Vorys on Labor

Vorys on Labor

Insights for the Labor Relations Professional

Tag Archives: Union Organizing

UAW-Nissan Agree to Election; UAW Files More Charges

Posted in Elections, Union Organizing
On July 16, the UAW and Nissan entered into a Stipulated Election Agreement with the NLRB.  Under the Agreement, the UAW agreed that only the production and maintenance workers employed directly by Nissan would be able to vote.  The Agreement excludes from the bargaining unit “temporary employees” and “contract employees,” and specifically excludes those workers… Continue Reading

UAW Files Election Petition for Workers at Nissan’s Canton, MS Facility

Posted in Elections, Union Organizing
On July 10, the UAW filed a NLRB Petition for Election to represent all of the production and maintenance workers at Nissan’s Canton, Mississippi manufacturing facility.  The facility has over 6,500 workers.  The petition could not only include the production and maintenance workers employed directly by Nissan, but also include contract workers employed by Kelly… Continue Reading

NLRB Reverses Course (Again) on Bargaining Units that Include Temporary Employees

Posted in Union Organizing
Last week, the NLRB issued a widely anticipated decision reversing the existing rule on collective bargaining units including temporary employees. Now, regular employees of the employer and temporary staffing agency employees working for the same employer could be combined in the same bargaining unit without either the employer’s or the staffing agency’s consent. The decision… Continue Reading

The Persuader Rule has Arrived: A Must-Read for Employers

Posted in Rulemaking, Union Organizing
The DOL issued its new persuader rule today. The final rule is largely unchanged from the proposed rule that was originally published in 2011. As expected, the DOL’s new interpretation departs from decades of precedent to expand the definition of “persuader” activities while limiting the definition of “advice” activities. As a result of this new… Continue Reading

Northwestern Football Players Lose Effort to Unionize: NLRB Declines to Exercise Jurisdiction

Posted in NLRB, Union Organizing
Earlier today, the long-running saga of whether NCAA Division I football players are employees under the NLRA came to an end — at least temporarily.  The NLRB unanimously declined to exercise jurisdiction over Northwestern University’s scholarship football players and dismissed the union election petition. In January 2014, Northwestern University’s scholarship football players filed a petition… Continue Reading

Just When You Thought it Couldn’t Get Worse, it Does: NLRB Protects Facebook Attack on Supervisor

Posted in Employee Discipline, NLRB, Union Organizing
Consider this employee’s Facebook post: Bob is such a NASTY MOTHERF___ER don’t know how to talk to people!!!!!!  F__k his mother and his entire f__king family!!!!  What a LOSER!!!!  Vote YES for the UNION!!!!!!! In this case, “Bob” was the employee’s supervisor.  The employee (a banquet server) published the post at least 5-10 minutes after… Continue Reading

Employers Must Allow Employees to Use Employer Owned and Operated Email Systems for Union Organizing

Posted in NLRB, Union Organizing
Since 2007, as a result of the NLRB’s Register Guard decision, an employer could lawfully limit the use of its email system by employees for certain non-business related activities, assuming that it applied the rule non-discriminatorily.  On December 10, 2014, in a 3-2 decision, the NLRB reversed the old rule established in Register Guard and… Continue Reading

UAW Gains Recognition at Volkswagen

Posted in Union Organizing
It’s certainly unconventional for the U.S. labor movement, but the UAW scored a victory at VW in Chattanooga. VW has agreed to meet with the UAW bi-weekly to discuss work issues, after an accounting firm certified that the UAW represented over 45% of the workers in Chattanooga. The UAW, however, is not the exclusive representative… Continue Reading

Some Guidance on Independent Contractors

Posted in Independent Contractors
I recently wrote about how the NLRB has made it easier to establish employee status and correspondingly more difficult to establish independent contractor status.  In a recent publication, two of my partners outline some pros and cons of using independent contractors.  While they focus  specifically on the oil and gas industry, their observations are readily applicable to… Continue Reading

