One of the more enduring principles of labor law in America is that workers who are unhappy with their union representation have the right of exit. The current National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seems determined to narrow if not eliminate this right. On April 21, the board, by 3-1, ruled in Mountaire Farms Inc. that all ballots cast by about 800 Delaware poultry workers as part of an effort to decertify a local affiliate of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) must be destroyed. A number of workers at the plant had challenged the basis for applying the “contract bar,” which prevents workers from holding a vote until at least three years into the contract period. After the ruling, National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation President Mark Mix accused the board of using labor law as “a protection racket for incumbent union officials.”
Workers often … Read More ➡
It’s been a dream of organized labor for decades. Yesterday the House of Representatives took a big step toward its realization. By a nearly party-line 224-194 vote, the House approved the misnamed Protecting the Right to Organize or PRO Act (H.R. 2474), which would strip employers and non-joining employees of their capacity to resist union aggression. Introduced last May by Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and passed by the Education and Labor Committee in September, the measure, under the premise of “restoring” lost rights, among other things, would override state Right to Work laws, ban arbitration agreements, and force employers to recognize a union if a majority of workers sign membership pledge cards. Supporters are ecstatic for now, but they may have to wait a while for Senate action.
The PRO Act, at bottom, is a union power grab. Indeed, it is a power grab so … Read More ➡
An employer’s email system is as much private property as its computer equipment or real estate. The National Labor Relations Board once again, if belatedly, has affirmed this fact. On December 16, the board in Caesars Entertainment voted 3-1 to reestablish the right of an employer to restrict employee use of company email and other information technology during nonworking hours. The ruling overturns the board’s Obama-era ruling in Purple Communications, which had concluded employees have a statutory right to use employer email for union purposes. Employer groups see the decision as vindication of property rights, free speech rights, and especially cyber security. Union officials and supporters, understandably, are taking a different view.
With email having become established at the workplace, it was inevitable that disputes would arise over its availability to promote unions. Employers generally hold that their email systems ought to be used for workplace issues that advance … Read More ➡
Obnoxiousness is a universal human trait. But for unions, it’s a tool of persuasion. Large employers, with good reason, are wary. A new paper from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Hardball: The Tactics of Union Corporate Campaigns,” summarizes organized labor’s frequently aggressive, predatory shakedown tactics in the search to win concessions from supposedly morally errant employers. These campaigns, which seek to discredit a targeted firm’s brand name in hopes of winning concessions, involve extensive groundwork; these campaigns can last for years. Unions and their allies test the legal limits of protest, while raising the costs of business. Undeterred by reality, certain lawmakers on Capitol Hill, led by Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., are sponsoring bills to repeal safeguards against such behavior.
Corporate campaigns are no stranger to Union Corruption Update (see here, here and here). These projects of confrontation and negotiation took off … Read More ➡