Posts tagged Texas

    U.S. labor board delays new unionization rule after business groups sue

    November 20, 2023 // The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups — including the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the International Franchise Association and the National Retail Federation — sued the NLRB in federal court in Texas last week to block the rule. They say the rule upends years of precedent and could make companies liable for workers they don’t employ at workplaces they don’t own. But the NLRB says the current rule makes it too easy for companies to avoid their legal responsibility to bargain with workers.

    The rise and fall of ESG investing

    November 9, 2023 // Ideologically aligned investments are risky. Fink and others now seem to understand that. There’s a role for ESG investing if people want it, with the risks and realities clearly explained up front. As the conversation moves forward on rulemaking, regulation and what the law should be, the fiduciary responsibility that money managers have to their clients to produce the greatest possible return on investment must remain the paramount consideration.

    ‘Battle royale’: Tesla and anti-union Musk make enticing targets for UAW’s next push

    November 5, 2023 // Some current UAW members are already fired up to take on Tesla. “Go out west to California? Absolutely, I would go,” said John Jake Kincaid, a Stellantis employee in Michigan. “Show them our strength.” Still, fighting for a contract at companies with established relationships with union workers is a far different effort than starting from scratch. Several workers who were key to Tesla’s earlier union effort are no longer at the company. The Fremont plant’s history with the UAW predates the electric vehicle maker. For about 25 years, Toyota and GM operated the facility together in an unusual joint venture. It was a union shop. In 2009, GM pulled out of the partnership as part of its bankruptcy proceedings and in 2010 Toyota shut the operation down, throwing 4,700 people out of work. A month later, Tesla bought the sprawling 5.3 million square foot factory; the union didn’t come with the purchase.

    Texas SUV plant added to UAW strike

    October 24, 2023 // Some 5,000 workers at GM's plant in Arlington, Texas, joined the strike Tuesday. That halts production on several large SUVs: the Chevrolet Tahoe, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade. It's the second straight day the union has expanded the strike. On Monday it added Stellantis' Ram 1500 pickup plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan, to the work stoppage. Context: It also comes the same day as GM released its third-quarter earnings report. The company reported a third-quarter profit of $3.1 billion but said the strike has already cost the company $800 million, including $600 million since the earnings period ended.

    CenterPoint avoids strike after union workers vote to approve new contract

    October 20, 2023 // Nearly 80% of Local 66 members voted in support of the new contract, and about 20% voted to authorize a strike, which required a two-thirds majority to pass, according to the newspaper. There were other issues leading up to Wednesday's vote, including proposed smaller pay increases, the proposed end to annual bonuses, and the disciplinary system for employee attendance. Allen said the approved contract will take away 3% of unionized employees' annual bonuses based on good attendance and driving records. The company removed a tiered disciplinary system for missing work, although, if work is missing, there will be no pay.

    ‘Barbenheimer’ was a boon to movie theaters and a headache for many workers. So they’re unionizing

    October 16, 2023 // Alamo held meetings in Manhattan and Brooklyn in the weeks leading up to union votes. In each gathering, management officials acknowledged discontent among staff members, while reiterating that any issues were better worked out entirely within the company. In Brooklyn, per the recordings, League reflected on the company's history, dating back to its origins in the 1990s. He spoke of his dedication to Alamo and of his own progressive affinities, including his “passionate” support for Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Both League and his wife and Alamo co-founder Karrie League have contributed to various Democratic Party candidates. Tim League has publicly praised the pro-labor senator's 2016 presidential run, telling a CNBC interviewer in 2016 that “Bernie is going to be good for America." League emphasized that he "understood" why Hollywood actors and writers were striking, and why auto workers went on strike. But for Alamo, he said, unions would be a step back, a "communication block." “I fully recognize my own personal bias here,” he said. “I don’t think that forming a union is the right solution for Alamo, that is my personal opinion. I’m concerned that a union is going to drive a wedge between us."

