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In the News
Max Finkelstein Workers Across East Coast Force RWDSU Union to Abandon 500+ Employee Unit
October 31, 2023 // “We warehouse workers and drivers at Max Finkelstein may be from many different facilities in many different states, but we are in agreement about one thing: RWDSU union officials don’t represent our interests,” commented Dorney. “It’s our right under federal law to challenge RWDSU’s forced representation power.” The RWDSU union has recently tried several high-profile unionization campaigns at Amazon warehouses across the country, most notably at the large Bessemer, AL, facility, where employees voted against the union by substantial margins in both 2021 and 2022. Gallup polling shows that 58 percent of nonunion workers are “not interested at all” in joining a union.
Union workers end strike at Thombert after new contract is signed
October 31, 2023 // When picketing first began, workers were frustrated Thombert, Inc. had grown “leaps and bounds,” but their paychecks did not reflect that. Others argued the initial offer from management was an “insult” and “ridiculous.” Later that month, union groups from across the state joined Thombert employees on strike outside the company’s Newton factory. Charlie Wishman, president of the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, advocated for fair contracts. “We are here to show support and solidarity to let them know they’re not alone,” he said. “You’ve got people from every single different kind of union out here right now, the trades, private sector, the public sector.
UAW Urges All Unions in US to Prepare for May Day 2028 Strikes
October 31, 2023 // The UAW’s social media accounts expanded the call by reposting other organizers’ social media calls to align more labor agreements to end alongside the UAW’s contract. Mass strikes are a common occurrence in Europe. Just this year, more than one million French people struck to protest the government’s proposal to raise the retirement age. Hundreds of thousands of public service workers in the UK — including rail workers, nurses, postal employees and lawyers — struck for higher wages in the face of soaring inflation. In March, German air and rail workers banded together to bring travel to a halt as they demanded more pay.
Opinion: Will Dem Politicians Pay For Their Union Pandering?
October 30, 2023 // Michigan auto worker Terry Bowman summed up the case against compulsory unionism thusly, “it just wasn’t right that I was forced to pay an outside organization my hard-earned money in order to work.” Select Language Will Dem Politicians Pay For Their Union Pandering? .By Norm SingletonOctober 30, 2023 Will Dem Politicians Pay For Their Union Pandering?FR11125 AP Wondering where the Bernie Bros (and Sisters) went after Bernie Sanders lost the 2020 Democratic primary to Joe “I am not a socialist” Biden? Well, many of them, under the leadership of the Young Democratic Socialists of America (YDSA), which enjoyed a renaissance of sorts, thanks to Sanders’ 2016 and 2020 Presidential campaigns, are trying to drag the American economy back to the days when union leaders like Jimmy Hoffa had the power to shut down large parts of it. Their tool is “salting.” Salting is where a union organizer gets a job for a company posing as just an ordinary worker. But the salt’s true agenda is to infiltrate the company and sow division between workers and management, and also look for possible justification to file complaints for labor violations with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The goal is to turn the majority of the workers against their bosses so they support unionizing. As Caitlyn, an ex-Bernie Sanders volunteer turned union organizer told In These Times, “the end of the Bernie Sanders Presidential campaign morphed into a summer salting project.” According to In These Times, the YDSA may have trained as many as two thousand young left-wing activists on how to salt. So, at a time when socialism has come back into vogue among significant parts of one of America’s major political parties, with Members of Congress referring to themselves as “democratic socialists” and at least one member of the Biden Administration—Federal Trade Commissioner Lina Khan—seeking to use antitrust laws to redefine the relationship between business, workers, consumers, and government, why would the DSA focus on union organizing? The answer can be found online with a look at DSA’s website, which states that, "We want to collectively own the key economic drivers that dominate our lives, such as energy production and transportation.” In other words, they want to achieve the communist goal of ownership of the means of production. The difference is that, this time, control will be in the (nominally) private hands of the Teamsters and their comrades in the DSA. The DSA and the Teamsters will, for at least the next year and four months, be aided and abetted by President Biden’s administration. After that, if they are successful, it will not matter who controls Congress as power over the “…key economic drivers that control our lives” will lie in the hands of the Teamsters, other labor unions, and DSA comrades. As Keith Williams, of the Center for Independent Employees, and Frank Ricci, labor fellow of the Yankee Institute, pointed out in Newsweek, the Teamster-DSA agenda prioritizes seizing and exercising economic and political power to implement a socialist agenda over improving the quality of life of blue-collar workers. This is not in the interest of workers. Those of us who support free markets must aggressively oppose this new (actually renewed) union-socialist alliance. We must do more and should push to repeal federal laws