win Right To Return To Work

Posted in Federal Court Litigation, Negotiations, NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Remedies, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Samuel Mays ordered that Kelloggs must immediately end its lock out of 220 workers at its Memphis, TN plant.  The Judge’s Order provides that Kelloggs made use of “creative semantics” to make changes to its collective bargaining agreement with the Bakery, Confectionary, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (the Union).  … Continue Reading

Senator Reintroduces Union Financial Transparency Rules

Posted in Department of Labor, Legislation, Quick Hits, Senate, Unions
The Washington Times reports that earlier today, Senatore John Thune (R-SD) introduced a bill that would bring back financial transparency rules for labor unions.  The three sets of rules promulgated by the Department of Labor were proposed during the administration of President George W. Bush.  President Obama did away with the proposed regulations when he … Continue Reading

NBA Players Elect New Union Chief

Posted in Negotiations, Quick Hits, Representation Elections, Unions
The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) elected Michele Roberts as its new union chief.  The union for NBA players was without an appointed executive since 2013, when former chief Billy Hunter stepped aside after an internal investigation.  Ms. Roberts becomes the first woman ever to head a major sports union. Interestingly, Ms. Roberts has few … Continue Reading

SEIU Funds Fight For Fifteen Gathering

Posted in Quick Hits, Special Interests, Unions
The Boston Globe reports that last week, over 1,000 fast food workers from across the country gathered in a Chicago suburb to discuss ways to raise their wages.  The movement, colloquially dubbed the “Fight for Fifteen,” has been gaining steam since its inception in November of 2012.  Last week’s convention is believed to be the … Continue Reading

Board ALJ Nixes Mercedes’ Handbook Policy

Posted in NLRA, NLRB, Quick Hits, Unfair Labor Practices, Unions
Last week, a National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge determined that Mercedes-Benz’s employee handbook contained an overly broad and unlawful policy.  The complaint brought by the United Auto Workers (UAW) alleged that the policy, which prohibited employees from passing out nonwork-related notices during work time or in working areas, violated the National Labor Relations … Continue Reading

IN Judge Throws Out State’s Right To Work Law

Posted in Quick Hits, State/Local Issues, Unions
An Indiana Judge determined that the state’s controversial “right to work” law runs afoul of the Indiana Constitution and cannot stand.  The state’s attorney general, Greg Zoeller, heartily disagreed with the ruling and vowed that the state would seek an immediate stay.  The state’s “right to work” law was issued in 2012 and makes it … Continue Reading

NLRB Finds Micro-Unit at Macy’s Appropriate; Effectively Eliminates Retail Industry’s Presumption of Wall-to-Wall Units

Posted in Micro Units, NLRA, NLRB, Representation Elections, Unions
The National Labor Relations Board yesterday issued the long-awaited Macy’s, Inc. decision.  The Board majority consisting of Chairman Pearce and Members Hirozawa and Schiffer determined that the petitioned-for unit of cosmetics and fragrance employees at a Macy’s retail store is appropriate, while Member Miscimarra dissented by asserting that not only is the petitioned-for unit inappropriate, … Continue Reading

Met Raises Spectre Of Lockout

Posted in Negotiations, Quick Hits, Unions
The Metropolitan Opera notified union members that the famed opera house will lock out its union employees if union and management officials fail to agree to a new collective bargaining agreement.  The current contract is set to expire at the end of this month.  Union employees were advised in a letter that they should prepare themselves for a work … Continue Reading