Labor

Building Trades Pres: Businesses in “Right-to-Work” Wisconsin “May Not Be Able to Find Any Skilled Workers”

Building Trades Pres: Businesses in “Right-to-Work” Wisconsin “May Not Be Able to Find Any Skilled Workers”
In a brief letter to the editor of the New York Times, North America’s Building Trades Unions President Sean McGarvey explained that “Right-to-Work” results in a drop in skilled labor. He questions the idea of attracting businesses to Wisconsin by thwarting workers, suggesting, “Companies and whole industries from Texas to Florida are having to look North for the skilled craft professionals needed to get these projects done safely and efficiently, because the training infrastructure in that region has gone away.” The op-ed appears in its entirety below.
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AFL-CIO, Machinists, USW File Lawsuit to Halt Wisconsin’s “Right-to-Work” Law

AFL-CIO, Machinists, USW File Lawsuit to Halt Wisconsin’s “Right-to-Work” Law
The Wisconsin AFL-CIO and two unions have filed a lawsuit seeking both temporary and permanent injunctions against the “Right-to-Work” legislation signed into law on Monday by Governor Scott Walker. The lawsuit names Walker, Attorney General Brad Schimel, and members of the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission as defendants.
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Stripped of Collective Bargaining, Fort Wayne Workers Find Grievances Difficult to Pursue

Stripped of Collective Bargaining, Fort Wayne Workers Find Grievances Difficult to Pursue
Fort Wayne councilman John Shoaff has introduced a bill to restore some of the powers stripped from city workers when the city council ended collective bargaining last year. While Shoaff’s ordinance will not restore collective bargaining per se, it will restore workers’ rights to join a union (without making it mandatory).
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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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