NILRR Right to Work Clips August 11, 2017


Offal Behavior


A federal extortion trial in Boston last week showed that Teamsters members haven’t lost their knack for cooking up trouble. It all began in June 2014, when the reality TV kitchen competition Top Chef visited the city to film. Let’s just say things got a little hot in Beantown, and we’re not talking about the sesame-sriracha glaze on local cod.

‘Complex’ law to settle fate of Teamsters

Boston Herald Online, August 11, 2017

A 44-year-old U.S. Supreme Court case forbids charging union members with anti-racketeering Hobbs Act extortion if their behavior, however abhorrent, is in the pursuit of a legitimate labor objective. Barclay said there was nothing legitimate about the Teamsters trying to force their way into “unwanted, unneeded and superfluous” jobs.

Crisis of the Week: UAW Tries to Distance Itself From Alleged Fraud

Wall Street Journal Online, August 10, 2017

The experts evaluate how well the union handled this situation and suggest what it might do next.

His statement would have been better mentioning everything the union has already been doing to enact these measures, instead of just now saying what measures they are working toward.

“The union needs to be prepared for the other shoe to drop. The indictment said other employees were involved in the conspiracy and other senior UAW officials benefited from the scandal.

One of the best measures of sincerity is the ratio of apology sentences to defense statements–and in this area the UAW’s sincerity ratio is too low.

Mr. Williams characterized the incident as an anomaly, calling the alleged parties ‘a narrow universe of people’ and citing a ‘betrayal of trust by a former member of our union.’

“He assured members the money involved didn’t come from union dues or funds and the allegedly misallocated or misused funds were not union dues or union funds.

How the Postal Service tried to swing the election for Hillary Clinton

Washington Examiner Online, August 11, 2017

An internal investigation was launched after several USPS employees approached their union representatives to complain.

But the broader scandal isn’t just that government employees were in the tank for the Democratic candidate or even that employees possibly violated the Hatch Act (or that the USPS lost $2.1 billion in one quarter). It’s that government unions have for years been incentivizing their workers to spend time pushing their political agenda rather than serving their customers. Campaigning for a candidate who wants to grow government is just a more egregious form of that all-too-common practice.

Convention center Carpenters union case could drag on until September — 2018, May 03, 2017

On May 8, 2015, a year after the carpenters lost their jurisdiction, the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority filed a federal racketeering lawsuit against the Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters, now called the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters, accusing the union of conspiring to interfere with the center’s business in retaliation for losing the right to work at the center in May 2014.

In the suit, the center particularly accused the carpenters of vandalism and intimidation during the 2015 Philadelphia Auto Show. In their motion to dismiss, the union and its leaders said they may have been uncouth, but they were not racketeers.

Postal Service likely to default on $6.9 billion benefits payment

Press Herald Online, August 10, 2017

The Postal Service has already defaulted on $33.9 billion in health benefit prepayments. Left unresolved, the rapidly growing debt means that American taxpayers eventually could be forced to cover the massive costs when future postal retirees seek to cash in on the health benefits to which they are legally entitled.

Communications Workers prep for Supreme Court loss

People’s World, August 11, 2017

In an exclusive interview with Press Associates Union News Service, Brooks Sunkett, CWA’s vice president for its public sector workers—including almost 60,000 workers in New Jersey, 12,000 in Texas and tens of thousands elsewhere—said CWA will develop a task force and specialized training to energize its members to sign up, or re-sign up, public workers.

It will not only train unionists to sign up non-union workers in CWA-represented shops – the “free riders” who now, in non-right-to-work states, pay fees to cover negotiations and grievances, but no more—but also make the linkage obvious between organizing and politics on the state and local level, he added. “You have to educate people on that,” Sunkett added.

Unions fear they can’t stop right-to-work

Washington Examiner Online, August 06, 2017

The officials fear that it is inevitable that the Supreme Court will end the unions’ power to force workers to pay them fees for representing them in collective bargaining. Nor do the officials know how to respond to the coming change.

That’s according to Ben Johnson**, former head of United Professions AFT Vermont, the union’s state umbrella organization.

“You never say right-to-work in the union movement because it is a great example of naming something. Pretty often you cannot even explain right-to-work to union members without them thinking it sounds like a pretty good idea,” Johnson said. Leaders struggled to come up with a euphemism that would make it sound bad.

Where UAW goes now after rejection by Nissan workers in the South

USA Today Online, August 05, 2017

For the second time in three years, the United Auto Workers called a union representation vote at an auto plant in the South – and lost.

But the UAW’s wide margin of defeat at a Nissan plant in Canton, Miss. is different and appears to be far more troubling for the union and its effort to organize foreign-owned automakers outside its stronghold in the upper Midwest than its narrow loss at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 2014.