The UAW is giving up its appeal of February’s union representation election at a Chattanooga, Tennessee, Volkswagen plant. The union had subpoenaed Republican officials like Gov. Bill Haslam and Sen. Bob Corker, around whose threats of dire consequences if workers unionized the appeal to the National Labor Relations Board had centered, seeking information on those threats. But, unsurprisingly, the same people who threatened workers over a union vote weren’t interested in participating in a fair appeals process, a process that could drag on almost indefinitely: Continue reading
[Ed. note: Attributing its narrow loss at the Chattanooga VW plant to outrageous outside interference, the UAW formally filed objections to the election with the NLRB. This is new legal terrain, since the electoral misconduct stemmed not as customary from management but from misleading and coercive statements by right-wing politicians.
The success of the UAW's novel legal appeal is far from certain, despite its evident justification. It is also uncertain, even if a new election is granted, whether the union would necessarily prevail in an unchanged hostile external political environment and continuing opposition to the union by many workers. However a new combination of political mobilization in the community and renewed efforts to reach VW workers and their families could succeed. --Paul Garver]
The text of the UAW press release on the NLRB appeal follows below the line Continue reading
(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. Continue reading
As Labor Day 2013 approached, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced the launch of a new mobile app, available free of charge for iPhone and Android users. The app provides employers, employees and unions with information regarding their rights and obligations under the National Labor Relations Act.
“The National Labor Relations Act guarantees the right of workers to join together, with or without a union, to improve their working lives,” notes NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce. “The promise of the law can only be fulfilled when employers and employees understand their rights and obligations. With this app, we are using 21st Century technology to inform and educate the public about the law and their rights.” Continue reading
by Don McIntosh
In a hearing room at the downtown Portland offices of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), managers for the Fund for the Public Interest testified under oath Aug. 6-7 that firing union activist David Neel was business as usual.
The Fund for the Public Interest, based in Boston, is the money-raising arm of the national PIRG network and its affiliated green groups, like Environment Oregon. Neel, a telephone fundraiser in the Fund’s Portland call center, became an outspoken union activist when he and co-workers voted to join Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 7901 in October 2011. But Neel violated some Fund policies, testified Pat Wood, national director of the Fund’s Telephone Outreach Project. Neel didn’t stick to the script he was given, Wood said, and he failed to “triple confirm” a donor’s pledge. So Neel, a top fundraiser with 18 months experience at the Fund, was fired, by phone, on his way to work Nov. 6, 2012.
The NLRB — the independent federal agency that administers U.S. labor law — didn’t buy that explanation of Neel’s firing when it investigated. The agency issued a formal complaint against the Fund Feb. 27 saying Neel was fired because he engaged in union activities. Now, having heard two days of testimony, federal administrative law judge Margaret Brakebusch will decide which version of events to believe.
Professors, Authors, Civil Rights, Human Rights, and Faith Leaders Urge Senate to Confirm NLRB Nominees
Letters signed by nearly 400 professors and 125 leaders nationwide argues for swift action on NLRB to ensure workplace rights
The first letter, signed by nearly 400 notable professors from colleges and universities across the country, states:
by Jack Metzgar
Last month a few hundred retail and fast-food workers, from places like Sears, Dunkin’ Donuts, and McDonald’s, walked off their jobs for a rally in downtown Chicago. Carrying signs saying “Fight for 15” (or “Lucha Por 15”) and “We Are Worth More,” these workers make $9 or $10 an hour, at best, and they figure they’re worth at least $15.
A one-shift walk-out and protest by a few hundred out of the thousands of such workers in the Chicago Loop and along Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile cannot have the economic impact of a traditional strike – one that shuts down an entire workplace or industry for an extended period of time and, therefore, can bend an employer’s will. And these workers’ chances of getting $15 an hour any time soon are worse than slim. This “job action,” bolstered by community supporters organized by Action Now and with help from Service Employees International Union organizers, is more in the nature of a public protest than a “real strike.” You could even call it “a public relations stunt,” but you’d be wrong to dismiss it as inconsequential.
By Mike Elk
The NLRB says Cablevision violated the National Labor Relations Act in its attempts to deter its Bronx workers from joining the Communications Workers of America. (CWABrooklynVision )
Last June, Cablevision workers in the Bronx voted against joining the Communications Workers of America by a landslide, with 43 workers voting in favor of unionization and 121 workers voting against it. Now, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) says that it plans to file a complaint against Cablevision, accusing the company of engaging in illegal conduct in the lead-up to the election. Continue reading