The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on whether the Obama Administration could legally appoint three new National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) members by recess appointment when the Senate was still technically in session.
The voters in Michigan spoke loudly and clearly on November 6. As a result, the Right-to-Work debate has found new momentum in the halls of the Capitol building in Lansing. A new Right-to-Work bill is reportedly in the works, although it has not yet been introduced.
Last Friday, a protest by a group called OUR Walmart against non-union retailer Walmart was extensively covered by the media. The group organized protests at various Walm art stores around the nation. Scheduling the protests for Black Friday, their hope was that the employees of the targeted stores would walk out and join them on what is arguably the busiest retail day of the year. Most reports suggest that anywhere from two dozen to 200 protesters turned out per individual protest.
Big Labor’s attempt to end-run Michigan’s legislative process to benefit its unilateral interests failed as voters decisively took down two initiatives (Proposals 2 and 4) it backed with huge amounts of money. However, voters also struck down a third statewide proposal (Proposal 1) which Big Labor also opposed. This means the debate over the state's relationship with organized labor is not yet over.
With President Obama winning a second term, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is free to continue expanding its pro-labor agenda into the non-union sector.
Labor watchers across the country see Michigan current labor issues as a national tipping point for the future of unions, not just in Michigan but in their states as well. Proposal 2 essentially gives labor unions blanket constitutional protection in Michigan. Proposal 4 specifically gives constitutional protection to the Service Employees International Union’s (SEIU’s) grip on Michigan’s home healthcare workers.
As everythingpeople.™This Week! readers know, ASE is closely watching the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) campaign to curtail employer disciplinary policies and expand employee protections, particularly in non-union companies. The NLRB has been challenging every policy and rule that it deems too restrictive of, or impinging on, an employee’s right to engage in “concerted activity.” Concerted activity, in the NLRB’s eyes, is any employee activity that furthers the employee’s right to collectively organize and negotiate wages and terms and conditions of employment.
A recent study of union vs. non-union organizations seems to confirm a long standing perception. Unions and unionized employers suffer from slower acceptance of change. Denison Consulting of Ann Arbor, MI released the results of a ten-year survey of union and non-union organizations. The study focused on culture and the impact of culture on an organization’s ability and acceptance to change.
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued another decision (the second this year) addressing the case of an employee disciplined for posting negative information about his employer on a social media site. The employer fired the employee because of the negative information (comments and photos) he posted on his Facebook page. The employee, having no other recourse, filed a complaint with the NLRB arguing that his posting was only fairly communicating with his fellow employees (and the world) about the poor terms and conditions of employment at the BMW dealership where he worked.
On Wednesday September 5th, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that organized labor’s proposed collective bargaining amendment to Michigan’s constitution is valid as written. Therefore it will be on the November ballot for an up-or-down decision by the voters of the state. The state Supreme Court ruled unanimously that this proposed amendment, along with two others, passed muster on review of Article XII, Section 2 of the Constitution. Section 2 requires any constitutional proposal to clearly state those sections of the present Constitution which the proposal would abrogate or alter.