Right to Work on the March

Wall Street Journal Online, December 19, 2016

The New Year will bring change in the states as well as Washington, D.C., and that includes the likely expansion of right-to-work laws to help the economic competitiveness of Missouri, Kentucky and even New Hampshire.

Ninth Circuit Sides With Growers Against California Union Owned Democrats

California Political Review Online, December 21, 2016

Fowler Packing Company and Gerawan Farming sued California in January after the Legislature approved Assembly Bill 1513. It requires employers who pay employees piece-rate to pay for nonproductive time, such as rest and recovery periods, in addition to the piece-rate compensation.

The growers claim these exceptions were deliberately included to garner support of the United Farm Workers union. A bill related to the safe harbor issue was proposed in 2014 but never formally introduced. Fowler and Gerawan say the bill that did pass was the result of “closed negotiations” that included the UFW, other unions and the lead defendant, the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency.

The Politics of Tom Perez

Wall Street Journal Online, December 16, 2016

With the exception of Attorney General, few cabinet officers have the power to file their own high-profile lawsuits that a Labor Secretary does. The enforcement agencies Mr. Perez presides over include the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Wage and Hour Division, the Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Office of Labor-Management Standards, among others. We cannot recall a case when a cabinet secretary with such broad enforcement powers would insist on retaining those powers while he runs for one of the most partisan positions in the nation.

Illinois: Land of Leaving

Wall Street Journal Online, December 22, 2016

According to the Census Bureau, Illinois now leads the nation for the steepest population decline. Between July 2015 and July 2016, Illinois lost some 114,000 people in net migration to other states, with total population decline of 37,508 (including births and deaths). For the third year in a row it was the only state to have lost population among the nine in its Great Lakes and Mid-America region.

Right-to-work in Missouri: What it means for employers

Mo Lawyers Media Online, December 19, 2016

With the election of a new governor, whose position is more closely aligned with the legislature on this issue, the passage of a right-to-work law is poised to become reality. The question is what will be the immediate and long term impact on both unionized and non-union employers in the state.

NFIB/TEXAS APPLAUDS EFFORTS TO END GOVERNMENT/UNION PARTNERSHIP

Texas Insider Online, December 19, 2016

Although Texas is a right-to-work state, Texas is one of the few remaining states to grant special privilege to labor unions by serving as a membership dues collector on the state and local level.

AMICUS BRIEF IN RIGHT-TO-WORK CASE:

Morning Shift, Politico.com december 20, 2016

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear, a Democrat, filed an amicus brief last week that asks the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear a case involving a Kentucky county’s right-to-work ordinance.

Emails show wage debate in AG’s office before alleged extortion

Gloucester Times Online, December 21, 2016

Sullivan and his co-defendant, City Hall tourism director Kenneth Brissette, allegedly pressured Boston Calling to hire members of the International Alliance of Theater Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 11. Accused of forcing the company to hire workers for “unwanted, and unnecessary and superfluous services,” Brissette and Sullivan pled not guilty and are on leave from their positions.

US Attorney: Pension Fund Exec Moved $2B for Drugs, Prostitutes, Other Bribes

CBSNew York Local Online, December 22, 2016

Navnoor Kang, the ex-head of the $184 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund’s fixed income trades, received more than $100,000 worth of bribes in the form of trips, gifts, luxury hotel stays and other payoffs from broker-dealers Deborah Kelley and Gregg Schonhorn, prosecutors said.

My View: Courts gear up for another union case

Journal Standard Online, Freeport, IL, December 21, 2016

You see, Mark is represented by AFSCME against his will. In order to keep his job, he has to pay them a chunk of his pay check.

Considering it only takes four justices to put a case before the high court, and four justices voted with Friedrichs, it’s likely Janus will be the next case considered.

NLRB Moves to Strengthen Unions’ Hand in Bargaining

National Law Review Online, December 21, 2016

Informational picketing is yet another issue on which the NLRB has recently overturned precedent, in this case favoring union rights over patient rights and health care institutions’ property rights.

Unwrapping a Connecticut Politician’s Conflict of Interest

LaborPains.org, December 22, 2016

Aresimowicz was hired by AFSCME almost 18 years ago after serving in the Army Reserves and has been a state representative since 2004—ultimately being named majority leader in 2013. But his union side business raises serious questions. As the Hartford Courant explains, union contracts account for a large chunk of Connecticut’s budget, while state-employee unions’ salaries, benefits, pensions, and healthcare costs fall under Aresimowicz’s purview as House speaker. Will he act in the state’s best interest or AFSCME’s?

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