NILRR Right to Work News December 29, 2017

Right-to-work attorney challenging SEIU 1000 dues collection

Jackson Observer Online, December 27, 2017

A right-to-work attorney acknowledged in court on Monday that he’s trying to “change the law” with a lawsuit that challenges the way state government‘s largest union collects dues.

“Nowhere can we find a compelling state interest for the state controller to take money from people who have said they do not want to be associated with this organization,” their attorney, James Young, an attorney for the National Right to Work Foundation, argued in federal court on Monday.

Commentary: Education Minnesota is worried about Janus ruling, December 28, 2017

What if Education Minnesota, instead of trying to force teachers to pay dues or trap them with sneaky contracts, treated teachers as valued customers instead of captives? What if government unions worked hard to find out what employees wanted? Surely the outcome would be better service for teachers.

The only way this will happen is if the union must earn dues and members. Unions might be less powerful but teachers will be empowered.

Teamsters official says Noel Canning workers wanted out

Yakima Herald Online, December 27, 2017

That prompted a U.S. Supreme Court case in 2014 on recess appointments; several members of the judging panel of the National Labor Relations Board that had previously ruled in favor of Teamsters 760 were considered questionable appointees. When the Supreme Court ruled they were not proper appointees, the case went back to the NLRB, which again ruled in favor of the union.

Kentuckians continue to rejoin labor force, December 25, 2017

On Thursday, Bevin made job creation the centerpiece of his year-in-review press conference, touting the repeal of Kentucky’s prevailing-wage law and the passage of right-to-work legislation. The prevailing-wage law had required the state to determine how much construction workers were paid for public projects based on a survey of wages rather than allowing construction companies to set their own rates. The new right-to-work legislation bars unions from requiring workers to join or pay dues as a condition of employment.

Conservative Group Scores Legal Victory Against Unions, December 28, 2017

A federal judge Wednesday denied a request for a preliminary injunction against a controversial conservative group that a lawsuit alleges obtained information illegally from the American Federation of Teachers-Michigan.

What Democrats Have to Lose From the End of Forced Union Dues, December 27, 2017

The Supreme Court decided to accept the case Sept. 27 following a split decision for an identical case last year. The lawsuit argues that mandatory union dues in the public-sector are a violation of the First Amendment. No one can be required to fund political speech, with the lawsuit claiming public-sector union activities are political by nature.

The blurry line between worker centers and unions

Washington Examiner Online, December 28, 2017

While not currently considered a labor union under the National Labor Relations Act, worker centers are increasingly starting to look and act like the Big Labor groups with which they frequently partner. Unlike unions, however, worker centers are able to operate seemingly without restraint. With the influence of these groups growing rapidly in recent years, perhaps it’s time for the Department of Labor to explicitly define worker centers as unions, so they are beholden to the same federal laws that govern union-organizing activities.

Super PAC launches campaign against right-to-work for Sussex County, December 28, 2017

With the public hearing for right-to-work on the horizon in Sussex County, efforts to thwart the proposed ordinance have been emboldened by an upstate super PAC.

First State Strong, a Democratic/Liberal political action committee based in Wilmington, has sponsored advertisements targeting county residents through social media.

Unions Sue T-Mobile, Cox Over ‘Age Discrimination’, December 28, 2017

The Communications Workers of America have filed a new lawsuit (pdf) against T-Mobile, Cox, and Amazon — accusing the companies of engaging in age discrmination in its hiring practices. According to the lawsuit, the companies practice of limiting recruitment ads to specific age groups on Facebook violates the rights of older, more experienced potential hires. The lawsuit comes after an investigation by ProPublica found numerous companies engaged in the practice, including Verizon (which for some reason isn’t named in the CWA’s lawsuit).

Public Workers Could Stand to Benefit from Janus v. AFSCME (George Will), December 23, 2017

The Democratic party and government-employees’ unions have a mutually lucrative relationship, so some blue states are shrouding in secrecy the identities of all public employees, lest the employees be made inconveniently aware of their rights. However, by next June, those rights might be enhanced.

Labor unions see organizing California marijuana workers as a way to grow

Los Angeles Times Online, December 25, 2017

Unions have caught a whiff of a rare opportunity to organize a whole new set of workers as recreational marijuana becomes legal in California.

The United Farm Workers, Teamsters and United Food and Commercial Workers are looking to unionize the tens of thousands of potential workers involved in the legal weed game, from planters to rollers to sellers. The move could provide a boost to organized labor’s lagging membership — if infighting doesn’t get in the way.

Where’s the media outrage over unions using dues for political purposes? | Opinion, December 24, 2017

In Pennsylvania, taxpayer resources–not only at the state level but also at local school district levels–are regularly used to collect campaign contributions and funnel them to a select group of organizations that, not coincidentally, are among the largest bankrollers of political campaigns in the state.

And it’s no secret. The public has known it for years.

Pennsylvania’s journalists have long seen through attempts by public officials to mask their corruption and self-preservation.

Union leaders’ longstanding use of taxpayer resources for their own political gain should merit equal detection and denunciation by the fourth estate.

Williams: UAW will weather latest storm, December 25, 2017

President Dennis Williams said the union has terminated several people for their ties to the alleged wrongdoing, which is at the center of a widening federal investigation into training centers operated by the UAW and Detroit automakers.

Industry now awaiting its turn to get things done

Pensions and Investments Online, December 25, 2017

Perhaps the most pressing issue facing Congress and the Treasury Department in 2018 will be struggling multiemployer pension plans. Three plans account for 63% of total multiemployer underfunding: the $15.3 billion Teamsters, Central States, Southeast & Southwest Areas Pension Fund, Rosemont, Ill.; the $4.3 billion Bakery & Confectionery Union and Industry International Pension Fund, Kensington, Md.; and the $4.1 billion United Mine Workers of America 1974 Pension Plan, Washington. Their imminent insolvency also threatens the future of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.’s multiemployer program, along with all the multiemployer pension benefits it guarantees.


The removal is overdue: Aloise was first charged with serious crimes against the union and members 22 months ago, in February 2016.

The sentence is lighter than expected: the Independent Investigations Officer (IIO) recommended banning him for life. That would be in line with previous punishments handed down, and would be the appropriate punishment for an International vice president caught taking gifts from employers during bargaining, signing sham contracts, and illegally rigging a local union election.

Chicago Police Union Trying To Stop New Use-of-Force Policies

hitandrunblog/, December 26, 2017

The police union, and the collective bargaining privileges granted it by state laws, are a large part of the reason for the lack of substantive oversight and transparency in Chicago policing.

The way the union fights even modest reforms tooth and nail ought to illustrate the pressing need for states like Illinois to review and limit the privileges they grant public unions, particularly the ones representing government employees with the power of life and death over the people they serve.

The Most Expensive Mile of Subway Track On Earth

New York Times Online, December 28, 2017

For years, The Times found, public officials have stood by as a small group of politically connected labor unions, construction companies and consulting firms have amassed large profits.

Trade unions, which have closely aligned themselves with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and other politicians, have secured deals requiring underground construction work to be staffed by as many as four times more laborers than elsewhere in the world, documents show.

Asked about The Times’s findings, union leaders and construction executives insisted that no money had been wasted. They said tunneling was difficult and dangerous work that must be well funded.