PSLabor News

PSLabor News

Unite Here Local 5, which represents 2,700 striking hotel workers in Hawaii, and Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts will return to the bargaining table next week. Read Story
A UNION preparing to strike over equal pay in Glasgow has stated there is no party political motivation for the industrial action. Read Story
Read more about Auto, taxi unions in Delhi to go on strike on Monday on Business Standard.Commuters in the national capital may face problems as auto-rickshaw and taxi unions have decided to go on a strike on Monday against the Delhi government's policies on cab aggregators."The one-day 'Chakka Jaam'... Read Story
Employers rejoice as the NLRB takes steps to return decades-old joint employer standard. Read Story
Australian Workers Union members employed at Alcoa have voted to reject a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement from the company, despite it containing a number of job security clauses, the Mandurah Mail can reveal. Read Story
Finance Minister Vic Fedeli insisted the government has a backup plan in place but it saying what that arrangement would be... Read Story
They want strike instigators rehired and legal action taken against hired thugs who injured 25 workers in violent attack. Read Story
President Donald Trump promised that his tariffs would help American companies.Instead, companies like Ford are claiming that the tariffs have cost them…... Read Story
University of Chicago's dean told graduate students planning to attend a Thursday protest during class hours that they would be "walking out on your students."... Read Story
University of California Irvine held their inaugural e-sports conference on October 11 and 12. Read Story
Ct orders New Orleans charter school operator to bargain with union , finding it wasn't a 'political subdivision', covered by the NLRA. Read Story
NLRB staff directed to scrutinize more negligent treatment of union members, by union employers. Read Story
SEOUL, Oct. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — Shareholders in GM Korea Co.on Friday approved the company’s plan to establish a separate …... Read Story
The 'faith' contract: 7,000 teachers working under expired agreement with Shelby County Schools Memphis Commercial Appeal Published 1:23 PM EDT Oct 17, 2018 Ask union leader Tikeila Rucker what guarantees a Shelby County Schools teacher's pay, benefits or insurance won't change in the next several months, and she'll give you one word: "Faith." Faith that district leaders won't make changes at will — because they can. October 16 2018 - United Education Association union leader Tikeila Rucker, right, and Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson at the start of a rally held by the United Education Association at the Shelby County Schools headquarters on Tuesday. Brad Vest/The Commercial Appeal The three-year memorandum of understanding between 7,000 teachers and the school district expired in March.  "We are operating under the good grace of superintendent at this time," Rucker said. The United Education Association, led by Rucker, and the Memphis Shelby County Education Association are in the process of drumming up support from teachers to allow the unions to go back to the table with SCS to create a new agreement. They tried once before, but couldn't garner enough participation, citing technical difficulties with an email that went out asking for votes.  To give them more time, SCS Superintendent Dorsey Hopson agreed in a letter not to make changes to working conditions dictated under the previous agreement.  October 16 2018 - Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson speaks during a rally held by the United Education Association at the Shelby County Schools headquarters on Tuesday. Brad Vest/The Commercial Appeal "Although it expired, we will continue to be guided by the terms and conditions contained in it and do not anticipate any disruptions with daily operations," Hopson's email said. But if the unions again fail to garner enough support, they will be at a crossroads. Hopson would have the power to make changes unilaterally to major elements of a teacher's job.  Hopson cheered at rally Rucker's union had a rally Tuesday to engage teachers in the process of "collaborative conferencing," the process that replaced collective bargaining with a change in state law in 2011.  Hopson was a welcomed guest, and the union gave him the chance to address the crowd. About 50 teachers chanted and cheered as their boss made his way to the front of the school board auditorium, throwing in a subtle dance move as he came to the microphone.  "There's always a great way to have teacher voice if you have strong representation," Hopson told the crowd of teachers during a 10-minute speech. He emphasized no endorsement of one union over the other, but said it was in teachers' best interest to vote to come to the table. "We make all these decisions that impact teachers, and you guys are on the front lines," Hopson said, acknowledging the district hasn't always sought feedback when making critical decisions. Before his speech, when asked about the expired agreement, Hopson said his "commitment is to continue to operate in good faith."  