Posted on November 30, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
By Mike Elk
Anti-union conservatives are worried that if the UAW successfully organizes Volkwagen’s Tennessee plant, it will create a domino effect in the South. Here, protesters lift a sign supporting a UAW organizing campaign at a Nissan plant in Canton, Miss. (Photo from United Auto Workers on Facebook)
After Volkswagen issued a letter in September saying the company would not oppose an attempt by the United Auto Workers (UAW) to unionize its 1,600-worker Chattanooga, Tenn., facility, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) was flabbergasted.
“For management to invite the UAW in is almost beyond belief,” Corker, who campaigned heavily for the plant’s construction during his tenure as mayor of Chattanooga, told the Associated Press. “They will become the object of many business school studies—and I’m a little worried could become a laughingstock in many ways—if they inflict this wound.”
Corker isn’t the only right-winger out to halt UAW’s campaign. In the absence of any overt anti-union offensive by Volkswagen, conservative political operatives worried about the UAW getting a foothold in the South have stepped into the fray.
Leaked documents obtained by In These Times, as well as interviews with a veteran anti-union consultant, indicate that a conservative group, Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, appears to be pumping hundred of thousands of dollars into media and grassroots organizing in an effort to stop the union drive. In addition, the National Right-to-Work Legal Defense Foundation helped four anti-union workers in October file a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board claiming that Volkswagen was forcing a union on them. (more…)
Filed under: Busting the union busters, Organizing, The enemy | Tagged: National Labor Relations Board, Tennessee, UAW, United Auto Workers, Volkswagen | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 21, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
By Sarah Jaffe
On Nov. 18,. 2013, striking Los Angeles port truckers try to deliver a letter to management.
“We are on strike today to have respect and dignity at work,” says Walter Melendez, one of approximately 40 Los Angeles port truck drivers who walked off the job at 5a.m. morning in protest of alleged unfair labor practices. The strikes featured the rolling “ambulatory pickets” that the truckers have excelled at—chasing down trucks as they leave the port and setting up picket lines in front of them.
Melendez works for California’s Green Fleet Systems, a company that moves freight from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to nearby distribution hubs. The drivers have filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board charging that the company retaliated against them for pushing forward with a drive to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
The push continues even as, according to Melendez, the company does its best to intimidate workers: pulling them into one-on-one meetings to dissuade them from unionizing, and even following and photographing them engaging in organizing activities outside work. Melendez believes that more Green Fleet drivers would have joined the strike this morning, had they not been deterred by these tactics. (more…)
Filed under: Low wage workers, Organizing, Strikes and work action | Tagged: National Labor Relations Board, Port of Los Angeles, Port of Oakland, port truckers, Teamsters | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 6, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
Before vote, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), pictured here at a preschool visit in Iowa, praised nominee Richard Griffin for his extensive knowledge of labor law. (Phil Roeder / Flickr / Creative Commons)
(Nov 1) On Tuesday October 29, the U.S. Senate took the final measure to restore the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to full strength with its approval of Richard F. Griffin Jr. as general counsel. Though Griffin’s start date has yet to be determined, his instatement marks the last step in the board’s resumption of its role as the principal agency of the federal government for settling labor-management disputes in the private sector. Given Griffin’s long history as a union lawyer, his confirmation also signifies a rare victory for organized labor on Captol Hill.
The Senate action brings to a close a nearly two-year struggle between the White House and Senate Republicans over nominations to the labor board. The partisan bitterness—which is likely to continue—was reflected in Tuesday’s 55-44 vote, in which Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) was the only Republican to back Griffin’s appointment.
Griffin’s nomination will likely go down in NLRB history as one of the most unusual, not so much for his official actions but for the partisan rancor and legal maneuvering that accompanied his selection. (more…)
Filed under: Organizing | Tagged: National Labor Relations Board, NLRB | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 6, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
(June 27) This has been a blockbuster week for the Supreme Court to say the least. With DOMA, Proposition 8, Title VII, and affirmative action decisions dominating the coverage, few have taken note of the Supreme Court’s move on Monday to grant review to a set of cases that could strike a severe blow to private sector union organizing.
The first case, Noel Canning, challenges the ability of the President to make recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board when the Senate has technically kept itself in session. Due to GOP obstruction in the Senate, the NLRB has for years struggled to maintain a three-member quorum. The Supreme Court held in New Process Steel that, absent such a quorum, the NLRB cannot legally rule on cases brought before it. If the Supreme Court decides that the President’s recess appointments to the NLRB are unlawful, the NLRB will become basically non-functional for as long as Senate Republicans continue to deny the NLRB a quorum by blocking new appointments to the agency. In a world with a non-functional NLRB, private sector unions will find themselves with nowhere to turn when employers illegally coerce, intimidate, and otherwise unlawfully obstruct organizing campaigns. (more…)
Filed under: Organizing, Politics | Tagged: National Labor Relations Board, neutrality agreements, Supreme Court, Unite Here | 4 Comments »
Posted on June 25, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
By Bruce Vail
Conservatives have created the myth of the ‘micro-union’ in a direct attack on worker organizing around the country.