Employers May Feel Blue About NLRB’s Purple Communications Decision

Posted in NLRB, Union Organizing
A recent decision from the NLRB is a good reminder that employer statements during union organizing activity have potentially wide-ranging effects.  This latest case involves Purple Communications, a provider of sign language interpreters who facilitate real-time, two-way phone communication between hearing-impaired and hearing individuals.  The union filed objections after suffering narrow election defeats at two… Continue Reading

NLRB Revisits Independent Contractor Definition

Posted in NLRB, Union Organizing
Employees are permitted to join unions.  Independent contractors are not.  Thus, whether a particular working relationship involves an “employee” or an “independent contractor” is extremely important.  Recently, the NLRB has made it easier to establish employee status and correspondingly more difficult to establish independent contractor status. The case involved delivery drivers for Federal Express Home… 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

Protecting the Employer’s Brand During a Labor Dispute

Posted in Union Organizing
The NLRB makes it hard to protect a company’s investment, which can be substantial, in its brand. A recent decision demonstrates the perils that employers can encounter for their brand during a labor dispute. The case involved the national sandwich franchise, Jimmy John’s, and one of its franchisees in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The franchisee’s workers began… Continue Reading

Union Organizing in 2014

Posted in Union Organizing
By Susan Connelly of PTI Labor Research, Guest Blogger* PTI Labor Research analyzed union representation petitions that were filed within the first half of the year.   States with the most petitions filed (pdf) included:  New York, California, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  Each of these top five states are “Non-Right to Work,” where it is legal to… Continue Reading

A Limit on Micro-Unions for Now, but Long-Term Significance of Limitation Uncertain

Posted in NLRB, Union Organizing
On the heels of the much anticipated decision involving the Macy’s department store chain, discussed on this blog last week, the NLRB on Monday released its opinion in a similar case involving Neiman Marcus. Unlike the outcome in  the Macy’s case, however, the NLRB found the bargaining unit that the union sought to represent was not… Continue Reading

Confiscating Union Literature and Engaging in Surveillance of Union Activities Invalidates Election

Posted in Union Organizing
By Nelson Cary and Christina Otero* The United Steelworkers union lost an election at a tape manufacturing facility, with 97 votes for and 142 votes against the union. During the campaign, however, the employer confiscated union literature from the employees’ break room and engaged in surveillance of employees’ union activities. For these transgressions, a majority… Continue Reading

Union Supporters’ Threats Do Not Invalidate Election

Posted in Union Organizing
Union elections are supposed to be conducted in an atmosphere free of threats and coercion. This allows employees to make a free and informed choice about whether they want a Union to represent them for purposes of collective bargaining. Given these principles, therefore, even a labor professional might be surprised at a recent decision from the NLRB.… Continue Reading

UAW Withdraws Objections to Volkswagen Election

Posted in Union Organizing
By Al Kinzer Just before the NLRB hearing about the UAW objections to the VW election was to start, the UAW withdrew its objections to its 712-626 defeat in the February 2014 election. Thus, the UAW ended its legal battle to overturn the election results.   The UAW stated that pursing its objections would take months… Continue Reading

NLRB Regional Director Holds Northwestern University Football Players Are Employees, And Can Unionize

Posted in NLRB, Union Organizing
By: Nelson D. Cary, Michael J. Shoenfelt Yesterday, the NLRB’s regional director for Region 13(Chicago), Peter Ohr, issued a 24-page ruling in which he held that college football players at Northwestern University were employees entitled to the right to organize.  Ohr reasoned that the players met the standard for an employee under the NLRA and… Continue Reading

UAW Files Objections to VW Vote

Posted in Union Organizing
By Al Kinzer Seeking to set aside its loss, the UAW filed formal objections to the VW election with the NLRB. The UAW alleges interference with the NLRB election process by third parties. The UAW requests that the NLRB set aside its 712-626 loss in the February 14 election and conduct another secret-ballot election. The UAW has until… Continue Reading

VW Workers Reject the UAW

Posted in Union Organizing
By Al Kinzer By a vote of 712 to 626, the VW workers in Chattanooga rejected UAW representation. The defeat leaves the UAW in a precarious state. The UAW was hoping to use a victory at VW as momentum for its campaigns at Nissan in Canton, Mississippi, and at Mercedes Benz in Vance, Alabama. Instead, the UAW finds… Continue Reading