October 16 2018 - United Education Association buttons are seen during a rally held by the United Education Association at the Shelby County Schools headquarters on Tuesday. Brad Vest/The Commercial Appeal Any issue that's come up since March, he said, he's gone back to the original agreement for guidance, even though it's no longer binding. District policies also back up much of what was in the agreement, he said. He declined to speculate on what would happen if the unions can't rally enough support to come back to the table. "Obviously we want to have something more formal," Hopson said. 51 percent of teachers have to vote The first step in collaborative conferencing is for 15 percent of the 7,000 teachers to sign petitions saying they want a new agreement. Rucker announced Tuesday night that between the two unions, they reached that goal. October 16 2018 - People listen as Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson speaks during a rally held by the United Education Association at the Shelby County Schools headquarters on Tuesday. Brad Vest/The Commercial Appeal Once the district verifies the signatures on the petitions, at least 51 percent of teachers have to vote for one union or the other to represent them in conferencing.  Last October, ahead of the agreement's expiration, the unions gathered enough signatures but only 41 percent of teachers voted in the online poll. Union leaders blamed timing — the email went out just before the holidays — and alleged the email arrived in teachers' spam folders. Assuming the district verifies the new petition signatures, an email will go out to teachers in early November to vote for one union or the other.  The vote determines the proportion of representatives from each union who will negotiate on everyone's behalf. A total of seven to 11 teachers would be at the table.  Two unions instead of one This would be the second time teachers have entered an agreement with SCS since the district merged with Memphis City Schools in 2013. The process took about a year last time, and the agreement took effect in March 2015. This will be the first time, however, there are two unions at the table. The United Education Association of Shelby County formed about two years ago as an offshoot of the Tennessee Education Association. October 16 2018 - Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson speaks during a rally held by the United Education Association at the Shelby County Schools headquarters on Tuesday. Brad Vest/The Commercial Appeal Keith Williams, executive director of the Memphis Shelby County Education Association, said his union competes with the other group for members, but they have the same goals.  "We'll be working for the same thing," he said.  State law limits the issues that can be addressed through collaborative conferencing, but Williams said there's still significant issues to tackle.  The district moved to a merit-based compensation plan instead of paying teachers for years of experience and advanced degrees. The unions want to reverse that.  "As of right now, we don't know where people are on the salary schedule," Williams said. Despite the work that went into the current pay model, Hopson said he's willing to have the conversation.  "We'll come with an open mind," he said. Reach Jennifer Pignolet at jennifer.pignolet@commercialappeal.com or on Twitter @JenPignolet. Published 1:23 PM EDT Oct 17, 2018 Read Story
The Labor Relations blog is managed by the labor law attorneys at Barnes & Thornburg. The blog aims to be a source for news, analysis, and commentary on traditional labor legal issues, including news related to the NLRB and a variety of state issues. Read Story
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette violated federal labor law by charging more than 400 union employees a 5 percent increase in health care premiums during contract negotiations, an administrative law judge has ruled. The newspaper made an 'unlawful unilateral change' that 'reduced the health care benefits' of employees when the premium increas Read Story
A long-brewing issue surrounding multi-employer pensions is reaching a tipping point for some unions members in the Quad Cities and across the United States. Read Story
The NLRB is apparently moving slower to change rules about how fast workers can hold union elections than it is on a proposal to rewrite the joint employer rule. Read Story
