PSLabor News

PSLabor News

Unions won fewer elections in the first half of 2018 but added more members compared to the same period last year, according to midyear NLRB statistics compiled and analyzed by Bloomberg Law. Read Story
Jerry Dias, head of Canada’s largest private sector union Unifor, had harsh words and taunts for Donald Trump in a CNBC interview Friday, saying the president’s approach “doesn’t make a stitch of sense.” Objecting to specific proposals Trump has put forth, Dias said “It’s decision time. Read Story
More than 40 road construction companies plan to lock out hundreds of workers who operate heavy equipment on Tuesday as a summer-long labor dispute comes to a boil. Read Story
Allegheny Health Network's new contract with Allegheny Valley Hospital nurses and service employees is 'fair and competitive,' the hospital said in a news release Friday. ... Read Story
French oil giant Total has confirmed it hopes to avert further strike action on three North Sea platforms with the offer of an e-ballot to workers.Over a number of weeks, union members voted to carry out several strikes because the North Sea operator wanted to move offshore rotas from two weeks on,... Read Story
The union has selected a new lead negotiator and will “plan a path forward” in member meetings next week. Read Story
Verizon keeps trying to stop wireless workers from organizing. Instead their union is expanding. Read Story
For Labor Day, a call for a new union strategy from three prominent workers’ advocates.... Read Story
Sixty-two percent of Americans approve of labor unions today -- similar to 2017 and the highest level since 2003. A majority believe union influence will weaken. Read Story
Nearly 80,000 students in Washington state were unable to attend the first day of school this week as thousands of teachers went on strike seeking higher salaries, teacher's unions said. Read Story
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Nearly two dozen Democratic U.S. senators are calling on Boeing Co. to negotiate with a union now representing some employees at a South Carolina plant. Read Story
Some Michigan road projects could halt amid union lockout The Detroit News Published 3:36 p.m. UTC Aug 31, 2018 According to MITA, all road operators will be locked out beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday. Max Ortiz, Detroit News Some Michigan road projects could be halted beginning Tuesday amid plans to lock out unionized road builders by an association representing dozens of contractors following stalled labor negotiations.  The Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association in a Thursday letter to the Operating Engineers Local 324 said it would be instituting the lockout following months of "disruptive, coercive and oftentimes unlawful conduct" by the union, contends Mike Nystrom, MITA's executive vice president. Dan McKernan, a spokesman for the engineers, said the union was taken by surprise by the work stoppage plan it regards as an "involuntary layoff." The engineers contend the move will impact hundreds of unionized road builders and put multiple projects — from bridge repair on Interstate 75 to road reconstruction and maintenance on I-696, to road and bridge reconstruction on I-96 — in flux. "Our guys have been working all summer on these projects," McKernan said Thursday. "They are working on them today. They'll be working on them tomorrow. They are going to come back from Labor Day and be told to go home, not because of anything that they've done or we’ve done. We’re at a loss here." According to MITA, all road operators will be locked out beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday. Both the union and the association could not specify how many projects would be impacted by the action. Each company is notifying their employees of the plan, and each job will be handled differently, Nystrom said. "It's a defensive lockout," he said. "We had to react to the coercive and indiscriminate and sometimes unlawful actions that the union was taking. This decision was not taken lightly. The contracting community puts the driving public and their employees as their highest priority." The decision comes after multiple failed attempts by the association to work out a new contract agreement with the engineers after a prior, five-year deal expired in June.  The union representing heavy equipment operators and technicians and stationary engineers declined to engage in any negotiations with MITA, which — until now — has negotiated 13 different contracts with five unions for more than 50 years. Instead, the operating engineers, McKernan said, have worked with contractors not represented by MITA to forge an agreement that some have signed onto. They are urging MITA-represented contractors to do the same, he said. Nystrom said the lockout will end once the operating engineers ratify a statewide road contract proposed by MITA in the spring. It proposed 3 percent raises across the board in a five-year contract. MITA represents hundreds of companies who contract to build state roads and bridges, water and sewer systems and utilities. "We believe this action is necessary in order for us to achieve a new labor contract with the operating engineers," he said. Despite its unwillingness to negotiate MITA, the union workers represented under the expired contract have remained on the job while the prospect of a new contract remains in limbo.  