NILRR Right to Work News August 17, 2018

A statue of lady justice holding the scales and sword.

After Supreme Court labor union ruling, non-members want dues payments back

Fox Business News Online, August 16, 2018

In California, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is representing a class-action lawsuit of more than 30,000 workers who are suing the Service Employees International Union and seeking reimbursement. The vice president of that organization, Patrick Semmens, told The Washington Times it could ultimately cost unions $100 million in refunds.


New York state Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D¬¬¬–Manhattan) announced he will sponsor a bill to allow public-sector unions in the state to receive taxpayer funding to reimburse the costs of collective bargaining and contract administration.

Patrick Semmens, vice president for public information with the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, says creating an end run around Janus would divert public money to private organizations that have undue influence over politicians.

Big Labor’s Obama Holdover

Wall Street Journal Online, August 16, 2018

As chairman, Mr. Pearce snubbed Republican colleagues. GOP member Brian Hayes told a member of Congress in 2011 that Mr. Pearce wasn’t sharing information and public comments on the board’s “quickie election” rule that trampled employers’ due process rights. Mr. Pearce then accused Mr. Hayes of threatening to resign to deny the board a quorum, which prompted an investigation by the board’s Inspector General.

Our sources say Mr. Pearce and his allies on the left are lobbying Mr. Schumer for another five-year term so he can keep undercutting the GOP majority. Some in the White House are also urging the President to strike a deal with Mr. Schumer to confirm Mr. Pearce by unanimous consent in return for fast-tracking confirmations of several Labor Department appointees as well as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s brother-in-law Gordon Hartogensis, who has been tapped to lead the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

Lockouts appear to be giving employers more clout as union strikes fade, August 17, 2018

Lockouts appear to be giving employers more clout as union strikes fade, This shift suggests that strikes have become a much weaker tool for unions, while management continues to lock out workers as a way to call the shots at the bargaining table.

Westmoreland commissioners OK union pitch to all new employees, August 16, 2018

Westmoreland County’s largest bargaining unit will have up to 30 minutes to persuade each new hire to join the union under an agreement approved Thursday by county commissioners.

The deal is a response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued this summer that bars unions from assessing fees to employees who decline representation. It was strongly criticized by Republican Commissioner Charles Anderson, who called the agreement a mechanism to “beat up” employees to join.

Medicaid Officials Target Home Health Aides’ Union Dues, August 16, 2018

A proposed rule from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services would prohibit home health aides paid directly by Medicaid from having their union dues automatically deducted from their paychecks, though it doesn’t name the fees explicitly.

Blocking these direct Medicaid payments means the workers – especially those who don’t work in a single, centralized office, or don’t have a credit card or a bank account – are far less likely to pay dues, diminishing the union’s potential influence.

Public Sector Unions Win Big at the California Supreme Court in Getting San Diego Pension Reforms Overturned, August 17, 2018

A recent California Supreme Court decision, striking down a San Diego initiative that rolled back pension benefits for new public employees, has rightly been portrayed as a win for public-sector unions–and something that could cost San Diego taxpayers more money as a lower court hashes out a remedy. But the decision is more consequential than the news coverage would suggest.

Quite simply, it was an assault on the constitutional right to qualify initiatives for the state or local ballot. Union demands have now officially trumped our voting rights. California citizens must now meet and confer with union bosses before qualifying any compensation-related initiatives for the ballot if any city officials were actively involved in the process.

Union Boss Seabrook Found Guilty of Fraud, Conspiracy

Courthouse News Service, August 15, 2018

About 45 minutes apart, a federal jury handed two guilty verdicts Wednesday to dapper union boss Norman Seabrook on fraud and conspiracy charges.

Seabrook, 58, was indicted in 2016 but before that spent 21 years as president of the powerful Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association. The union lost $20 million from their retirement savings after Seabrook invested the money with the risky hedge fund Platinum Partners, having taken a $60,000 bribe to do so, prosecutors showed.

Carpenters Break With New York Building Trades Unions in Pact With Developer, August 15, 2018

Then early this year, as Hudson Yard’s next phase was readied, the relationship between Related and the building trades regional council broke down completely. The unions started regular demonstrations and picketing outside the project.

The suit’s accusations include no-show jobs and padded hours that cost the developer “in excess of $100 million” in additional wages, benefits and insurance costs.

Connecticut’s Attorney General Weighs In On The Janus Decision, August 14, 2018

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the Janus case continues to be a topic of discussion among lawyers, and now the Connecticut Attorney General has issued guidance on the issue. A link to this guidance can be found here.

Two Union Officials Charged With Labor Extortion Conspiracy

US Departement of Justice, August 16, 2018

Thomas R. Williamson, 67, of Schererville, Indiana and Jeffrey R. Veach, 55, of Portage, Indiana, were arrested earlier today and each charged in a three-count indictment filed in the Northern District of Indiana with one count of Hobbs Act Extortion Conspiracy and two counts of Attempted Hobbs Act Extortion. Williamson and Veach had their initial court appearances and arraignment earlier today before U.S. Magistrate Judge John E. Martin for the Northern District of Indiana and were released on $20,000 unsecured bond.