‘Quickie election’ rule likely on track despite Senate action

March 05, 2015 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Senate dealt at least a minor blow to the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) rule aimed at speeding up union elections, but the rule’s April 14 effective date likely is still on track.

On March 4, the Senate voted 53-46 to overturn the rule by using its power under the Congressional Review Act. The House also will vote on the rule. Even if the House votes to overturn it, President Barack Obama has vowed to veto the legislation.

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More low-wage worker strikes are set for August 29

August 27, 2013 2 COMMENTS

Fast-food and other low-wage workers who have staged strikes in a handful of cities around the country in recent months are planning to take their efforts nationwide on August 29.

Strikers and their supporters are calling for $15 an hour as well as more protections for workers interested in unionizing. The latest wave of strikes occurred during the week of July 29 in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Flint, Michigan.

The strikes coincide with an effort, championed by President Barack Obama, to raise the minimum wage. In February, Obama asked Congress to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour in stages by the end of 2015 and to index it to inflation thereafter.

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Business groups applaud ruling against NLRB poster

May 08, 2013 0 COMMENTS

Probusiness groups are cheering a new ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that represents another blow to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The appeals court, which issued another ruling against the NLRB in January, ruled on May 7 that the Board exceeded its authority in its effort to require employers to post a notice of employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

The NLRB issued the rule in 2011, but it was never implemented because of court challenges. Had it gone into effect, all employers under NLRB jurisdiction—including nonunion employers—would have been required to post an 11-by-17-inch poster explaining that employees have the right to act together to improve wages and working conditions; to form, join, and assist a union; to bargain collectively with their employer; and to refrain from any of those activities.

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Michigan now a right-to-work state

December 11, 2012 0 COMMENTS

Long a union stronghold, Michigan has become the latest state to pass right-to-work legislation. The fight, though, likely will rage on.

State legislators on December 11 approved legislation that prohibits workplaces from requiring all employees to pay all union dues. The legislation was pushed by the Republican majority in the state legislature. On Tuesday afternoon, it was being reported that the bills could be delayed for a brief time on procedural grounds (a motion to reconsider) by Democrats. Republican Governor Rick Snyder, nevertheless, was expected to sign the bills as early as Wednesday. He indicated he would sign the measure even though he had earlier said right-to-work legislation was too divisive and therefore wasn’t on his agenda.

The vote in the legislature isn’t the first blow organized labor has suffered recently in Michigan. Voters in the November election soundly turned down an initiative that would have put the right to collective bargaining in the state’s constitution.

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Obama to Appoint Controversial NLRB Nominee Craig Becker

March 29, 2010 0 COMMENTS

On March 27, President Barack Obama announced his intent to use his constitutional power to make appointments while Congress is in recess to appoint Democrat Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). This is the first time the President has used recess appointments.

Becker, a union attorney, has been a controversial nominee since he was first nominated, and in February, Senate Republicans used a filibuster to block his nomination. The business community and Republicans have been strongly opposed to his nomination, mainly because he has become associated with the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a bill that would make it much easier for employees to form labor unions. Employer groups and Republicans have suggested that if Becker were nominated to the NLRB, he and a Democratic majority on the Board could implement provisions of EFCA, even if Congress failed to pass the bill.

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