The Thursday letter to the union notes the lockout will "obviously have a significant impact on road construction projects across the state and may affect many contractors involved in those projects." The lockout, Nystrom said, only affects employees working under the expired operating engineers' road contract. Work by and with other groups, including Laborers, Carpenters, Teamsters and Cement Masons, will continue. Some contractors, he added, may opt to bring in other employees to operate bulldozers, backhoes, excavators and cranes in the absence of the unionized workers. "Not every project will shut down completely. We've notified the other unions that this is going on, and we anticipate that the other trades will continue to work," he said. "We're going to work very hard as an industry to keep the projects moving forward. Some projects may slow down or come to a halt." The Michigan Department of Transportation has more than 140 construction projects in the works or planned this year around the state with more than $100 million earmarked for freeway construction projects in Macomb and Oakland counties alone. On Thursday, MDOT stressed it has no role in the contract dispute.  "It is important to understand that MDOT is not a party to these negotiations. Our priorities remain the safety of workers and the traveling public and maintaining traffic to alleviate delays as much as possible," MDOT spokesman Jeff Cranson said in an email. "In the event labor disputes affect active construction projects, MDOT has contractual specifications that address the contractor’s responsibilities. The contractors are obligated to maintain a safe work zone for motorists at all times and are required to do so for the full duration of the project even during delay caused by a labor dispute." MITA has attempted to negotiate with the engineers for more than four months and "they have refused to even have one meeting," Nystrom said. The association previously mailed the union an offer to maintain its prior five-year agreement apart from proposed wage increases in a deal to run through May 31, 2023. Workers in all classes would have received a $2 per hour increase annually for the first three years of the contract and $1 per hour more annually for the final two years. The union did not acknowledge the offer.  Nystrom contends the union has failed to certify registered apprentices, which is a requirement under MDOT and labor regulations. It also has not been accepting and crediting fringe benefit contributions from MITA-represented contractors, which puts union members at risk of losing benefits.  Nystrom noted the union has taken numerous actions throughout the summer, including what he characterized as a "strike action" on I-96 during paving work last weekend when union members showed up with pickets that "could have had an impact on the driving public."  McKernan countered that the action on I-96 last week was not a strike but an "informational picket" that did not disrupt the work and was conducted by a few union members who were not affiliated with the project.  He did acknowledge the union has not accepted the fringe benefits, saying it legally can't without a contract. Cranson and McKernan both said they could not speak to Nystrom's claims related to apprentices.  "Every action taken by the union has been prescribed by legal counsel and with the full hope that we would get a contract done with the (MITA) contractors," McKernan said.  Nystrom contends the engineers' "self-authored contract" was done without negotiations and that they are telling contractors it's the only option that will end the labor dispute. The contract, he said, includes a rate increase of $1.75 per hour and it impacts projects being bid by MDOT. McKernan, however, said that some contractors — not represented by MITA — did work with the union to craft the agreement. "They missed the party and they want us to throw them a new one the next night," he said. "This is grasping at straws." Published 3:36 p.m. UTC Aug 31, 2018 Read Story
President Donald Trump’s nomination of Democrat Mark Gaston Pearce for another five-year term on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) puts the agency a step closer to full strength and comes as the Republican-majority Board continues trying to change course from the previous administration. Read Story
A union member pickets outside new Port Townsend elementary school in Jefferson County, Washington.Jefferson County government's Twitter feed indicates the strike has cast doubt on whether the school will open…... Read Story
Inmates around the country have managed to engage the public in their ongoing prison protest through a targeted media strategy. Read Story
Workers at a Ford Motor Co. factory in Kentucky. Photo: Timothy D.Easley/Associated Press 10 Comments By Josh Zumbrun Josh…... Read Story
Last year’s teacher strikes were incredibly inspiring, in part because they came out of the most conservative parts of the nation. And yesterday’s massacre of Oklahoma Republicans who refused to vote for the tax increases to pay teachers shows the real power of this movement, as decentralized and... Read Story
Thousands of Steelworkers (USW) rally across the nation as the fight for a fair contract continues with ArcelorMittal and US Steel, as contracts are set... Read Story
A $15 wage floor, hiring hall, and union rights were among the demands voiced by local fast food workers and organizers today during a rally held outside McDonald's in Milwaukee's Lindsay Heights neighborhood. ... Read Story
France set for autumn strikes as unions step up protests The CGT and FO unions as well as two national student unions denounced "ideological policies targeti... Read Story
MEXICO CITY (AP) - Many in the U.S. government, and even some in Mexico, say the new trade agreement between the two countries will help increase the... Read Story
