Michigan AG Enters Detroit Bankruptcy Fray: Maria Chutchian of Law360 ($$) reports that Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has come to the aid of retirees who have been caught in the black hole of the Detroit Bankruptcy. Yesterday, Schuette stated that any attempts to decrease retirees’ pensions in response to the city’s bankruptcy filing would be illegal, as the Michigan Constitution clearly prohibits such an action.
“Detroit’s $20 billion indebtedness is simply staggering,” Schuette said. “Equally staggering is the financial uncertainty of pension benefits relied upon by Michigan seniors living on fixed incomes and anticipating a safe and secure retirement after a lifetime of work.”
The Bankruptcy action is already somewhat muddled and confusing because there are parallel proceedings in both state and federal court. Two weeks ago, a Michigan state court judge placed a halt to the action, but last week a federal court judge allowed the matter under his authority to proceed. As this matter has significant implications for public-sector union employees, we will be following it closely and will make sure to keep you in the know.
Senate Expected to Confirm NLRB Nominees This Week: U.S. News and World Report writes that the Senate is expected to hold an up or down vote this week, possibly even today, regarding President Obama’s nominees to the National Labor Relations Board. Those nominations, specifically Kent Hirozawa, Nancy Shiffer, and current Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce, have been held up by delay tactics until about a week ago, when Senators reached a deal in order to avoid the dreaded "nuclear option." This is significant news because, if the nominees are confirmed as expected, the Board will have a full quorum of five members for the first time in years. Accordingly, some much needed certainty will be brought to the Board’s decisions, particularly in light of the upcoming Noel Canning showdown in the Supreme Court.
MLB May Axe A-ROD Under CBA: Fox News reports that Major League Baseball (MLB) is mulling its options regarding the probable suspension of admitted steroid and performance-enhancing-drug user Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez, who plays for the New York Yankees, has yet to take an at-bat in the Majors this season due to injuries. He may not get the chance to do so even when healthy because MLB may suspend him pursuant to the League’s current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the players, which would allow the suspension to take immediate effect. On the other hand, if the League chooses to suspend him under its drug rules, Rodriguez would be able to immediately appeal to an arbitrator, which would block the suspension until after the arbitrator was able to rule on the merits. We will keep you posted on this unfortunate saga, as it yet again gives Baseball a black eye regarding drug and steroid usage.
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