that allow union bosses to run roughshod over the rights of workers by forcing them to join unions or pay union dues. A good first step is passage of the National Right to Work Act, which simply repeals those sections of federal law giving union bosses power to force workers to pay union dues. We must also promote a vision of unions as truly voluntary organizations formed to represent the interests of the workers, not advance a political agenda. This organization would negotiate in good faith with employers recognizing that workers thrive when their companies thrive, and their companies thrive when the economy thrives—and the economy thrives when it is free from government meddling. Unions could also help workers by reviewing the friendly societies, in which workers band together to save money that can be used to care for workers who, for whatever reason, are no longer able to work and provide for their families. These societies prove that in a free society, individuals can and will provide aid to those in need more efficiently and compassionately than a welfare regulatory state. Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but the chains of corporatism and socialism. Michigan and National Democrats Side with Union Bosses Over Workers Michigan made history recently when it became the first state to repeal a Right to Work law since 1965. Right to Work laws, which were authorized by Section 14(b) of the Taft-Hartley Act, protect workers in Right to Work states from being required to pay union dues or join a union as a condition of employment. Right to Work laws thus restore the fundamental American principle to labor policy that individuals should not be forced to support a private organization against their will. The majority of American workers support Right to Work because they want to choose for themselves whether or not to have a union represent them at the bargaining table. For example, Michigander Mike Williams, a paraprofessional for a vocational training program, resigned his position as a vice president of his union because he realized his coworkers would be better off negating their own contracts with their employer. Michigan auto worker Terry Bowman summed up the case against compulsory unionism thusly, “it just wasn’t right that I was forced to pay an outside organization my hard-earned money in order to work.” Right to Work does more than protect a workers’ right to choose whether or not to join a union or pay union dues. By limiting the ability of union bosses to create divisions between labor and management, as well as to impose counterproductive rules on the workforce reduce company flexibility, Right to Work benefits workers. Of course, union officials and their allies claim Right to Work laws reduce wages. The unions’ case depends on ignoring the cost of living, which is consistently lower in Right to Work states. Therefore, workers in Right to Work states may make a lower nominal wage, but their wages have more buying power than those of workers in states with compulsory unionism. Workers in Right to Work states not only have the freedom to choose whether or not to join a union, they also enjoy a higher standard of living. This is certainly true in Michigan’s case. The average income of Michiganders grew by an inflation-adjusted (commonly referred to as “real” wages) average of 0.6 percent in the nine years before Michigan became a Right to Work state. While real wages rose by 21.9 percent in the nine years after Michigan became a Right to Work state. Michigan workers are not just earning more, there are more of them. Unemployment averaged 8.5 percent in the decade before the passage of Michigan’s Right to Work law. In the nine years following Right to Work’s passage unemployment averaged 6.0 percent. The growth in jobs and incomes may explain that while Michigan’s population declined by 120,401 people in the nine years before the passage of Right to Work law, 130,060 people moved to Michigan in the nine years after Right to Work passed! These new Michiganders may have moved in hopes of getting one of the 155,100 new jobs created in Michigan in the nine years after Michigan became a Right to Work state—as opposed to the nine years before Right to Work came to the Great Lakes when the state lost 379,400 jobs. Moreover, in the approximately seven years after Michigan became a Right to Work state- Michigan added 404,400 jobs. This suggests these statistics would be even more impressive if Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer had not imposed one of, if not the, strictest COVID lockdowns in the nation, So, if the right to work is so beneficial to workers, why did this Michigan Democrat, majority legislator, and Democratic governor want to repeal it? It’s not because the people of Michigan favored repealing the law. Polls show the majority of Michiganders support Right to Work—including 60 percent of union households. Aren’t Democrats the party of workers? While that is the image they try to project, the reality is the Democrats are the party for union bosses. Union bosses have long used the forced dues to fund a political machine that remains one of the Democratic Party’s main sources of money and “volunteers.” Unions are once again in vogue on the left, thanks in part to Bernie Sander’s 2016 and 2020 presidential campaigns.
NYC expands work from home pilot program to non-union workers
October 30, 2023 // Mayor Eric Adams' administration announced Monday they will now extend its remote work pilot to city workers not represented by unions. The pilot expansion will be offered to approximately 16,500 non-union employees allowing those eligible to work up to two days a week remotely depending on their job performance and specific duties.
