Tag Archives: unions

NLRB Rebalances Employers’ Rights to Prohibit Union Solicitation on Their Property

Last Friday, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) in UPMC overturned 38-year old precedent and held that employers may lawfully prohibit non-employee union solicitation in public spaces on their property absent evidence of discriminatory enforcement. This ruling may seem like common sense to many as employers have long been permitted to control what types of activities occur on their private property in other contexts.  However, for the past four decades, the NLRB has compelled employers to allow non-employee union organizers to engage in non-disruptive solicitation in areas, such as cafeterias and restaurants, where the Employer had opened its private property to the public.  The NLRB’s ruling in UPMC ends this compelled acquiesce and affirms employers’ property rights.

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Executive Privilege (a new Twinkie Defense?): What Executives Can and Should Say About Unions

In the past week media reports abound regarding a controversial allegedly “anti-union” statement made by a high level executive associated with the iconic snack cake Twinkies.  As widely reported late last year, the original Twinkie maker, Hostess Brands, Inc.,  was forced to close, liquidate and lay off its entire unionized workforce, publicly blaming the recalcitrance of its unions for the company’s downfall.  However, these statements did not cause this most recent controversy.  Rather, it was comments from an executive connected with Hostess Brands LLC, the newly formed company which acquired many of the assets of the bankrupt predecessor, including the rights to make Twinkies, which spurred public attention.

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Alliance of Aggressive Unions (CNA and NUHW) Formed to Target Hospitals

On January 3, 2013, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU) and the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW), two of the healthcare industry’s most aggressive unions, announced a new alliance designed to organize employees in non-union hospitals, impose their agenda on already unionized hospitals and target the members of rival union Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

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The NLRB Continues To Help Unions Organize: Do Not Get Caught Flatfooted

By:  Paul Rosenberg

The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) seems intent upon helping unions organize employees.  It continues to pass rules, issue decisions, or announce new policies which will almost certainly facilitate union organizing.  The latest example occurred on March 22 when the NLRB announced that in the next two weeks it is launching an “educational” website aimed at informing non-union employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”).   In conjunction with this unprecedented website the NLRB is preparing brochures which will provide “real life” cases to inform non-union workers of their legal rights.   The NLRB has yet to determine the distribution mechanism for the brochures.

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Ohio voters likely to decide fate of S.B. 5 on November 8th

In a demonstration that worker revolt in debt-laden states is not the mere province of cheese loving peoples (the Greeks, the French, and Wisconsinites), members of Ohio’s public employee unions, under the banner of “We Are Ohio”, took to the streets of Columbus on June 29th and presented Secretary of State Jon Husted with nearly 1.3 million signatures in favor of a petition for a public referendum to repeal recently passed amendments to the Public Employees’ Collective Bargaining Law (popularly known as S.B. 5). The 1,298,301 signatures collected far exceed the 231,149-signature requirement for putting repeal of S.B. 5 on the ballot this coming November—and in fact represents the largest haul of signatures ever collected for a referendum petition in the state’s history. 

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The Death of Employer Free Speech: Labor relations and the proposed rules by the DOL and the NLRB

In a one-two punch, the DOL and the NLRB issued notices of proposed rulemaking that together seek not only to hamstring employers in communicating with employees during a union organizing effort, but also to hamstring employers in communicating with employees about unions at all. These efforts are little more than a thinly veiled attempt to circumvent Congress and salvage the Obama administration’s support from organized labor – particularly following the Employee Free Choice Act debacle. Indeed, perhaps the “transparency” repeatedly espoused in the notices would be a little more credible if the agencies just came clean and admitted their role as political pawns.

The net effect of the proposed regulations is to expedite union elections, thereby providing a further advantage to organized labor (which is already winning over 50% of elections), and to effectively kill what an employer can actually do in the truncated time they would have. With a current median election time of 38 days from the date of petition (with 95% of elections occurring within 56 days), the NLRB’s proposed rules realistically seek to reduce that time period to not much more than 20 days. The purpose of the quickie election, of course, is to allow the union to propagandize its target audience, file a petition and hold the election immediately – before employees can be educated on the fact that there is a view other than the union’s.

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