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New 2019 Data Shows U.S. Workers Participated in Strike Actions at Highest Rate in 30 Years

Employers, especially manufacturers, are facing a new (old) challenge in unionized work forces: strikes. The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows U.S. workers are more likely to strike today than at any other time in the last 30 years. This should prompt employers with unionized workforces to review their strike preparedness plans.

NLRB General Counsel Wants More Clarity and Employee Protection for Intermittent Strikes

On October 3, 2016, the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) for the National Labor Relations Board asked the NLRB to clarify and broaden the protection afforded employees who engage in intermittent and partial strikes.

NLRB Scrutinizes Employer Motivation in Hiring Replacement Workers During Strike

Denying a motion for reconsideration, the National Labor Relations Board recently affirmed its decision in American Baptist Homes of the West d/b/a Piedmont Gardens, addressing the relevance of an employer’s motive in hiring permanent replacement workers for economic strikers. 364 NLRB No. 95 (Aug. 24, 2016). As a result, in cases involving allegations that an employer unlawfully hired permanent replacements, motivation will be a focal point of any investigation, and any “retaliatory” conduct by an employer in response to economic strikers could violate the National Labor Relations Act and require that the employer pay full back pay to permanently replaced economic strikers.

Saying “You’re Fired” Could Bring Labor Pains

An Ohio employer recently learned the hard way that employers need to be cautious when it comes to communicating with striking employees about permanent replacements. By mistakenly telling them that their employment had been “terminated,” the employer has been ordered to pay out a large sum of money to the striking workers, and – worse yet – hire them back. The lessons learned from this case can help you avoid the same fate (Tri-State Wholesale Building Supplies v. NLRB).

Labor Shocker: Strike Replacements Struck Down

In an unprecedented 2-1 decision, the National Labor Relations Board recently held that a California continuing care facility violated the National Labor Relations Act by hiring permanent replacements during an economic strike to punish striking employees and to avoid future strikes. In so holding, the Board overturned decades of precedent allowing employers to hire permanent replacements during an economic strike, regardless of motive. This decision could have a significant impact on your labor relations strategy – unless you navigate through this area carefully, you could also run afoul of the new Board standard (American Baptist Homes of the West).

NLRB Decision Threatens 75-Year-Old Precedent, Analyzes Employer’s Motive for Hiring Replacement Workers

On May 31, a divided National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a very significant decision in American Baptist Homes of the West, increasing the impact of an employer’s motive in deciding whether the permanent replacement of economic strikers is lawful. Given this new focus on the employer’s motive, the floodgates to second-guessing employers’ motivations in retaining permanent replacement workers for economic strikers are now open. Under the logic used by the Board, the NLRB conceivably could now find a discriminatory employer motivation in virtually every replacement strike and use it as a reason to order immediate reinstatement of economic strikers with full back pay and the dismissal of replacement workers. This result would chill the hiring of replacement workers, thus reducing an employer’s ability to maintain its operations during an economic strike. With this outcome, the Board has eviscerated a completely legal economic tool that Congress and the Supreme Court of the United States have granted to employers. A very serious practical effect of the case could be not only to discourage employers from hiring long-term replacement workers as a valid strike tactic, but also to embolden unions to take employees out on economic strikes more frequently.

Will Your Workers Go On Strike On November 10? What You Need To Know

Employee walkouts and protests are likely to occur on a massive scale across the country on Tuesday, November 10, spurred on by the union-supported “Fight for $15” movement. Low-wage workers seeking higher pay and possible union status will be the primary participants, but don’t be fooled into thinking the protests will be limited to fast-food workers. It is expected that these protests will include workers across many sectors.

What if the West Coast Ports Shut Down by Lockout or Strike? Is it Time to Invoke Taft-Hartley?

Since the expiration of a labor contract in July 2014, negotiations for a new contract have dragged on between management representatives of the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA)—a multi-employer bargaining association representing terminal operators, stevedores, and shipping companies—and the longshore workers union, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). Working without a contract for nearly nine months, 20,000 ILWU members have engaged in a work slowdown for more than three months; this pressure from negotiating parties has had a significant economic impact on both management and the union. All 29 West Coast ports, from Bellingham, Washington to San Diego, California, have been affected.

Fast Food and Retail Workers Strike in Chicago

Hundreds of fast food and retail workers will be striking in downtown Chicago today in an effort to push for higher wages as part of the “Fight for $15” campaign. This comes just weeks after fast food workers in New York engaged in a similar walkout in an effort to increase their wages—the second such action since November.
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