SEOUL, Oct. 17 (Yonhap) — Unionized workers at Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. staged a partial strike Wednesday to protest a possible pay cut ahead a crucial decision by a labor relations commission, company and union officials said. The unionized workers downed their tools at a shipyard in the industrial city of Ulsan, about 410 kilometers southeast of Seoul, at 1 p.m. with a four-hour strike also planned for Thursday. The latest move came a day before the labor relations commission in Ulsan decides whether to accept the company’s request that it pays 40 percent of average monthly wages to each employee working at the troubled offshore division who opts to take paid leave. Under South Korea’s labor law, a company is required to pay more than 70 percent of an average monthly income to its employees in case of troubles brought on by the company. But the law gives a company leeway to pay less than 70 percent if approved by the commission. The commission — which is responsible for mediating and adjudicating labor disputes — is set to make its decision Thursday afternoon. The union said its 12,000-strong members are eligible to take part in the strike, though it was not immediately clear how many union members participated. The world’s biggest shipbuilder by sales halted work at its offshore facilities in August after orders dried up. The company and union have been at odds over how to address the large number of idle workers at the offshore division. Hyundai Heavy has 15,795 employees, and among them, 2,800 belong to the offshore division. The latest trouble follows a series of offshore projects Hyundai Heavy lost out to Chinese and Singaporean rivals in recent years due to higher costs. Labor costs at Chinese and Singaporean yards stand at only 32 percent and 15 percent, respectively, of Hyundai Heavy’s, according to the South Korean shipbuilder. Read Story
Canadian postal workers will continue to ship packages of live bees and day-old chicks, even if workers begin a rotating strike on Monday. The Canadian Union of Postal Workers and Canada Post confirmed Wednesday an agreement is in place, should work stoppages occur. Read Story
The labor union that won an election at Boeing Co.'s North Charleston campus is alleging the aerospace giant is spying on the flight-line workers it represents. Read Story
Labor data show wage growth is accelerating at last, boosted by the lowest jobless rate in nearly half a century... Read Story
The workers said the labor federation, which presents itself as the defender of ordinary working people, was trying to force an unfair contract on their members. Read Story
The statewide movement that has adjunct college and university professors forming new unions to fight for better pay and benefits grew a little Tuesday. Adjunct faculty at Seminole State College of Florida in Sanford voted to form a union with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)... Read Story
CHICAGO (Reuters) - United States Steel Corp (X.N) workers are set to get the biggest wage jump in at least six years under a new deal negotiated with the company, providing early signs that gains from U.S. President Donald Trump’s clampdown on foreign imports are finally trickling down. U.S. Steel Corp administrative offices for its Granite City Works in Granite City, Illinois, U.S. on July 5, 2017. REUTERS/David Lawder The agreement, reached on Monday, proposes a cumulative 14 percent wage increase over a four-year period, three sources familiar with details of the negotiations told Reuters on Tuesday. Wages were frozen in the last contract, which ended on Sept. 1, as the Pittsburgh-based company was suffering losses from a slump in the domestic steel prices. The 2012-2015 agreement raised wages by an average of about 1.5 percent per year over three years, according to the workers’ union. Trump’s restrictive trade policy, coupled with a strong economy, has sent domestic steel prices soaring, helping U.S. Steel post a near 60 percent increase in pretax profits in the June quarter. The deal, which needs to be ratified by 16,000 workers across the country, comes days after U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross called steelmakers to share the profits from high steel prices with their workers. It comes at a time when U.S. wages are growing at the fastest pace in more than nine years. The new contract also proposes a lump sum bonus and a share in the company’s profits, the sources said on condition of anonymity to discuss the confidential deal. The workers will retain healthcare benefits from the last contract, which did not require them to pay a premium. A company spokeswoman did not respond when asked to comment on the deal, whose details have not been made public. The United Steelworkers (USW) union, which represents U.S. Steel workers, began negotiating a new contract in July. But the company’s push to pass along some of the healthcare costs led to a standoff. Scott Cranor, a union official in Gary, Indiana, said on Monday that higher healthcare costs would have effectively wiped out any pay increases proposed by the company. He said affordable healthcare and no premiums were among the reasons why workers preferred to work at U.S. Steel despite lower wages. “We have an excellent benefit package,” Cranor said in an interview at his office, hours before both the