"Inside Edge" Newsletter

The NLRB Hearings

The NLRB Hearings

Just a Public Show

The NLRB is “listening” to both sides of table on the issue of making elections a more “efficient” process. Both management and unions are waiting for the results of the NLRB hearings to find out what changes are going to take place. These hearings are suppose to be a forum for interested parties to express their concerns about how a 10 to 15 day election cycle will affect them.

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House Calls

House Calls

Fixing a Broken Weapon

House Calls are simply not the same as they were when I was a National Organizing Director. Don’t get me wrong. Organizers still make house calls but when my team made them, they had a different mindset (and skillset) than many organizers out there today. But unions have identified this flaw and are working on strategies to fix a broken weapon.

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How a Changing of the Guard Has Changed Unions and Politics

How a Changing of the Guard Has Changed Unions and Politics

A New Chapter in the Union Movement

I remember back in 2008, when the Democrats had a big year on Capitol Hill, hearing Andy Stern on TV raising Hell. He stated “If they (elected politicians) don’t pass the Employee Free Choice Act then they need to know that we (Unions) put them in office and we will take them out of office”.

Stern had been an advocate for spending less money on political puppets and more on grass roots organizing efforts for many years. In 1984, when AFL-CIO President John Sweeney appointed Stern as the head of the organizing department, they were already showing signs of internal conflict when discussing the best way to use union resources.

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Healthcare, Emergency  Medical Services and the Union:

Healthcare, Emergency Medical Services and the Union:

Why You Should Have Concern

Should today’s leaders in healthcare and emergency services care about the unions? Yes. Unions are targeting these industries with full force. Remember, membership levels in the union as an institution are at an all time low. They are also in the BUSINESS of making money off of dues in exchange for unit representation. When membership is down, profits are down. When profits are down, business leaders find ways to bring them back into the black. Healthcare and emergency services are low hanging fruit which has historically gone relatively untapped.

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Bannering Tactics and How to Defend Yourself

Bannering Tactics and How to Defend Yourself

On August 27, 2010, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) unleashed another weapon to the union arsenal. The NLRB ruled that “bannering” did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and created another “legal” means for unions to put pressure on their targets. So far, in 2011, unions have proved that this is a missile they have no problem firing.

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He Who Wins the Hearts of Employees Wins Campaigns

He Who Wins the Hearts of Employees Wins Campaigns

As a former union official with 24 years experience (many of which were spent as an Organizing Director with campaigns in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico), I have read with interest about the myths regarding how union organizers influence your workers to vote for the union in article after article authored by “union experts”. It seems that these experts have little to no real world experience with the union (low-level organizers within the union or HR professionals who worked on a handful of campaigns), or dare I say that they are making up stories to sell their services to unsuspecting and vulnerable clients who are in panic mode when being pursued by the union.

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Public Unions:

Public Unions:

Last Bastion of the Middle Class

The labor movement has received more attention in the last month than it has since the PATCO strike in 1981. State governors, starting with New Jersey to the dramatic confrontation between state employees and the governor of Wisconsin, are in essence addressing a symptom of much greater importance – the decline of the American middle class. The standard of living in the US has declined in the past 30 years. American families are working more hours to maintain a standard of living that once could be supported by a single wage earner.

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Response to "Tactics or Coincidence"

Response to "Tactics or Coincidence"

The Chipolte Mexican Grill Immigrant Labor Force Case

A Response to Tactics or Coincidence by Mark Lema


Mark's article is very interesting, and in fact touches a sore spot within my heart.

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Tactics or Coincidence

Tactics or Coincidence

The Chipolte Mexican Grill Immigrant Labor Force Case

On February 23, 2011, it was reported that a Federal crackdown on the immigrant labor force drove Chipotle Mexican Grill to terminate hundreds of its 1,200 allegedly illegal employees at the company’s 50 Minnesota restaurants. But is there more to the story?

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Behind the Scenes:

Behind the Scenes:

Bob King's New UAW Strategy

What is happening behind the scenes of the labor movement and the UAW’s attempt to build up its core rank-and-file membership? My sources and my experience with the unions are telling me what is happening. In my former career, I was a high ranking union official and got to know Bob King, Richard Bensinger, Richard Trumka and a host of other “union players” very well. Based on this knowledge, I am seeing the beginnings of a whole new union experience that management leaders need to be aware of if they wish to stay ahead of the unions.

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Unions Eating Their Own

Unions Eating Their Own

Not even a month past Labor Day, the holiest of union holidays, and the unions are waging war. These wars have developed into a pattern. The <acronym>SEIU</acronym>-UHW and the newly formed National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) are raiding each other’s membership. This battle will have a direct effect on everyone, not just those in the healthcare industry, in the form of healthcare quality and cost. In California, 43,000 Kaiser employees (and SEIU-UHW) members are voting on whether to stay with the SEIU-UHW or become members of the NUHW union.

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The Union's Hidden Power Plan

The Union's Hidden Power Plan

The 20 Year Plan

When I was working with the AFL/CIO and IBT, we had strategic think tanks that were charged with planning organizing tactics for the future (up to 20 years in advance). The unions had solid long and short term plans, many of which we are seeing take shape today. It was a struggle for the AFL/CIO to get all the affiliates on the same page as far as working together as a cohesive force. As a union official, it was my job to beat the target organization by any means necessary, but it was very frustrating for many of us on the long term strategic planning committees because every union was fighting for the same workers.

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