Bad vibes are sending shudders through Tesla, GM and Ford
October 30, 2023 // EV-specific factors include higher average costs than gas-powered models and many consumers lack of familiarity with the tech. "I see EV sales plateauing and even falling over the next 6 months," Brauer predicts. Threat level: "Investors have been too optimistic about EV demand growth . . . slowing demand growth is coming sooner than expected, especially in the high-end EV market," said Lee Hang-koo of Korea Automotive Technology Institute tells the Financial Times.
Israel war: NYC school union head justifies Hamas attack in ‘private’ email to teachers
October 30, 2023 // The union chapter leader for a New York City school is under fire from teachers and members of Congress for sending an email to colleagues alleging "illegal Israeli colonialist occupation" is what "led to" the deadly Hamas terrorist attacks against the Jewish state. The Oct. 17 email by speech teacher Judi Cheng at M.S. 131 Dr. Sun Yat Sen, a middle school in New York City's Chinatown, is raising alarm bells among educators, many of whom have contacted the principal, Benjamin Geballe, to express concerns over antisemitism. Cheng, the school's representative for the United Federation of Teachers, sent it to union members and claimed she was "speaking only for myself, from a personal point of view, not as chapter Leader," according to communications obtained by the Washington Examiner.
GM reaches tentative deal with UAW, ending strikes at Detroit automakers after six weeks
October 30, 2023 // It’s not immediately clear how much the labor deals will increase labor costs for the companies, which had argued that giving in to all of the union’s demands would affect their competitiveness and even long-term viability. Deutsche Bank recently estimated the overall cost increase of the agreement at Ford to be $6.2 billion over the term of the agreement; $7.2 billion at GM; and $6.4 billion at Stellantis.
Eeva, Philly’s first independent unionized restaurant, is closing
October 30, 2023 // The closure comes nearly 11 months to the day after eeva’s staff registered their intent to unionize and after eeva owners Greg Dunn, Mark Capriotti, and Mark Corpus voluntarily recognized the union. (Staff at ReAnimator unionized, and were voluntarily recognized, in 2022.) The union, represented by Philly’s Local 80, had been at the bargaining table as recently as September. Amidst a long list of comments on the Instagram post mourning eeva’s closure, a handful allude to unresolved contract negotiations.
Connecticut: While the longshoremen strike, Orsted brings other union workers to load ships at State Pier
October 29, 2023 // “It’s another sad day for labor when unions will cross other unions' picket lines, regardless of what the issue is,” said Jim Paylor, assistant general organizer for the ILA. He was at the port when buses unloaded with workers from the Building Trades and Operating Engineers Unions.
National Right to Work Foundation Urges SCOTUS to Reverse NLRB Decision Letting ILA Union Wipe Out Nonunion Port Jobs
October 29, 2023 // The brief spells out the dire consequences of the ILA union’s maneuver for Leatherman’s 270 state employees, who are protected by state law from monopoly union control. It explains that South Carolina spent over $1 billion to develop the terminal, but the ILA union’s scheme, if allowed to continue, would require South Carolina to both fire all the nonunion state employees of the port, and turn control of crane jobs over to a private contractor with an ILA union contract. The devastating effects for current employees wouldn’t stop there if the ILA is victorious in the case. The brief points out that, even if fired state workers were to seek new employment at Leatherman with a private contractor under the union’s control, the ILA would likely prioritize its existing workers far above the former state workers because of union seniority provisions and hiring hall referral rules.
UAW and Stellantis reach tentative contract deal as union adds strike at Tennessee GM factory
October 29, 2023 // Under the deal, the union said it saved jobs in Belvidere as well at an engine plant in Trenton, Michigan, and a machining factory in Toledo, Ohio. “We’ve done the impossible. We have moved mountains. We have reopened an assembly plant that was closed,” Fain said. The deal includes a commitment by Stellantis to build a new midsize truck at its factory in Belvidere, Illinois, that was slated to be closed. About 1,200 workers will be hired back, plus another 1,000 workers will be added for a new electric vehicle battery plant, the union said. “We're bringing back both combustion vehicles and electric vehicle jobs to Belvidere,” Fain said.
Vernon, police union reach agreement over contract, ending court dispute
October 28, 2023 // The town and union had previously gone to arbitration with the union over pay and healthcare premiums during which the town failed to submit its final best offers on a wide range of contract issues to the arbitrators in what was called a “scrivener’s error,” resulting in the arbitration panel awarding the union everything it asked for at the time. The town then took the matter to court to overturn the arbitration decision. Vernon argued that because both parties agreed to waive statutory arbitration requirements, it was not required to submit last best offers on issues that were not in dispute. The arbitration panel disagreed with this argument, saying state statute requires that they reach a decision according to the statement of the last best offer and could not consider any offer that wasn’t documented in writing before them. That court case, which had statutory interpretation issues at stake, however, will no longer play out as the town and union appear to have reached an agreement, primarily around pay for officers and maintaining previous contract language around a number of other issues that had been decided by the arbitration panel when there was no final best offer from the town.
