NLRB says employees may use company computers for organizing activity

December 12, 2014 - by: HR Hero 2 COMMENTS

In perhaps one of its boldest moves, on December 11, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overturned existing precedent and held that employees have the right to use their employer’s e-mail system for Section 7 concerted activity, including union-organizing activities, during nonbusiness hours. The decision obviously affects employers’ policies on employee e-mail use.

As background, the NLRB previously held in Register Guard, 351 NLRB 1110 (2007), that employers could bar employee use of their e-mail systems for nonbusiness purposes, including union or other communications protected under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), so long as the employer does so on a nondiscriminatory basis. In other words, the employer did not have to let employees use its e-mail system when it came to union business, including organizing campaigns.

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NLRB adopts ‘quickie election’ rule

December 12, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

by Tammy Binford

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision to adopt a rule speeding up union representation elections continues to draw fire, as opponents of the change consider legal options.

The Board’s action, announced on December 12, represents the second time the controversial regulation—dubbed the “quickie” or “ambush” election rule by detractors—has been advanced. In June 2011, the changes were proposed, but they were struck down in 2012 because only two members participated in the vote.

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Latest fast-food protests buoyed by NLRB, Obama stance

September 02, 2014 - by: HR Hero 0 COMMENTS

More fast-food protests are planned for September 4, with the latest round including homecare workers and possible civil disobedience.

Fast-food and other low-wage workers have been staging periodic strikes and demonstrations since 2012 in hopes of increasing their hourly wage. In addition to expanding the type of workers represented, planners of the new protests have said they’re ready to face arrests for nonviolent civil disobedience.

This week’s protests also are significant because they’re the first since National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Richard Griffin issued an announcement on July 29 that the McDonald’s corporation is a joint employer with its franchisees. That means the corporate giant could be held jointly responsible in complaints stemming from employee efforts to unionize and fight for higher wages.

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NLRB’s McDonald’s franchise determination called ‘aggressive play’

July 30, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling that the McDonald’s corporation is a joint employer with its franchisees is a departure from longtime precedent that’s drawing fire from the fast-food giant and other business interests.

The NLRB’s Office of the General Counsel released a statement on July 29 saying the Oak Brook, Illinois-based corporation could be named as a joint employer in a rash of complaints stemming from employee efforts to unionize and fight for higher wages. The decision is “another aggressive play” by the NLRB, according to Bart N. Sisk, an attorney with Butler Snow LLP in Memphis, Tennessee.

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UAW trying different approach to unionize Volkswagen plant

July 11, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Despite two failed attempts to unionize the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the United Auto Workers (UAW) on July 10 announced the creation of Local 42, a local that Chattanooga VW workers can join voluntarily.

“We’ve had ongoing discussions with Volkswagen and have arrived at a consensus with the company,” Gary Casteel, the UAW’s secretary-treasurer, said in a statement about the union’s latest move. “Upon Local 42 signing up a meaningful portion of Volkswagen’s Chattanooga workforce, we’re confident the company will recognize Local 42 by dealing with it as a members’ union that represents those employees who join the local. As part of this consensus, the UAW is committed to continuing its joint efforts with Volkswagen to ensure the company’s expansion and growth in Chattanooga.”

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Wal-Mart workers step up wage strikes

June 04, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

Wal-Mart workers were set to protest in more than 20 cities on June 4 as efforts by low-wage workers to increase their pay continue.

Fast-food and retail workers have been staging occasional strikes in cities across the country for over a year in an effort to boost wages and improve working conditions.

The Wal-Mart strikes coincide with Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s annual shareholders week. The annual shareholders meeting is set for June 6.

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Fast-food strikers plan escalation

May 13, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The call for higher wages and more rights for fast-food workers and others in traditionally low-wage jobs is culminating in a nationwide strike set for May 15, but the effort doesn’t stop there, according to an organization leading the strikes. The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) is trying to bring fast-food workers from around the world into the movement for higher wages and improved working conditions.

“Fast-food workers around the world face the same issues of precarious work, low wages, and fierce opposition to union organization,” the IUF posted on its website. “A handful of giant transnationals dominate the business, so it is only natural that workers and their unions are organizing internationally to change conditions for the millions of fast-food workers around the world.”

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NLRB invites briefs in Northwestern football case

May 12, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is inviting interested parties to submit briefs on the Northwestern University football case. Briefs must be submitted on or before June 26, 2014.

At the request of the university, the NLRB agreed on April 24 to review the decision of a regional director finding that the university’s scholarship football players are employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and therefore are eligible to unionize.

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NLRB to review Northwestern University football ruling

April 24, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

On April 24, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced that it will review a regional director’s decision that Northwestern University’s scholarship football players are employees who are eligible to unionize.

The Board’s announcement came one day before a secret-ballot election, which will go on as scheduled. The NLRB said the ballots will be impounded until it affirms, modifies, or reverses the decision.

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UAW plans to take fight over VW vote to Congress

April 22, 2014 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The United Auto Workers (UAW) union has dropped its appeal of a union vote at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but instead of giving up, the union says it will turn its attention toward Congress.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) had scheduled an April 21 hearing in Chattanooga on the appeal of a February union election in which workers at the plant rejected unionization 712-626. Just an hour before the hearing was to begin, the UAW announced it was dropping its appeal. A UAW statement claimed the “NLRB’s historically dysfunctional and complex process” led it to drop the appeal.

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