Legislation was introduced in Congress late last week that will, in the words of one of its prominent supporters, rein in government officials who are now encouraging “swarms of micro-unions” to descend on non-union employers for the purpose on “annihilating companies through a death of a thousand cuts.”
Such lurid language has helped put the bill on the fast track in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, where the legislation has already been scheduled for a hearing next week before the Education and the Workforce Committee. Most observers expect it will receive quick approval there on its way to easy passage by the full House. (more…)
Filed under: Busting the union busters, Organizing | Tagged: micro-unions, National Labor Relations Board | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 21, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
Letters signed by nearly 400 professors and 125 leaders nationwide argues for swift action on NLRB to ensure workplace rights
Washington, D.C. – In two official letters last week, a diverse, prominent chorus of voices called for senators to swiftly confirm the full package of nominees submitted by President Obama for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a step necessary to free the agency from its current limbo status and allow it to function in its role protecting workers’ rights in the United States.
The first letter, signed by nearly 400 notable professors from colleges and universities across the country, states:
Filed under: Organizing, Politics | Tagged: National Labor Relations Board, NLRB | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 14, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
By Bruce Vail
NLRB Chair Mark Pearce was renominated by President Obama in an attempt to get the broken labor board back into gear. (NLRB)
President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he would nominate three members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in a move to restore the beleaguered agency to normal working order. The announcement comes as the board is being hammered by political and legal attacks that have severely damaged its ability to function.
The president’s proposal would reappoint current NLRB Chair Mark Gaston Pearce and add two new members. If approved by the U.S. Senate, the nominations would restore the board to its full complement of five members, with three (including Pearce) representing the Democratic Party and two representing the Republican Party.
The two Republican representatives are the other nominations announced by the White House on Tuesday. The candidates are Philip Miscimarra and Harry I. Johnson III, both experienced lawyers at large firms known for representing employers in the their legal struggles against unions and workers. Miscimarra is a Chicago-based partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, and Johnson is a Los Angeles-based partner at Arent Fox (and a former partner at Jones Day).
Filed under: Organizing, Politics | Tagged: National Labor Relations Board, Obama | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 31, 2013 by dcampbell1
By RoseAnn DeMoro
NNU Executive Director
When the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled Friday to overturn President Obama’s recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, it handed a huge gift to Wall Street, big corporations and the politicians they control.
In health care, the implications are especially insidious. It is a clear assault on the ability of nurses to act collectively to improve safety standards and public protections for patients.
When the labor board is not dominated by corporate-oriented appointees, as it has been most of the past four decades, the game plan of the antiunion crowd is to bar the board from operating, either by refusing to confirm appointees, de-funding it or destabilizing it. That was what prompted these recess appointments, made by President Obama only after the Senate minority blocked confirmation of his nominees needed to restore a quorum on the board to enable it to function. (more…)
Filed under: Busting the union busters, Health Care, Solidarity, Women | Tagged: Barack Obama, National Labor Relations Board, National Nurses United, Obama, Senate, United States, United States courts of appeals, Wall Street | Leave a Comment »
Posted on January 29, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Mike Hall
(Jan 25, 2013) A panel of Republican-appointed judges, including one who has, according to Think Progress, previously suggested that all business, labor and Wall Street regulation is constitutionally suspect, ruled that President Obama’s 2012 recess appointments of three members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are invalid. Senate Republicans had been blocking confirmation votes on the three before the president’s action.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called the ruling “shocking.”
Filed under: Organizing, Politics | Tagged: National Labor Relations Board, NLRB, recess appointments, workers rights | Leave a Comment »
Posted on July 23, 2012 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Julius Getman
According to William Kilberg, a chief labor advisor to Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, President Obama and the National Labor Relations Board are engaged in a joint effort in violation of the law to limit the basic rights of corporate employers. He so states in an op ed that appeared recently in the Wall Street Journal, titled “What I Learned Fighting the NLRB.” His opening sentence states that the NLRB brought “a case against Boeing for opening a nonunion plant in South Carolina.” In fact, however, the case against Boeing had nothing to do with its opening a “nonunion plant.” Boeing had purchased a union facility months earlier from Vaught. No one contested its right to do so. Far from seeking to outlaw Boeing’s South Carolina facility, the complaint specified that “the Acting General Counsel does not seek to prohibit Respondent from making non-discriminatory decisions with respect to where work will be performed, including non-discriminatory decisions with respect to work at its North Charleston, South Carolina, facility.”
Filed under: Organizing, Politics | Tagged: National Labor Relations Board, NLRB, William Kilberg | 1 Comment »