Labor

Sen. Franken Blasts GOP Anti-Union Measure Reversing NLRB Rule

Sen. Franken Blasts GOP Anti-Union Measure Reversing NLRB Rule
Republicans controlling the U.S. Senate are trying to reverse a new National Labor Relations Board rule that would shorten the time between a union’s request for representation and the vote on whether to certify a union. Senator Al Franken (DFL-Minnesota) expressed his disapproval of striking down NLRB reforms which he said modernize and streamline the election process in which workers choose whether or not to form a union.
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Beyond Wisconsin: “Right-to-Work” Laid to Rest in WV; MI Rep. Hopes to Expand to Public Safety Unions

Beyond Wisconsin: “Right-to-Work” Laid to Rest in WV; MI Rep. Hopes to Expand to Public Safety Unions
Last week’s events in Wisconsin largely dominated the “Right-to-Work” news cycle, but Republicans in West Virginia and Michigan have been hard at work on the issue as well, with varying results.
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DISTRICT 9: OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program Rife with Corruption, Says Investigator

DISTRICT 9: OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program Rife with Corruption, Says Investigator
An investigative report from NBC Bay Area writers Vicky Nguyen, Liz Wagner, and Felipe Escamilla discovered several systematic failures with the OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program that has resulted in botched or falsified several whistleblower cases. Among their main sources is Darrell Whitman, an agency investigator, who now considers himself a whistleblower after calling out the agency. Whitman is a five-year veteran of OSHA in its District 9 office which covers California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, and Guam.
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Art Pulaski: Workers are Left in the Dark with Fast Track

Art Pulaski: Workers are Left in the Dark with Fast Track
There's trouble brewing in Washington D.C. for American workers. In the coming weeks, our congress will decide whether or not to pass Fast Track legislation that will allow trade deals to be made behind closed doors and without any oversight from the people most impacted: American workers.
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A Company of 3: Koch Bros. Find a Willing Shill in Mr. Rob Roper

The weekend edition of the Messenger carries an editorial by Rob Roper of the right-wing Ethan Allen Institute advocating for Vermont to join 24 other states in passing a so-called "Right-to-Work" law. The timing is odd since this red-flag originally saw the light of day way back in August, when it was carried by Vermont Digger.
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SCOTUS Considering Case Which Would Effectively Cripple Public Sector Unionism

SCOTUS Considering Case Which Would Effectively Cripple Public Sector Unionism
Last week, an appeal was made to the Supreme Court in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (CTA), a case that could severely weaken the power of public sector unions. The case invovles a California elementary school teacher who does not want to pay $650 in annual “fair share fees” to the CTA for costs associated with collective bargaining and administration.
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Deconstructing the Corporate Case for Fast Track Trade Authority

Deconstructing the Corporate Case for Fast Track Trade Authority
U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman appeared before Congress Tuesday to make the corporate argument for fast track trade promotion authority. The USTR and President Obama are pushing fast-track pre-approval for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other big trade agreements they are working on.
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Construction Union Membership Rises; “Value-Centric, Trusted Community Partner” Approach Working

Construction Union Membership Rises; “Value-Centric, Trusted Community Partner” Approach Working
New numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the percentage of the workforce represented by a union fell to 11.1%, down from 11.3% the previous year. Overall, 14.6 million Americans belonged to a union in 2014.
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$6M Lowe’s Settlement In Textbook Case of Systemic Employee Misclassification

$6M Lowe’s Settlement In Textbook Case of Systemic Employee Misclassification
A federal judge in California has approved a settlement between Lowe’s Home Centers and a class of its home improvement contractors who claimed they were misclassified as independent contractors. The maximum settlement amount in Shepard v. Lowe’s HIW is $6,500,000, depending on the number of contractors who file claims.
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National Right to Work Committee Opposes Local RTW Ordinances (For All the Wrong Reasons)

With counties across Kentucky rapidly passing unprecedented “Right-to-Work” ordinances, activists and lobbies on both sides of the issue are scrambling to establish their position on what they once thought would only be a state-level type legislation. This is not limited to “Right-to-Work” opponents. The National Right to Work Committee has actually come out against these local-level laws.
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