NILRR Right to Work News


School Bus Drivers Sue to Remove Union They Never Wanted, November 29, 2018

Two school-bus drivers in Pennsylvania want to remove a union from their workplace, but the National Labor Relations Board isn’t letting them.

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation, said: “The National Labor Relations Act is premised on union officials only being granted monopoly status when they have the support of a majority of the workers they claim to represent. Yet inexplicably the NLRB has concocted several rules that undermine the Act by blocking workers from voting out unwanted representation.”

Park MGM Bartender Wins Back Pay After Being Illegally Fired Because of UNITE HERE Union “Pour Card” Scheme, November 27, 2018

A Park MGM casino bartender has won a settlement from Park MGM and Bartenders Union Local 165 officials after she filed federal unfair labor practice (ULP) charges. Bartender Natalie Ruisi, who was fired for not having a union “pour card,” is receiving $5,000 in back wages and being reinstated as a result of the settlement.

With free legal assistance by National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys, Ruisi filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Park MGM, formerly Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, and Bartenders Union Local 165, affiliated with UNITE HERE International Union. Aramark, the contractor who hired Ruisi, was also charged and agreed to the settlement.

In addition to paying $5,000 in back wages, the settlement required Aramark and Park MGM to reinstate Ruisi to her previous position with her original seniority. Union officials further agreed not to process any grievances from other workers who might challenge Ruisi’s position on the seniority list.

UAW Caught in Industry Turmoil, November 28, 2018

The union also is under pressure from its members and retirees who are looking for better pay and benefits as the three automakers continue to post hefty profits and top executives pull down record paydays in an era when the gap in pay between top company officers and workers is becoming a political issue across the entire U.S. economy.

The union, meanwhile, faces new challenges in its prolonged efforts to organize workers at non-union auto plants in the South.

Threads on social media suggest UAW members have become more skeptical of the union leadership and may make it harder to offer any concessions that might keep the GM plants from closing.

The UAW Is at It Again, November 30, 2018

Convinced that it has a monopoly on democracy, the union has stepped up its poster campaign and is now planning to stage a full graduate-student strike. These steps show the extent of union duplicity and the union’s callous disregard for due process and dissent.

The new poster proclaiming a “Majority!” is classic UAW deception. The average reader is fooled into believing that Columbia has dropped its appeal, that the ballot boxes have been opened, and that the UAW has been declared victorious. Nothing could be further from the truth. The majority in question is nothing but a stack of petition cards; the UAW aggressively solicits signatures from unwitting graduate students. The state senator who “certified” the UAW’s majority is legally irrelevant to the process, and has no more authority in the matter than do any of us.


A Washington federal district judge dismissed a case Wednesday that sought to compel an AFSCME local to pay back union fees to three state employees following the Supreme Court’s decision in Janus v. AFSCME, a win for the union. Judge Robert Bryan found that the AFCSME local “followed the law, and could not reasonably anticipate that a Supreme Court action would create a constitutional challenge to its actions” when it collected agency fees from state workers who had opted not to join the union. The class action suit was brought by the The Freedom Foundation, a West Coast conservative think tank that had filed an amicus brief in support of barring public-sector unions from charging non-members mandatory fees in the Janus case.

Another conservative group, the National Right to Work Foundation, has successfully collected refunds for public employees in Minnesota and Oregon. Read the order here.

SENATE SHOWDOWN, November 30, 2018

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said Thursday that Democrats will hold up confirmation floor votes for HELP Committee nominees unless Republicans agree to move the nominations of Mark Pearce to the NLRB and Chai Feldblum to the EEOC. “It shouldn’t be a difficult issue to work through,” Murray said, “and I’m frustrated they’re being held up for no good reason.”

Business groups and Republicans have objected to President Donald Trump’s renomination of Pearce to the NLRB, warning that he has demonstrated “extreme pro-union leanings” and might derail the NLRB’s deregulatory agenda. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), one of the Republicans holding up the Feldblum nomination, put out a statement that alluded to her sexual orientation, and cited her “radical views on marriage and the appropriate use of government power.” More here.

Meanwhile, the Senate HELP Committee cleared three labor-related nominees Thursday for a floor vote. These included Gordon Hartogensis, brother-in-law to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation; John Pallasch for assistant secretary for employment and training at DOL; and Erhard Chorle for membership on the Railroad Retirement Board. More here.

Editorial: Unions should pay for union work, November 29, 2018

Among the fiscally smart measures Republicans failed to address during the eight years they held control of state government is ending the practice of taxpayers footing the bill for teachers who do union work while on the clock. They have another chance in lame duck, and they should take it.

The bill that would prevent the practice of so-called release time is getting traction. It passed narrowly out of the Senate this week. Its supporters aren’t sure what reception it will face in the House, which was less eager to take up the matter last session.

Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, has tried to end release time for years — starting when he was in the state House.

Unions reject blueprint: Proposal to shore up state budget calls for tax cuts, state employee givebacks, November 30, 2018

Union leaders are lambasting a report recommending the state overhaul its tax policy and wring further concessions out of state employees to help the state climb its way out of a fiscal crisis.

If government unions have a choice, why shouldn’t workers have it too?, November 27, 2018

The concept of worker choice is so threatening to government unions, they have launched an aggressive campaign of misinformation and half-truths.

The problem is the union’s argument is purposely misleading and only tells half the story.

What unions do not mention is federal law requires them to represent every worker, even those who don’t pay, only if that union chooses to provide exclusive bargaining representation.

. . . the benefits that come with exclusive representation status outweigh the costs of representing the workers who don’t pay. Monopoly bargaining power means unions don’t have to compete with other unions seeking to represent the same workers, nor do they have to compete with workers who could individually negotiate directly with the employer to get a better compensation package than the union could negotiate.

It’s a classic case of circular reasoning. It is also ironic and hypocritical.

DeVos: Teachers Unions Have a ‘Stranglehold’ on Many Politicians, November 27, 2018

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Tuesday said that teachers unions have a “stranglehold” on too many politicians while criticizing the lack of progress on school choice for American students.

“The teachers union has a stranglehold on many of the politicians in this country, both at the federal level and at the state level, and they are very resistant to the kind of changes that need to happen,” DeVos said. “They are very protective of what they know, and they’re protective, really protective of adult jobs and not really focused on what’s right for individual students.”

When unions aren’t necessarily the best support for employees

financialpost. com, November 28, 2018

Flair’s flight attendants turned to CUPE, better known for representing white-collar public-sector employees than new private-sector entrepreneurial enterprises. But you take the union you get and, increasingly, unions, in decline in Canada and accordingly desperate for new membership i.e. dues, organize well beyond their historic craft/industrial boundaries.

When CUPE rejected our offer, we were then free to unilaterally introduce our new employment terms so that existing employees had the advantage of the improvements without having to pay union dues and all new employees were hired at the lower, advertised rates.

CUPE has filed an unfair labour practice against Flair for communicating its position to its employees and asked the labour board that it be prevented from doing so. That strikes me as a rather desperate move since the labour board has not entirely eliminated employer free speech. But as things stand, new employees are being hired at the lower wage, consistent with other discount carriers, and existing employees are working under the new, improved employment terms and original wages — what could motivate employees to go on strike?