MLS Refs File Second ULP Charge: Steven Goff of the Washington Post reports that referees working for Major League Soccer were threatened with retaliation by management officials for engaging in collective bargaining negotiations.  10 MLS referees, all of whom are represented by the Professional Soccer Referees Association, were allegedly approached at the beginning of February by a management official and told that they would never again work in MLS.  Charges were filed over the matter this week with the National Labor Relations Board.

The charge comes on the heels of an earlier charge filed against management officials by the referees, wherein the refs allege that management was engaging in "regressive bargaining."  To put these charges into context, the referees are in the midst of their first-ever collective bargaining negotiations with management officials, so a few bumps in the road can certainly be expected.  We will keep you posted as the charges are investigated.

SC Governor Seeks To Avoid Union Companies: Rudolph Bell of The State writes that yesterday, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley stated that while she is more than happy to bring new business to South Carolina, that business better not include unionized labor.  Haley elaborated, stating that she discouraged companies who want to build new facilities in the state from doing so if those facilities will host unions. 

“We discourage any companies that have unions from wanting to come to South Carolina because we don’t want to take the water.”

Haley’s comments come on the back of a highly-publicized union election in Tennessee, where the United Auto Workers barely lost a campaign at Volkswagen.  While not the end of the line for unions in the South, it has become clear that any unionization below the Mason-Dixon will be an uphill battle.

Northwestern Football Hearings Continue: Alex Putterman of the Daily Northwestern reports that a hearing in front of a National Labor Relations Board hearing officer concerning the Northwestern Football players’ attempt to form a labor union continued yesterday.  Two witnesses spoke at the hearing; an economist and Northwestern’s Associate Athletic Director of Compliance.  

The scope of the economist’s testimony surrounded whether a labor union would harm the competitive balance of college football.  The associate director’s testimony, however, was much more interesting in that it allowed Northwestern to argue that the players’ concerns were better addressed by the NCAA.  This is so because Northwestern does not have the authority to improve athletic compensation.

Hearings are set to continue today.  We will keep you posted on any pertinent developments.