NILRR Right to Work Clips July 20, 2018

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Group wants California union to hand $100 million back to state workers

sacbee.com, July 20, 2018

The National Right to Work Foundation in a new court filing attached to an ongoing lawsuit is demanding that SEIU Local 1000 return the money to about 40,000 current and former state workers because the union allegedly created overly burdensome “opt out” procedures that caused employees to pay more money than necessary in labor fees.

America’s Factory Towns, Once Solidly Blue, Are Now a GOP Haven

Wall Street Journal Online, July 19, 2018

Many counties that leaned toward Democrats lost so many factory jobs during the past 25 years that they ceased being manufacturing centers.

As the U.S. factory workforce diminished in size—from 15.4% of the U.S. workforce in 1992 to 8.5% today—it moved out of big cities that were union strongholds and into blue-collar suburbs.

Labor unions, which have long allied with Democrats, now represent just 9% of manufacturing workers, down from 20% in 1992, according to Barry Hirsch, an economist at Georgia State University.

KCI developer, unions cross major hurdle on strikes, non-union bids

kansascity.com, July 19, 2018

There’s no start date, or a final price tag.

But when construction of the new terminal at Kansas City International Airport does begin, it will be without threat of strikes or other labor turmoil, union and developer representatives said Thursday.

Trump Should Not Reappoint Pearce to NLRB

townhall.com, July 20, 2018

As the report by the Workplace Policy Institute explains, “The Obama NLRB overturned a total 4,105 collective years of precedent in 91 cases and rejected an additional 454 collective years of case law by adopting comprehensive new election rules. Overall, the Obama Board upended 4,559 total years of established law.”

As chairman of the NLRB, Pearce was the man most responsible for overturning, collectively, over four millennia of precedent. He is responsible for the joint employer fiasco. He pushed through a quickie union elections rule that will now have to be overturned. One of his decisions in a case about union dues was so bad that it was reviewed by a panel of actual federal judges who found that it was “largely unsupportable”; “contorted”; and “makes no sense.”

This is a man, in other words, who made the mess. He has a knee-jerk pro-union, anti-employer, anti-freedom bias. The NLRB needs to be better than that.

How Cuomo’s propping up unions

New York Daily News, July 19, 2018

More troublingly, Cuomo has taken multiple questionable steps to boost the unions. Before the Janus case was even decided, he signed legislation benefiting them. To stave off union membership losses, the law facilitates union organizing by giving unions access to existing employees’ contact information and requiring new hires to meet with union representatives on work time so that the unions can persuade them to join.

Legislation also stipulates that unions can now offer services exclusively to members and limit those provided nonmembers to make membership more attractive.

New York State United Teachers is now stripping all nonunion members of the life insurance, eye and dental coverage, and other goods it provides if they refuse to join the union. If nonmembers want those benefits in the future, they’ll have sign up.

The legislation simultaneously makes it harder for union members to renounce their membership. New York’s public unions can now set the terms by which members can exit.

Finally, Cuomo’s Department of Labor is stretching current law in order to ensure that unions can keep collecting money from as many workers as possible. It turns out that government employers in New York don’t know who is a union member and who isn’t.

In short, whoever the union says is a member is a member.

Protests planned against Trump move to limit union work on government time

washingtonexaminer.com, July 19, 2018

The American Federation of Government Employees is planing rallies across the nation on Wednesday to protest the Trump administration’s move to limit “official time” — the practice of paying federal government workers for their regular taxpayer-funded job when they are conducting union business instead.

The protests are set to coincide with oral arguments in D.C. District Court for a lawsuit that AFGE filed against the White House over the matter.

DOL REPEALS PERSUADER RULE:

Politico Morning Shift, July 18, 2018

The Labor Department on Tuesday rescinded the Obama administration’s so-called persuader rule, POLITICO’s Ian Kullgren reports. “In a notice in the Federal Register, DOL announced a wholesale repeal of the persuader rule, which sought to require more disclosure for union-busting activities,” Kullgren writes. “The rule compelled companies to disclose when they hire attorneys to convince — or persuade — employees not to unionize. A Texas judge in 2016 issued a preliminary injunction blocking the rule from taking effect.”

DOL said the rule was unworkable because it “impinged on attorney-client privilege by requiring confidential information to be part of disclosures.” Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) called the move “welcome news for American workplaces.” More here.

PENSION FIX ON THE (RELATIVE) CHEAP? Sen. Sherrod Brown’s plan to rescue faltering multiemployer pension plans could cost “substantially less” than earlier estimates suggested, according to the Congressional Budget Office. . .  in a Monday letter, the CBO adjusted its estimate.

“The estimated budgetary effects are highly uncertain because several key aspects of the legislation are broadly described, making it difficult to project how the proposal would be implemented,” CBO wrote Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who co-chairs the pensions supercommittee. But under certain interpretations of the bill, “few plans would qualify for loans and assistance, resulting in federal costs that would be substantially less than $100 billion,” CBO said. Read it here.

AFGE SLAMS WORKER FIRING BILLS: The country’s largest federal union signaled its opposition on Tuesday to House legislation that would make it easier to fire federal employees. In a letter to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), AFGE blasted a pair of bills that it warned would “penalize federal workers.” The bills — the MERIT Act and the Merit Systems Protection Board Reauthorization Act — would allow for the expedited review and removal of federal employees by allowing agency heads to use an alternative procedural mechanism. Read the letter here.