NILRR News Clips


Laborers have no say in their contract

U-T, February 4, 2015

Farm laborers at one of the nation’s largest fruit farms, Gerawan Farming, have been pleading with the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board — an agency formed, ironically, to give farm workers a voice in their own contracts — to count their votes in a union-certification election held 15 months ago.

The agency refuses to do so and the workers have challenged the decision through the administrative process and the courts. But the administrative process is controlled by officials who, as one judge put it at a hearing last year, seem to be “in cahoots” with the union.

Poll: 72 Percent of Americans Are Concerned About Public Pension Costs, 82 Percent Say Public Employees Should Contribute More to Their Own Retirement, February 6, 2015

The new Reason-Rupe national telephone poll of 1,003 adults finds 72 percent of Americans are concerned their state and local governments may not be able to afford the pensions that have been promised to government workers. With those worries in mind, 82 percent favor requiring current public employees to contribute more towards their own future pensions and benefits.

The War on Small Business

Nationl Review Online, February 5, 2015

He has served on the board of directors of the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee and as general counsel to the International Union of Operating Engineers. And he’s now representing those same unions with a new and more powerful title: general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board.

Governor of Illinois Takes Aim at Labor

New York Times Online, February 4, 2015

Joining the ranks of Republican governors taking aim at the power of labor unions, the new chief executive of Illinois, Gov. Bruce Rauner, said on Wednesday that the state should ban some political contributions by public employee unions and allow local “right to work” laws.

Missouri House panel endorses ‘right to work’ bills, February 4, 2015

The House Workforce Standards and Development Committee on Wednesday approved three right-to-work bills, marking an early start on a measure that failed to pass the full chamber last year.

Two identical bills ban Missouri employers from requiring workers to pay any dues or fees to a labor organization. The third bill is sponsored Democratic Rep. Courtney Curtis and would apply only to the construction industry.

Feds Release Teamsters from Oversight, But Is Corruption Really Gone?, February 03, 2015

This past January 14, the Justice Department and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters reached an agreement to end a quarter-century of federal oversight. Yet the sincerity of Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa’s commitment to reform is open to question. The union, a favor factory for Hoffa and his allies, may become even more of one when full autonomy does arrive.

The RISE internal cleanup program cost the union $15 million during its five-year run. And the union’s share of Independent Review Board operating costs has averaged about $3 million a year, or roughly $60 million to $70 million over the board’s lifetime. Members have paid these costs in the form of higher dues payments.

Poor customer service at post office blamed on unions

Washington Examiner Online, February 03, 2015

An audit report by the U.S. Postal Service’s inspector general said the service’s collective bargaining agreement with the American Postal Workers Union was blocking efforts to improve customer service at the local branch offices.

The inspector general noted that the Postal Service already had procedures in place for improving customer service but that these were “not functioning as intended.” It said a key problem was that sales associates’ positions were not based on the employee’s suitability for the task as industry best practices would suggest, but rather by whether the employee had seniority. That was something the workers’ union had insisted upon.
Labor group critical of UAW seeks recognition at VW’s Chattanooga plant

Chattanooga Times Free Press Online, February 4, 2015

The American Council of Employees has offered as members the names of at least 15 percent of plant workers. If approved by VW, the group could convene monthly with human resources officials, hold regular on-site ACE meetings and post announcements at the factory.

Kentucky County Sees Instant Impact of Right-to-Work Law

The Daily Signal Online, January 31, 2015

“Since we passed the ordinance, in the past six weeks, we’ve had two site selectors and one international site selector.”

Tough talk from Shell, union as refinery pay talks resume, February 03, 2015

The two camps have been at an impasse since the union called walkouts early on Sunday for the first time since 1980 at nine plants with about 10 percent of U.S. refining capacity, saying Shell left the negotiating table when talks broke down.

Meanwhile, the USW has said further walkouts may be ordered at some of the other 63 refineries and chemical plants it represents if progress is not made.

Traders have said the strike contributed to higher prices for gasoline futures RBc1, which were around $1.60 a gallon late on Tuesday.

White House Budget Not Good Enough, Unions Want More

Daily Caller Online, February 02, 2015

“When it comes to fixing our rigged corporate tax system, the actual proposals in President Obama’s budget don’t match the rhetoric,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a statement.