NILRR Weekly News Clips, February 7, 2014



Worker Advocate Reacts to Volkswagen’s Request for NLRB Union Election, February 3, 2014

Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation, issued the following statement after the announcement today that Volkswagen America has petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for a rapid-fire United Auto Workers (UAW) unionization election in its Chattanooga plant:

“We’re pleased that despite constant calls by UAW officials to be recognized as the workers’ monopoly bargaining representative via card check recognition, Volkswagen workers will instead be given a chance to vote on the matter in a secret-ballot election. A secret-ballot election is what Foundation-assisted workers were asking for all along.

The union that destroyed Detroit invades the South

Washington Times, February 6, 2014

“We call on VW,” says Mr. Mix, “to give workers opposing the union equal access and also to release any agreements it has signed regarding what would happen if the UAW union takes monopoly bargaining power over the workplace … . VW workers should be given all the facts before the election so that they can make an informed choice, and we will oppose efforts to stampede them or tilt the playing field.”

Labor Watch: Turning Points in the Fight Against Forced Unionism?

Labor Watch Online, (Capital Researc h Center), January 28, 2014

Turning Points in the Fight Against Forced Unionism?

Two cases offer the U.S. Supreme Court opportunities to stop abuses (PDF here)

by Stan Greer

Summary: The National Labor Relations Act declares that “encouraging the practice and procedure of [monopolistic] collective bargaining” is “the policy of the United States.” Federal courts have often treated that declaration as if it authorized union officials to do whatever they deem necessary to bring employees into unions. In one case heard in November and another this month, the U.S. Supreme Court examined some important limits on union officers’ special legal privileges. 

SEIU foes sue to end opt-out dues for state workers

Sacramento Bee Online, February 6, 2014

Two of SEIU Local 1000’s arch foes have united to sue the 95,000-employee union in federal court. At issue: Whether the state’s opt-out system of paying union dues is legal.

Ken Hamidi, with help from the National Right to Work Foundation, filed the class-action complaint in Sacramento federal court on Friday. Hamidi, who works for the Franchise Tax Board, has for years tried to organize disgruntled state employees in SEIU into a separate bargaining unit. Hamidi also ran as a Libertarian candidate for governor during the 2003 recall election.

The foundation was on the winning side of Knox v. SEIU Local 1000, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the union hadn’t given members a sufficient chance to opt out of a special assessment that funded political activities in 2005 and 2006.

Biden Thanks UAW for Helping Start Political Career

Washington Free Beacon Online, February 5, 2014

“Look what’s happening now in the industrial states we were coming up—Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri. Look at Harris v. Quinn, the case before the Supreme Court. There’s a hell of a lot at stake,” he said. “The president and I, through the solicitor general, came in on the side of the unions on the oral arguments and finally had an amicus brief, because we know that collective bargaining is the bedrock of our economy.”

Obama appointees and a Cleveland TV station: the strange tale of union dues

The labor board, changing 50 years of established law, said that companies must keep collecting and disbursing their workers’ union dues — money that helps a union stay strong — even when the union contract has expired and negotiations for a new one are unsettled.

This is what the Supreme Court may settle this year, in a case challenging a February 2012 NLRB ruling. The ruling favored a Teamsters local at Noel Canning Corp., a Pepsi bottling company in Yakima, Washington, and was agreed to by Hayes, Flynn and Block — two of whom were recess-appointed.

Congress unwilling to offend federal employee unions by limiting official time

Washington Examiner, February 5, 2014

Eliminating official time would break federal employee unions — or at least, that’s the warning from civil servants who collect their government paychecks while doing union work.

That cost taxpayers almost $155.6 million in fiscal 2011, the most recent year for which figures are available.

Construction company sues local union over threats, stalking allegations

KMOV News Online, St. Louis, MO, February 5, 2014

Employees of Raineri Construction said they have been threatened “mafia style” in an attempt to extort money from them.

The Carpenters Union denies the allegations and says it has the right to protest against a company that doesn’t always meet the union standards for pay and benefits.

Raineri said he feared for his life at times.

“By signing, the negatives go away”

Buffalo News Online, February 5, 2013

Caggiano and four other members of the union face allegations that they used violence and vandalism to persuade contractors to hire Local 17 members.

Such, president of defunct STS Construction, is the latest in a string of contractors who have testified at the trial.

Most have testified about alleged threats and vandalism by union members, but Such is the first to claim he was physically assaulted as part of the union’s campaign for jobs.

Unions, deep-pocketed liberals boost super PAC funds

USA Today Online, February 5, 2014

Labor groups are marshaling their funds for this year’s state battles in which 36 governors and a slew of state legislators are up for re-election. Big GOP wins in 2010 gave Republicans 29 governors’ seats and control of both legislative chambers in more than two dozen states, helping spark a welter of legislation to limit union clout and to contain the cost of public-employee pensions as GOP officials sought to rein in budgets.

California’s — And America’s — Pension Debacle On Its Way

Investor’s Business Daily, February 5, 2014

To help prevent catastrophe, the California Public Policy Center (CPPC) has just made public a new database detailing the size and scope of the state’s outsized expenditures on public employees — the largest ever compiled in California. Legislators and voters should take note, because California can’t afford another round of fact-free partisan warfare.

As recently reported in the New York Times, the fate of California cities such as Desert Hot Springs — where civic bankruptcy looms, in large part due to oversized pension payments — is shining a bright light on the detrimental growth of unfunded pension liabilities around the country: For years, municipalities have steadily enhanced promised retirement benefits to public sector workers.