Watch Out!  A Byproduct of COVID-19 is Union Agitating

28 July 2020

Watch Out! A Byproduct of COVID-19 is Union Agitating

Author: Anthony Kaylin

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and grows, worker concerns about safety, job security, and transparency on workplace issues have become forefront.  For example, Amazon has fired warehouse employees who protested the company's working conditions and COVID-19 mitigation measures.  Although Amazon stated it fired these employees for performance issues and violation of mitigation requirements within the warehouse, these firings are close to crossing the line for violations of the...
Worker Confidence and Outlook Has Stabilized Despite COVID-19 Impact

2 June 2020

Worker Confidence and Outlook Has Stabilized Despite COVID-19 Impact

Author: Heather Nezich

A new survey of workers in the U.S. from the ADP Research Institute reveals that an initially significant decrease in worker confidence appears to be leveling off despite the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on nearly every worker in the U.S.

Overall Union Membership Remains Fairly Constant in 2019

28 January 2020

Overall Union Membership Remains Fairly Constant in 2019

Author: Michael Burns

Union membership numbers for 2019 were released last week from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing that total union membership stayed pretty much the same as 2018 – 14.6 million wage and salary members. But with the number of U.S. jobs increasing, total union membership as a percentage of the U.S. workforce decreased .2 points down to just 10.3% overall. In 1983 union membership made up 20.1% of U.S. jobs with 17.7 million workers belonging to unions at that time.

17 December 2019

FCA Settles with UAW – 2019 Detroit Three/UAW Completed

Author: Michael Burns

With the tentative agreement between FCA and the UAW now expected to be approved by FCA’s rank and file, the 2019 Detroit Three UAW contract bargaining becomes history.

26 November 2019

EEOC vs. NLRB. What Law to Follow When Workers Use “Off Color” Language Toward Others During a Labor Dispute

Author: Michael Burns

During some labor conflicts, workers have shouted, or in today’s technological world, made statements on social media that are clearly racially or other protected class motivated involving the use “off-color” language toward management and co-workers. When called out on this behavior, offending workers (and their union mentors) have tried to hide behind the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) arguing that verbal assaults and such behavior is protected concerted activity...

5 November 2019

Ford UAW Settle Quickly

Author: Michael Burns

Ford Motor Company and the United Auto Workers (UAW) settled their contract less than a week after ratification of the General Motors-UAW contract.

29 October 2019

GM Workers Ratify Auto Contract – Ford Is Up Next

Author: Michael Burns

As most are probably already aware GM-UAW Workers voted to ratify (57% for/43% against) their new four-year agreement with General Motors last Friday.  It also ended the longest nationwide strike against GM in over 50 years. Ford and FCA now have to finish their negotiations. The UAW has said it will now turn its negotiating focus on Ford Motor Company.

17 September 2019

UAW Strikes General Motors – Leaves Ford and FCA Alone for Now

Author: Michael Burns

The UAW national strike against General Motors (GM) started Saturday, September 14, 2019 (the first in 12 years) with 850 janitorial worker members going out first. These employees are technically employees of supplier Aramark but service GM’s janitorial and other support needs. The maintenance workers have been without a contract for over a year and a half. Then, on Sunday, the UAW declared a strike taking out all its production worker members at midnight.

10 September 2019

General Motors Named Lead for Auto Industry Negotiations

Author: Michael Burns

With the announcement last Monday that UAW members had approved the use of work stoppages against all three auto companies, the UAW named General Motors (GM) as its first negotiations party. Being the lead company puts GM in first seat to be the one to set the pattern and possibly set their own terms before the other Detroit Three auto contracts are settled.

3 September 2019

NLRB Continues to Correct its Course on Independent Contractor and Joint Employer Status

Author: Michael Burns

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has been right in the middle of the battle over what constitutes an independent contractor versus an employee. An interested party might think the NLRB, a relatively small government agency historically concerned about union organizing and labor peace, would not be at the forefront defining what an independent contractor is for the country. But for the last few years, this agency, probably for existential reasons given the state of unionization in the...

13 August 2019

National Labor Relations Board Issues Regulatory Salvo to Roll Back “Ambush Elections” Rules and Other Obama Board Overreaches

Author: Michael Burns

Last Friday the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) finally moved to revise the Obama-era election rule regulations that among other things shortened the time for union organizing elections from a minimum of 45 days down to an average of 23 days.  It also constrained the ability of employers to file unfair labor practice objections to challenge the election. The formal regulatory change was published Monday, August 12, 2019 in the Federal Register.

25 June 2019

Swing of NLRB Pendulum Continues to Compel Employee Handbook Policy Review

Author: Michael Burns

The Trump National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues its pro-business course. Until 2017, the NLRB regularly attacked employer rules that it deemed restrictive, directly or indirectly, on employees' right to organize. Employers, including non-union, were compelled to review employee handbook policies/rules to correct rules that were viewed as restrictive toward union organizing rights.

2 April 2019

NLRB Continues to Look at Employer Policy and Rules

Author: Michael Burns

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to review union and non-union employer policies and rules.  In an Advice Memo published last week by the NLRB, the Board’s advice division looked at two employer rules through the lens of its 2017 Boeing decision. This decision trimmed back considerably the previous NLRB’s position that if an employer’s rule could in any way infringe upon an employee’s right to engage in protected concerted activity it would...

5 March 2019

Unions Cannot Make Nonmembers Pay for Union Lobbying

Author: Michael Burns

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held last Friday that unions can’t force workers that choose not to be in the union to pay for its lobbying activities. This decision holds that fair share fees that some unions require nonmembers to pay en lieu of being in the union can’t be used for lobbying. This follows the U.S. Supreme Court's 1988 decision in Communications Workers of America v. Beck. That decision found that if a worker objected to his/her dues being used for...

29 January 2019

Union Membership Continues to Slip

Author: Michael Burns

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its report on 2018 union membership last week and total union membership continues to slip as a percent of the U.S. workforce. For 2018 total union membership – public and private employers – stood at 10.5% (14.7 million workers). That downward trend of 0.2 percentage points from 2017, continues a downward trend from the union movement’s heydays of the late 50’s/early 60’s where union membership was estimated at over...


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