Supreme Court ruled public sector workers cannot be forced to pay dues; unions take them anyway
October 28, 2023 // After the Janus ruling, Ms. Quezambra sought to invoke her rights to stop the involuntary union dues payments, demanding she be refunded going back to 2013. The union refused on the grounds that she had allowed the union to make the deductions. This was news to Ms. Quezambra. The union “presented Ms. Quezambra a membership and dues deduction authorization card containing a forged signature that she purportedly signed. Ms. Quezambra did not sign this card,” her complaint states.
Say it again, Supremes: Forced union dues in government are illegal
October 27, 2023 // Alaska’s largest public sector union fought the new system in court. In May, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled for the union and ordered the state to revert to the old system. Now the US Supreme Court is being urged to weigh in. If the Alaska Supreme Court decision stands, Janus will have been neutered. So the state of Alaska, 11 other states, and eight public policy institutes are saying to the justices, in effect: “You made your decision. Now enforce it.” Public sector workers who choose to support a union must be free to do so. Employees who choose not to must be equally free. The Supreme Court said as much five years ago, but it needs to say so again.
Commentary: Union ‘neutrality agreements’ are a threat to employers’ free speech
October 27, 2023 // Federal agencies have begun to make adoption of these so-called agreements a condition for federal contractors. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Health and Human Services have pushed neutrality agreements on contractors. The Treasury Department has even hinted it may alter the tax code to funnel job creators into these agreements. Virginia companies receive over $72 billion in government contracts annually, the largest amount among all states. These contracts are responsible for tens of thousands of Virginia jobs. It’s not difficult to see these forced federal neutrality agreement requirements as a backdoor attempt to silence Virginia employers and organize their companies. If allowed, this would be another blow to Virginia’s rich history of workplace freedom.
Opinion: Radical Unions Elected Biden, Chaos Ensues on International Front, but Others Bank on Same Formula
October 26, 2023 // Additionally, Biden unveiled a $400 billion American Jobs Plan designed to force thousands of Medicaid home healthcare providers back into the union membership they declined following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 ruling in Harris v. Quinn. Unofficially, Biden waited weeks to survey the damage in fire-ravaged Hawaii and still hasn’t visited East Palestine, Ohio, where a 38-car train wreck last February created a huge hazardous waste disaster. But he saw fit to wade into a private-sector labor dispute by siding with the striking United Auto Workers and became the first sitting president in history to join a picket line.
The Messenger Staffers Stir Unionization Talk Amid Whispers the Startup News Site Is ‘Out of Money’
October 26, 2023 // It’s not clear how many people were hired by the outlet, but in industry circles, it’s well known that the company in recent months dangled jobs to multiple journalists, but never offered actual contracts. Those who did get hired are now “quietly … pushing to unionize the newsroom,” according to The Daily Beast. They’re also lobbying for a company town hall to explain the Beckman’s comments, and to explain the whereabouts of Editor-In-Chief Dan Wakeford, who The Daily Beast said, “continues to be MIA.” It had reported in July that the former editor of People Magazine was “essentially ceding day-to-day newsroom duties to deputy editor Michelle Gotthelf.”
NLRB joint-employer rule triggers fears of higher trucking costs
October 26, 2023 // In comments filed with the NLRB’s proposed rule last year, the American Trucking Associations was particularly concerned with including workplace safety and health as one of the determining conditions for a joint-employer relationship, given that many motor carriers have contractual provisions with other motor carriers that require compliance with federal health and safety standards. “This will, of course, necessitate a wholesale review of those contracts due to the accompanying risk associated with being deemed the employer of another’s employees — especially when there is no or limited ability to control those employees,” ATA stated.
Dozens of union workers arrested on Las Vegas Strip for blocking traffic as thousands rally
October 26, 2023 // Kahn said all union members currently receive health insurance and earn about $26 hourly, including benefits. She declined to say how much the union is seeking in pay raises because “we do not negotiate in public,” although the union has said it is asking for “the largest wage increases ever negotiated” in its history. The union hasn’t gone on strike in more than three decades. A walkout would be the latest in a series of high-profile job actions around the country, including walkouts in Hollywood and the auto production lines in Detroit.