PSLabor News

PSLabor News

The following article is from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation’s bi-monthly Foundation Action Newsletter, November/December 2018 edition. Cases seek to strike down laws that let union bosses block workers from stopping dues payments Foundation staff attorney William Messenger argued Janus at the Supreme Court. The Foundation’s victory must be vigilantly enforced. SPRINGFIELD, VA – Since the 2012 passage of Right to Work legislation in the Wolverine State, Foundation staff attorneys have provided free legal assistance to Michigan workers in more than a hundred cases. With 41 ongoing cases and another 61 closed as of the publication of this article, Michigan cases continue to make up a disproportionate amount of the Foundation’s caseload of approximately 220-230 active cases at any given time. Developments in Foundation legal cases in recent months show that despite dozens of victories for workers, Michigan union bosses continue to attempt to force workers to pay dues despite the Right to Work laws. These federal lawsuits are among dozens of legal actions workers have pursued, with the assistance of Foundation staff attorneys, to enforce the Supreme Court’s Janus ruling. As decades of Foundation litigation has amply demonstrated, without relentless enforcement, Big Labor ignores precedent and violates the rights of rank-and-file workers. California Court Worker Sues to Exercise Janus Rights In California, Foundation staff attorneys are assisting Mark Smith, a court worker in Contra Costa County, who attempted to exercise his new protections days after the Janus decision. Mr. Smith submitted his resignation from membership in American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 2700 and told union officials they did not have his authorization to deduct union dues from his paycheck. AFSCME officials continued siphoning Mr. Smith’s hard-earned money without his consent and despite his multiple attempts to resign. When Mr. Smith sent his resignation via certified mail, postal service records show union officials left the delivery unclaimed. After his requests were repeatedly ignored, Mr. Smith came to Foundation staff attorneys for free legal aid in filing a federal lawsuit against AFSCME officials and his government employer. In the complaint, Mr. Smith challenges union officials’ violation of his First Amendment rights and a California law requiring public employers to deduct dues at the union’s request, even if the worker revokes authorization. This egregious law, enacted mere hours after the Janus decision, also blocks public employers from informing employees of their Janus rights. Pennsylvania School Bus Driver Blocked from Resigning Union Membership In Pennsylvania, school bus driver Michael Mayer attempted to exercise his rights under Janus just weeks after the ruling. He resigned his membership in the Teamsters union on July 20 and hand-delivered a notice in August demanding that his employer stop deducting membership dues from his paycheck. However, Teamsters Local 312 officials refused to honor his resignation, and his employer, Wallingford-Swarthmore School District, continued withdrawing union dues from Mr. Mayer’s hard-earned wages. Teamster bosses claimed Mr. Mayer only had a 15-day window to escape from the union’s new monopoly bargaining contract under a section of Pennsylvania’s Public Employee Relations Act (PERA). Such a policy directly conflicts with the Supreme Court’s Janus ruling, which held that dues taken without workers’ clear and knowing affirmative consent violate the First Amendment. When dues continued to be seized from Mayer’s paycheck in September, Foundation staff attorneys filed a federal lawsuit against the Teamsters union and the school district for violating his rights. The lawsuit seeks a refund of the dues that the Teamsters conspired to take without his consent after his resignation and asks the court to rule that the PERA violates his First Amendment rights by restricting his ability to resign union membership and stop paying dues. “Unfortunately, though not surprisingly, rather than work to earn the voluntary support of the workers they claim to represent, union officials coast-to-coast are resorting to illegal schemes to block workers from exercising their rights under the Janus decision,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “These cases likely won’t be the last challenging attempts to prevent workers from exercising their Janus rights.” Read Story
Part of the ordinance was declared unconstitutional. Read Story
Lordstown, Ohio, was defined by its General Motors plant.Now workers say job cuts threaten the lives they’ve built... Read Story
[resumen.cl] The following is the testimony of a dockworker from Valparaíso: how the... Read Story
Thousands of fast-food workers have told the National Labor Relations Board that... Read Story
Relying on Boeing, the NLRB GC determinedworkplace civility rules were permissible and employees can be compelled to sign off and terminated if they refused. Read Story
Ohio Governor John Kasich tweeted Elon Musk last week about Tesla taking over the General Motors factory in Lordstown, Ohio. Elon replied he might consider doing so and promised an answer next year. Read Story
Between 2009 and 2017, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) invalidated countless workplace employment policies – including those of non-union employers – where the agency found them to potentially infringe on workers’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act. Read Story
