MLB Pushes Forward in Steroid Fight: Carolina Bolado of Law360 ($$) writes that Major League Baseball (MLB) has filed a memorandum with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that it’s lawsuit against Biogenesis, a laboratory linked to the production of anabolic steroids, is not preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA). Biogenesis and its co-defendants have argued that a lawsuit cannot be brought against a third party to a collective bargaining agreement because the court would have to look to the agreement itself in order to determine whether a breach had in fact occurred. MLB, in its memorandum, vehemently disagreed.
"Unlike the cases heavily relied upon by the defendants and non-party movants, this is not a case where the plaintiff has a collective bargaining relationship with any of the defendants, and therefore, MLB cannot address the defendants’ tortious interference through the collective bargaining or grievance process or under the auspices of the National Labor Relations Board," MLB said in the memorandum.
MLB and its players have come under a great deal of scrutiny recently because of baseball’s steroid scandal. While neither party responded to a request for comment, expect to hear much more about this fight in the coming weeks. We will certainly be watching and will keep you posted.
NLRB Picks Pledge to Remain Impartial: Melanie Trottman of the Wall Street Journal writes that National Labor Relations Board nominees Kent Hirozawa and Nancy Shiffer pledged to remain impartial during at-times heavy grilling from Republicans during their confirmation hearing yesterday. Senators were particularly skeptical of Shiffer’s vow because of her past affiliation with the AFL-CIO. However, Shiffer stated that she understood the importance of maintaining a healthy balance in the world of labor relations.
The Senate is expected to approve President Obama’s nominees in the next few weeks, which means that the Board will have a full complement of five validly-appointed members for the first time in years. We will be following the rest of the confirmation process closely and will keep you up to date on any new developments.
Non-Union Walmart Warehouse Workers Strike: Josh Eidelson of The Nation writes that unrepresented workers employed at a Walmart warehouse in California will walk off the job this morning in protest of purported retaliation for raising safety concerns. Approximately 30 of the warehouse’s 200 employees are expected to walk the pickets. The strike, backed by Warehouse Workers United, comes almost 2 months after employees began reporting their safety concerns to management and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health. In response, the workers allege that their hours have been cut drastically. We will keep you posted as this story moves forward.