E-Blasts

AB 5 has far reaching impacts for employers, but the Governor’s Signing Statement on AB 5 made it clear that the Governor sees AB 5 as an “important step” along the way—focused now on a future of “creating pathways for more workers to form a union…” The Statement, available here, also says that the Governor will convene leaders from the Legislature, the labor movement, and the business community to step “in where the federal government has fallen short and granting workers excluded from the National Labor Relations Act the right to organize and collectively bargain.” 

While there are no concrete steps laid out on how the Governor intends to reach this goal, it is clear that increased union activity is part of the plan. If you have questions about how AB 5 impacts your business or labor relations, contact the experts at The Saqui Law Group, a division of Dowling Aaron.

On Sunday, nearly 50,000 workers went on strike against General Motors (GM) late Sunday. The strike is reportedly the largest strike by any labor organization in the United States since 2007. You can read more about the strike here.  The walk outs occurred at 31 GM factories and 21 other facilities across nine states by members of the United Auto Workers (UAW). The union says it is seeking higher hourly wages, lump sum payments, and a profit sharing plan. It also demands GM agree to limit use of temporary workers and provide temporary workers with a path to employment.

In Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation d/b/a Tobin Center for the Performing Arts and Local 23, American Federation of Musicians (“Bexar County”), the National Labor Relations Board (“Board”) reversed a rule adopted by the Board during the Obama era that had held that off-duty employees of an onsite contractor who worked regularly and exclusively in a restaurant on the hotel and casino’s property had the right to access the owner’s property to engage in Section 7 activity.

In Bexar County, the Arts Center was accused of violating the National Labor Relations Act by refusing to allow the orchestra members who were represented by the American Federation of Musicians (“AMF”) from handing out leaflets to the public while on the Arts Center’s private property. AMF argued that under the Board’s decisions in New York New York Hotel & Casino and Simon DeBartolo Group the orchestra members had access rights because they performed at the Arts Center. The Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) agreed.

Last Friday, farmworkers walked off the job in Shafter, California protesting a drop in the price per bin offered by The Wonderful Company (“Wonderful”). The protesting employees, who are employed through a farm labor contractor, are protesting a drop in the price per bin from $53 per bin to $48 per bin. In response, Wonderful stated that the price reduction is due to the seasonal transition from harvesting clementines to mandarins. In an email response provided to The Bakersfield Californian on Friday, Wonderful spokesperson Mark Carmel stated, "This season, due to the smaller size of the clementines, we paid a premium for harvesting and we’re back to paying regular wages for mandarins. We are confident we will quickly resolve this matter."

Last Friday, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) ruled that unions cannot force workers who object to being full union members to pay for lobbying activities.

Under the United States Supreme Court’s 1988 Communications Workers of America v. Beck decision, unions can't use funds collected from nonmember employees covered by union-security arrangements for any activities “not germane to a union’s core representational duties of collective bargaining, contract administration and grievance adjustment.” The improper use of nonmembers' fees violates unions' duty of fair representation under this so-called “Beck” framework. Worker Jeanette Geary (“Geary”), who worked at a hospital in Rhode Island, invoked her Beck rights to decline paying fees covering her union’s, United Nurses and Allied Professionals’, political work. Geary had filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB in late 2009 seeking an auditor’s verification that the union wasn’t putting her fees toward political ends.

Last Friday, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) ruled that employers are permitted to challenge whether unions still have majority support from the bargaining units they seek to represent during the time period when a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) is agreed to and the day it actually goes into effect.

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