parties reached a tentative deal. “That’s why we have settled for lesser wage. “UNDERLYING PROBLEMS While the import curbs have helped turn around U.S. Steel’s fortunes, they have not resolved the company’s competitive problems. The company’s operating profit margin is below the industry average. And its revenue per employee pales in comparison with that of rival steelmaker Nucor Corp (NUE.N). Financial markets worry that U.S. Steel’s plans to spend $2 billion through 2020 to add capacity to meet increased demand could further delay any potential dividend or share buyback. The company has the lowest dividend yield among major rivals.” Investors remain worried that because U.S. Steel is focusing on capex, shareholder returns remain on the backburner,” said Seth Rosenfeld, a metals & mining analyst at Jefferies. The new deal could inflate its cost structure, piling pressure on the company’s stock which has lost nearly 40 percent since March 1 when Trump decided to impose the metal tariffs. U.S. Steel’s shares fell 1.2 percent on Tuesday to close at $27.63. Domestic steel prices have fallen about 10 percent since early June, raising concerns that prices have peaked. Demand from the auto industry, the company’s biggest customer, is also widely expected to slow down.” The auto industry is dealing with lots of cost pressures because of trade wars, rising raw materials costs and declining sales volumes,” said Rosenfeld. “Therefore, we have a somewhat conservative outlook with regard to contract hikes in 2019.” Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh; Editing by Richard Chang Read Story
The Trump administration plans to tackle two important labor policy issues next year: overtime pay and “joint employer” liability for companies in staffing and franchise relationships. Read Story
Washington, DC — On September 11, 2018, the Board issued a Notice and Invitation to File Briefs in Loshaw Thermal Technology, LLC, 05-CA-158650, regarding whether Section 9(a) bargaining relationships in the construction industry may be established by contract language alone.  The due date for the receipt in Washington, D.C. of briefs pursuant to the Board’s Notice and Invitation was October 26, 2018.  On October 5, 2018, the Charging Party Union filed with the Board a request to withdraw the underlying charge in this matter.   In view of the Charging Party Union’s request to withdraw the charge, the Notice and Invitation to File Briefs in this case is suspended, pending the Board’s action on the withdrawal request.  Accordingly, no additional briefs should be filed in this case until further notice. Read Story
Labor union strikes against hospitality companies are not uncommon. But the more than 7,700 striking Marriott employees represented by Unite Here, working Unite Here represents approximately 20,000 Marriott workers, and approximately 41.5 percent of them are currently on strike. Read Story
Attorneys for McDonald’s recently fired off a strongly worded missive against a former Bush White House ethics chief who said two GOP members of the National Labor Relations Board should sit out a case against the fast food giant. Read Story
More jobs are set to go at defence shipbuilder ASC as work on Australia's new air warfare destroyers winds down. Read Story
UFCW Canada Local 1006A is proud to welcome more than 180 workers at the Plaza Premium Lounge to the UFCW family.... Read Story
SEOUL, Oct. 16 (Korea Bizwire) — Unionized workers at GM Korea Co.voted Tuesday to go on strike to protest the carmaker’s plan …... Read Story
The union said management has not set a new date for negotiations to address their specific demands. Read Story
This morning in metals news, the U.S. is reportedly looking to impose steel quotas on Mexico, the World Steel Association boosts its forecast for global steel demand and U.S. Steel reaches a tentative agreement with United Steelworkers to avoid a potential strike. Read Story
The Fight for $15 has compelled states, cities, and businesses to set a $15 minimum wage. But its workers also want—and have yet to win—a union. Read Story
Some 1,800 striking construction workers have been marching through the streets of Geneva to protest against worsening working conditions. ... Read Story
Locked-out National Grid workers are headed to Merrimack Valley to assist with gas restoration efforts, union officials announced. According to a joint statement from John Buonopane, president of USW Local 12012 and Joe Kirylo, president of USW Local 12003, “individual members will be able to coordinate with local unions and the Department of Public Utilities to assist with restoration efforts.” Read Story
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Walmart and its foundation recently gave $4 million to organizations that train workers for better jobs. As America’s biggest private employer, though, the company’s real power to expand mobility lies in improving its own labor practices. Read Story
Monday morning musings for workplace watchers. Read Story