    Musk May Face Someone Else Who’s Ready for a Cage Fight

    October 10, 2023 // The long-running decline in union membership mirrors the decline in Detroit’s share of the US vehicle market. That was 90% during the industry’s, and organized labor’s, 1960s heyday. By the time of the debacle of 2009, it had fallen to about 50%. Now it’s closer to 40%. As Kevin Tynan, automotive analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, points out, the Big Three have effectively downsized by ditching cheaper models and focusing on higher-priced trucks and SUVs to chase profits. As they attempt to open up a new avenue of growth, EVs, they are confronted with big near-term costs that higher pay settlements will exacerbate. “The UAW must broaden its view if it is going to increase its membership,” says Tynan, adding “they have to stop only going back to GM, Ford and Stellantis. There is no more blood in those stones.” The UAW has been aware of this for some time, which is why it targeted foreign automakers’ factories — so called “transplants” — and Tesla itself at various points over the past decade. Such effort has been largely in vain. Tesla, meanwhile, has become profitable at scale only recently. The company’s identity as a disruptive newcomer, with plants far from the UAW’s heartland around the Great Lakes, is another barrier. It is harder to entice workers into a union when their employer is hiring at breakneck speed rather than shedding thousands of jobs. Tesla has also pushed back aggressively against unionization, as those NLRB rulings attest (Tesla is appealing several of these).

    Opinion: FACT CHECK: Does Unionization Have Positive Spillover Economic Effects?

    September 21, 2023 // Most notably, a 2021 Harvard University report found that right-to-work states boasted more positive spillover effects. Compared to unionized areas, right-to-work (RTW) states boast 1.6% higher employment, 1.4% higher labor participation, and 0.34% lower disability receipts. The study also found RTW laws are “associated with lower childhood poverty rates and greater upward mobility”—with “children at the 25th percentile of the parental income distribution during childhood have a 1.7 percentage point higher probability of reaching the top income quintile during adulthood if they grew up in a RTW location.” Greater upward mobility is also observed in states that give workers latitude over joining a union or not. Moreover, right-to-work laws are shown to improve the well-being of both non-unionized and unionized workers.

    Jeep maker Stellantis makes a new contract offer as auto workers prepare to expand their strike

    September 21, 2023 // GM said that the UAW strike at its assembly plant near St. Louis caused it to idle a plant in Kansas with about 2,000 workers because “there is no work available” — the plant depends on parts stamped in the St. Louis-area facility. GM said it does not expect to restart the Kansas plant until the strike ends, and it won’t provide supplemental pay to the workers. The company said the layoffs demonstrated “that nobody wins in a strike.” Stellantis, which makes Jeep, Chrysler and Dodge vehicles, said it expects to lay off more than 300 workers in Ohio and Indiana because “storage constraints” caused by the UAW strike at its assembly plant in Toledo, Ohio.

    Electric Vehicle Factories Are Overwhelmingly Nonunion. The UAW Strike Could Change That.

    September 20, 2023 // Nonunion companies are also getting in on the EV facility boomlet. Tesla plans to expand to a lithium refinery in Texas and produce battery cells, packs, and modules in California and Texas. Other companies investing in battery plants include BMW (South Carolina), Honda (Ohio), Hyundai (Georgia), Mercedes-Benz (Alabama), Toyota (North Carolina), Volkswagen (Ontario, Canada), and Volvo (South Carolina). The construction boom continues in nonunion plants. A variety of battery manufacturers are building new facilities, too. These include the Japanese company AESC (Tennessee, Kentucky, and South Carolina), the Chinese-owned Gotion (Michigan), South Korea’s LG Energy Solution (Arizona and Michigan) the start-up Our Next Energy (Michigan), Japanese-owned Panasonic (Kansas), South Korean SK Battery America (Georgia), and Redwood Materials, a recycling company (Nevada and South Carolina).