NILRR Weekly Newsclips February 01, 2013


Senator Rand Paul Introduces National Right to Work Act to End Forced Union Dues for Workers

National Right to Work Committee Online, February 1, 2013

Yesterday, Senator Rand Paul (Republican-Ky.) introduced the National Right to Work Act (S. X) in the U.S. Senate.  Senators Marco Rubio, Fla.; Tom Coburn, Okla.; Jim Inhofe, Okla.; John Barrasso, Wyo.; David Vitter, La.; Mike Lee, Utah; Richard Burr, N.C; Saxby Chambliss, Ga.; Jim Risch, Idaho all joined Paul as Co-Sponsors of the one page bill to end Big Labor’s federally-authorized power to force workers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.

Right-to-work group could target Illinois

Chicago Tribune Online, February 1, 2013

A group of Caterpillar workers in Joliet have resigned from their union, vowing to fight fines as high as $30,000 for crossing the picket line during an ill-fated strike last summer against the heavy-equipment maker.

The two men were helped by National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, associated with the National Right to Work Committee, an organization that lobbies for so-called right-to-work laws that let workers refrain from paying union dues, thus weakening unions’ power.

Injunction sought on right-to-work law: Passage violated Open Meetings Act, unions say

Detroit Free Press Online, February 1, 2013

“Michigan’s new right-to-work laws are a great advance for worker freedom, but union bosses won’t give up their special privileges without a fight,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “Unfortunately, union bosses will try anything to circumvent any restraint on their power to force workers to pay union dues as a condition of employment.”

Public employee unions spending more on lobbying as membership booms

Washington Examiner Online, January 31, 2013

The union “also increased its lobbying budget to $1.49 million last year, an increase of $190,000 over 2011, the biggest jump for federal unions in 2012. According to its fourth-quarter report, AFGE mostly lobbied budget and appropriations issues to secure funding for Customs and Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, for example.”

GOP senator proposes bill that would freeze NLRB rules, decisions

Fox News Online, January 31, 2013

Republican Sen. John Barrasso introduced legislation Wednesday that would freeze or overturn virtually every decision the National Labor Relations Board has made in the past year.

The move comes after a federal appeals court ruled that President Obama exceeded his constitutional authority by making appointments to the NLRB when the Senate was on a break last year.

NLRB Mandates Dues Check-Offs Even After Union Contract Expires, January 30, 2013

The National Labor Relations Board may be inoperative at present. Yet one of its rulings last month, unless undone, will curtail a longstanding right of employers and individual workers. On December 12, in WKYC-TV Inc., the NLRB ruled 3-1 that an employer must continue to collect dues from union members via automatic “checkoff” even after the collective bargaining agreement expires.

Time for More Accountability for Unions—and the Department of Labor

The Foundry, Heritage Foundation, January 29, 2013

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis resigned on January 22. It would be beneficial if President Obama’s next Labor Secretary would do more to protect workers from union corruption. An Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit released last year finds that the Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS) is missing most violations of union financial disclosure requirements.

Make Union Representation Voluntary: Workers Should Choose Their Representatives

Capitalism Magazine Online, January 30, 2013

Collective bargaining laws give unions an effective monopoly on many state and local government workforces.[1] They force the government to negotiate employment terms with the union, and all employees must accept that union’s representation. Unions use this power to pressure state and local governments into accepting expensive contracts, which now threaten many cities with bankruptcy.

Collective bargaining should not operate this way.

Obama Appointments Vacated

Washington Free Beacon Online, January 25, 2013

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said the president’s 2012 appointment of two controversial members of the National Labor Relations Board violated the Constitution’s mandate that recess power is reserved for vacancies that happen when Congress is in recess.

“This upends the way the recess appointment power has been misused by presidents for decades,” he said. “It restores the Senate’s power to advise and consent, which is what the founders designed.”

The Decline of Unions

National Review Online, January 28, 2013

On Thursday, Majority Leader Harry Reid gave up on his attempt to gut the Senate’s filibuster. While new rules will mean that some controversial nominees will find it a little easier to be confirmed, the ability of a determined minority to hold up nominations it finds unacceptable has been maintained. “President Obama will find getting new pro-union NLRB appointees confirmed very difficult during his second term,” predicts Mark Mix of the National Right to Work Foundation.

Union Membership Falls — Again

National Review Online, January 2, 2013

Unions developed their collective-bargaining model for the industrial economy of the 1930s. It has remained almost unchanged since then. A collective-bargaining agreement still covers every worker under one contract — ignoring individual contributions. That approach was workable when everyone performed essentially the same task on the assembly line. In today’s economy where most employers see employees as valuable “human resources” it often holds workers back.

Plummeting union membership a bad omen for Obama

Washington Examiner Online, January 24, 2013

“It’s simple math; the fewer union members there are, the fewer foot soldiers on the ground for the president,” said a top United Auto Workers official who led outreach efforts for Obama in Ohio. “Yeah, I know a lot of people are expecting major things in his second term, but seriously, [the decline in union members] is a huge deal for the president, Democrats and what they want to accomplish.”

Ex-SEIU local exec convicted of stealing from low-income members

Los Angeles Times Online, January 28, 2013

Tyrone Freeman, who represented about 190,000 homecare workers as an SEIU leader, was found guilty on 14 counts after a 10-day trial in Los Angeles.

Troubles run deep for key labor union in D.C.

Washington Times Online, January 27, 2013

The Laborers’ International Union has in its legislative affairs office a lobbyist who pleaded guilty in a fraud case despite a federal law banning convicts from overseeing unions’ finances.

Tax arrears

Fraudster in charge

Kansas Teachers Union Bill Could Overhaul Collective Bargaining For State Educators

Huffington Post Online, January 29, 2013

The state House Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee is slated to take up legislation that would change the collective bargaining rights for teachers in the state, which already has right-to-work laws. Under the terms of the legislation, teachers could negotiate contracts individually with local school districts, while other issues would be deemed non-negotiable, including classroom time, class size and evaluation practices.

Arizona Lawmakers to Consider Sweeping Union Reforms

Western Free Press, January 29, 2013

On Tuesday, members of the Arizona State House of Representatives will consider two measures drafted by the Goldwater Institute to restore the balance of power between government and public-sector unions.

The first measure would require that all collective bargaining negotiations occur in public.