The president, who has moved to curb government unions, said the pay increase wasn’t affordable. But Congress can still pass legislation granting the raises. Read Story
A Milwaukee labor union organizer is confident the Milwaukee Bucks will deliver on their promise to pay wages escalating to $15 for service-sector jobs and hire union-represented employees at Fiserv Forum. Read Story
Our Unions and Capital The two school worker unions, the huge National Education Association (NEA) and the smaller American Federation of Teachers (AFT), met in conventions in mid-summer, the NEA over the July 4th weekend, AFT shortly thereafter. Read Story
Unions in France on Thursday called for a strike for October 9 in protest at the "ideological policies" of French President Emmanuel Macron's government. Read Story
By David Alire Garcia MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A long-exiled Mexican union leader stormed back onto the political stage on Thursday as a newly-minted senator, saying his legal troubles were behind him and pledging to help President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador defeat poverty. Read Story
The company’s new policy, prompted by legislation passed in its home state of Washington, will give workers 12 weeks paid leave... Read Story
Top NAFTA negotiators from Canada and the United States wrapped up a third day of two-way talks on Thursday... Read Story
Top NAFTA negotiators from Canada and the United States wrapped up a third day of two-way talks on Thursday, agreeing to meet the next day to resolve final differences before a deadline, with Mexican counterparts on standby to rejoin negotiations. Read Story
Unions in France on Thursday called for a strike for October 9 in protest at the "ideological policies" of French President Emmanuel Macron's government, while rail strikes have also been scheduled and Air France staff look set to hold more industrial action. Read Story
Dallas News: your source for breaking news and analysis for Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas and around the world. Read it here, first. Read Story
VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - The school year has been delayed for more than 75,000 students in southwestern Washington state after teachers and districts failed... Read Story
Despite a pledge by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to do all he can to prevent a teachers strike, peace between L.A. Unified and United Teachers Los Angeles remains elusive.On the same day LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner accepted Garcetti’s offer to intervene and facilitate a settlement, UTL... Read Story
Dispute at software startup is rare case of tech workers trying to unionize---and even rarer example of the government coming to their aid. Read Story
More than 2,700 United Airlines catering workers will have an opportunity to decide whether to unionize next month. Read Story
New website allows members to search UAW spending The Detroit News Published 3:39 p.m. UTC Aug 30, 2018 UAW logo file The United Auto Workers is criticizing a new website that aims to give its members an easy way to comb public records detailing how leadership spends their dues money. The Center for Union Facts on Thursday launched UAWAccountability.com. The website compiles LM-2 records — public records the UAW files with the U.S. Department of Labor detailing its spending — into a searchable database. The Center for Union Facts has been labeled an anti-union lobbyist, and is affiliated with the Employment Policies Institute, which was created by lobbyist Richard Berman. Spokesman Michael Saltsman told The Detroit News the website was borne out of the recent scandal involving the UAW and Fiat Chrysler that has led to seven convictions in an continuing federal corruption probe. Federal agents are investigating joint training centers funded by all three Detroit automakers and raised troubling questions about the conduct of the late Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne. The conspiracy dates to at least 2009. Prosecutors allege the scheme was designed by FCA, the UAW and senior leaders at both organizations to wring concessions from the UAW by funneling money and illegal gifts to labor leaders. "A lot of people are really furious about what's going on," Saltsman said. "We wanted to create a forum that's a relatively easy way to find how money is being spent." UAW spokesman Brian Rothenberg said the UAW is transparent with its spending, and the website doesn't offer anything new: LM-2's already are publicly accessible online through a U.S. government website. "All of this information is already publicly reported and the UAW is proud of this transparency," he said in an emailed statement. "The organization doing this is a radical right-wing front group founded by a lobbyist. This information is not new to members as it is already public and available." The new website would allow union members to click on their union Local and see total reported spending from 2013 to 2017 broken down by category, totals per year, and "spending highlights" that break out particularly how large dollar amounts of dues money were spent. A PDF file of the LM-2 detailing those large amounts is attached to each line item.  Site visitors could also search for key words. The data is pulled from LM-2 forms and presented objectively, Saltsman said. He acknowledged the center receives at least some funding from those in the business community. "We wanted everything to be by the book," he said. "These are reports that the UAW filed. If they have a problem with the website, I'd say they have a problem with the data." Twitter: @Ian_Thibodeau ithibodeau@detroitnews.com Published 3:39 p.m. UTC Aug 30, 2018 Read Story