Vorys on Labor

Vorys on Labor

Insights for the Labor Relations Professional

Category Archives: Unions

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Kentucky’s Trifecta: Comprehensive Right-to-Work Legislation Enacted

Posted in Prevailing Wage, Unions
Kentucky has become the 27th state in the nation to enact right-to-work legislation.  It did so on one of its legislators’ first days back in the office in 2017.  The “trifecta” is made up of three different bills, all directed at compulsory union membership and union-scale wages.  Read more about Kentucky’s right-to-work law, repeal of… Continue Reading

Disputes Between Volkswagen and UAW Continue

Posted in Elections, Union Organizing, Unions
Earlier this month, Volkswagen appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., in an effort to overturn the NLRB’s decision upholding the UAW’s election win to represent about 165 skilled maintenance workers within VW’s Chattanooga plant. VW contends that the UAW should not be permitted to represent a small segment of the production… Continue Reading

VW to Continue Micro-Unit Fight with UAW

Posted in Union Organizing, Unions
The NRLB recently gave the UAW an expected victory. As readers of this blog will recall, the UAW is seeking to represent about 165 skilled maintenance workers at the VW plant in Chattanooga. VW contended that the UAW should not be permitted to represent a micro-unit of 165 skilled maintenance workers in a manufacturing facility… Continue Reading

Right-to-work Legislation Introduced in Ohio

Posted in Legislation, Unions
In October 2015, Representative Tom Brinkman introduced House Bill 377 in the Ohio General Assembly to make Ohio the nation’s 26th right-to-work state (along with Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming). … Continue Reading

UAW Wins VW Election of Skilled Maintenance Workers

Posted in Elections, Union Organizing, Unions
The UAW won the election to represent 165 skilled maintenance workers at VW’s Chattanooga facility.  There were 108 “yes” votes in favor of UAW representation and 44 “no” votes against the UAW. VW appealed the NRLB Regional Director’s decision approving an election for a micro-unit of skilled maintenance workers.  Now, VW must decide whether to… Continue Reading

Contentious Negotiations Ahead for Detroit 3 and UAW

Posted in Benefits, Negotiations, Unions
Within the next two weeks, the GM, Ford, and Fiat-Chrysler will begin the serious negotiations for new collective bargaining agreements.  The ceremonial opening of these negotiations occurred last month.  The current agreements expire on September 14, and all sides face serious issues. During the 2011 negotiations, two of the three companies were being bailed out… Continue Reading

Requesting Police Enforcement of Trespass Law is a “Petition” to the Government

Posted in Courts, Unions
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the right of the people “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  Courts have concluded that when a person petitions the Government in good faith, the First Amendment prohibits any sanction for that conduct.  Applied in the labor law context, therefore, employer conduct that… Continue Reading

Ohio Public Employers Beware: Striker Replacement Workers’ Records Open to Public Records Request

Posted in Courts, Unions
Just under a year ago, a teachers’ strike at Strongsville City Schools ended.  The strike lasted nearly two months.  During the strike, the school board hired replacement teachers.  Throughout the strike, these replacement teachers were subject to repeated physical, verbal, and emotional harassment, threats of violence, and—in a couple of rare instances—actual violence. During the… Continue Reading

Confessions of a Union Supporter

Posted in Union Organizing, Unions
In my labor law practice, I’m often asked:  “Why do employees support unions?”  My answer to this question usually comes from what I have gleaned from my years of experience providing legal advice to management during union organizing campaigns.  It isn’t often that you have the opportunity to hear directly and in detail about the reasons an employee… Continue Reading

Acquiring Unionized Operations: Recent GC Memorandum Adds to the Minefield

Posted in Unions
Mergers and acquisitions involving unionized companies present a number of potential labor law challenges for the buyer.  Primarily, these challenges arise from the well-established rules applicable to "successor" employers.  A "successor" is a company that purchases the stock or, in certain cases, the assets of a unionized company.  If the buyer is a successor employer under the… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Rules Regarding Donning and Doffing of Gear

Posted in Unions
Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a significant case regarding claims involving donning and doffing for unionized employers. And no, donning and doffing are not Santa’s new reindeer. Rather, “donning” refers to putting on protective gear, clothing, or uniforms before the start of work, while “doffing” refers to taking off those items at the end of the work… Continue Reading

UAW Set to Increase Membership Dues

Posted in Unions
By Al Kinzer At its June 2014 Convention, the UAW is set to increase its minimum membership dues to 2½ hours of pay per month. Since 1967, the UAW’s minimum membership dues have been set at 2 hours of pay per month. The UAW’s financial woes have been coming for years. In 1979, the UAW had… Continue Reading

Court Overturns NLRB Decision Regarding Failure to Provide Information During Bargaining

Posted in Unions
During labor negotiations, an employer is obligated to provide certain information to the union. When that information implicates the employer’s financial performance, some employers are reluctant to disclose the information. A recent decision from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit helps define when an employer must provide that information, and does so in… Continue Reading

Unions Speak Out on NLRB Recess Appointment Ruling

Posted in Unions
In case you were wondering what unions thought about the Noel Canning decision, which held that President Obama’s recess appointments to the NLRB were unlawful, your wait is now over. Earlier this week, at its Executive Council meeting, the AFL-CIO let its views be known. In a statement adopted by the Council, the AFL-CIO decried… Continue Reading

SEIU Strikes Out

Posted in Unions
Earlier this year, Catholic Health Partners filed an "RM" petition with the NLRB’s regional office in Cincinnati, Ohio.  An RM petition is a way for employers to initiate NLRB-conducted, secret ballot elections when the employer believes that a union representation issue exists.  Catholic Health Partners sought elections in 44 different units at more than a dozen… Continue Reading

DOL Requests Comment on Electronic Voting for Union Officers

Posted in NLRB, Unions
In a notice (pdf) to be published today, the Department of Labor is soliciting comments on electronic voting in union officer elections.  The law requires that unions elect officers based on a secret ballot vote.  According to the notice, labor unions and other interested parties have requested guidance on the use of electronic voting mechanisms in… Continue Reading

Organized Labor and Life Without EFCA

Posted in EFCA, Union Organizing, Unions
Over the past ten days, some interesting developments suggest that at least some in organized labor may be thinking about life without EFCA.  The story begins with remarks President Obama made on September 13, while speaking at an event in Virginia.  He answered a question posed by an audience member on the EFCA.  He acknowledged that… Continue Reading

Union Campaign Contributions

Posted in Unions
Much has been written about contributions from corporations to candidates for public office.  That coverage tends to focus more heavily on the spending of corporations. According to data tracked and publicized by the Center for Responsive Politics, however, it would appear that union contributions to political candidates are just as heavy as corporate contributions, at least among the… Continue Reading

Union Approval at All Time Lows

Posted in Unions
A recently released Gallup survey shows that only 52% of Americans approve of unions.  Another 41% indicated that they disapproved of unions.  The approval number is up from 2009, however, when only 48% approved of unions.  The survey has asked the same question since 1936.  This year’s result was the second worst result for unions… Continue Reading