The following article is from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation’s bi-monthly Foundation Action Newsletter, November/December 2018 edition. Foundation attorneys seek to overturn Obama-era ruling that traps workers in union after abuse-prone “card check” Foundation staff attorneys have asked the Trump NLRB to repeal Obama-era rulings that granted coercive powers to union officials, such as AFL-CIO top boss Richard Trumka (right), at the expense of worker freedom. WASHINGTON, DC – Since 2011, a Big Labor-friendly ruling by the Obama National Labor Relations Board has barred workers from holding secret ballot votes to remove an unwanted union from their workplace. Foundation staff attorneys have urged the new Trump NLRB to overturn the case called Lamons Gasket to restore employees’ protections against union officials’ coercion. The latest appeal, the third this year brought by staff attorneys, is on behalf of Seattle hotel housekeeper Gladys Bryant. Bryant works at Embassy Suites. UNITE HERE Local 8 union officials unionized the workplace through a card check drive, which bypasses an NLRB-supervised secret ballot election and is often characterized by manipulation and intimidation. Union organizers misled Bryant and her fellow workers into signing cards, and then counted those cards as “votes” toward unionization. When Bryant realized what had happened, she led a group of colleagues in filing an NLRB petition for a secret ballot decertification vote with free legal aid from Foundation staff attorneys. However, the election petition was dismissed by a regional career NLRB official using the Lamons Gasket ruling. Trump Labor Board has Chance to Restore Worker Protections Under the Foundation-won Dana decision, workers could collect signatures to request a secret ballot election during a 45-day window following notice that they had been forced under union representation via card check. Dana had provided an important, although limited, protection for workers against coercive card check drives. However in the 2011 Lamons Gasket ruling, an Obama-selected NLRB overturned Dana. This means that no matter how many workers sign a petition seeking to oust a union, they can be barred for one year before they can file for a secret ballot vote. Instead of ceding her workplace voice when her secret ballot vote petition was dismissed under Lamons Gasket, Bryant continued the legal battle with help from Foundation staff attorneys. Foundation attorneys have submitted an appeal to the NLRB asking the Board to overturn Lamons Gasket and restore workers’ protections against the coercive tactics union officials use to force their monopoly bargaining privileges onto employees. Such protections are especially important for workers in states like Washington that lack Right to Work protections. In those states, private sector employees can be forced to pay fees as a condition of employment to a union about which they never even had the chance to vote. “Ms. Bryant’s situation reveals the coercive nature of a card check drive, and why the Trump Labor Board must end the Obama Board’s disastrous precedent,” said National Right to Work Foundation Vice President and Legal Director Ray LaJeunesse. “The Lamons Gasket decision means that workers can be forced to pay union fees even if the majority of the workplace wants to vote out the union. Workers must be allowed to fight back against this coercive process.” Foundation staff attorneys also filed unfair labor practice charges, still under NLRB investigation, for Bryant against the union and hotel management for coercive tactics used in the union card check process. Read Story
Some vocal members of the country's largest aerospace union were fired from a Boeing plant in South Carolina, a move the union says it sees as retaliation for its having made inroads in the state after several organization attempts. Read Story
Hundreds of union members and their supporters rallied in Boston in solidarity with 1,250 National Grid gas workers who have been locked out of their jobs for nearly six months.The lockout began after the [...]... Read Story
Reported by PMOI/MEK Iran, Dec. 22, 2018 - The Trade Union Congress (TUC), one of the largest labor unions in England and Wales with 5.6 million members, issued a statement condemning the Iranian regime’s ongoing crackdown of workers, college students and other protesters across Iran. Read Story
Some vocal members of the country's largest aerospace union were fired from a Boeing plant in South Carolina, a move the union says it sees as retaliation for its having made inroads in the state after several organization attempts. Read Story
TROIS-RIVIERES, QUE.—With a negotiation deadline looming, the United Steelworkers union has filed a complaint with Quebec’s Administrative Labour Tr... Read Story
Local union president Clement Masse says Alcoa is "not taking the negotiation process seriously," claiming the company has reneged on previous commitments at the bargaining table. Read Story
A federal appeals court ruled that a company did not violate labor laws by asking police to...- Criminal Law... Read Story
Employees at a location of a Winnipeg restaurant chain that’s come under fire over harassment allegations have voted to unionize.The United Food and Commercial Workers Union says in a news re…... Read Story
The president of Chicago Teachers Union violated the rights of one of his own staffers just before taking over the helm of the labor giant. Read Story
General Motors' decision to close plants is having a ripple effect on other companies, particularly those in Youngstown, Ohio, near the Lordstown plant. Read Story
This is Keith Peraino: Keith is from Staten Island, NY and is a Registered Nurse with a BA from Lehigh University, a BSN from Jacksonville University, an MS in Healthcare Administration and a Certificate in Human Resources Management from Villanova. Keith used to work as a campaign organizer for labor unions, including SEIU. Since 2010,… Read Story