Recent media reports have covered the relatively new phenomenon of minority labor unions. These are not traditional unions in the sense of formal organizing, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) certification, and exclusive collective bargaining rights. Rather, they are organizations made up of groups of individuals (including traditional employees, temporary
Articles Discussing General Issue Relating To Labor Unions.
According to an analysis by Bloomberg Law Daily Labor Report, the Teamsters Union lost almost 65,000 members in 2019, the largest decline in the union’s membership in 20 years. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) added almost 45,000 members.
The analysis was based on a review of recently released annual
The National Labor Relations Board has held that an employer’s obligation to deduct union dues ends when the collective bargaining agreement containing the checkoff provision expires. Valley Hospital Medical Center, Inc. d/b/a Valley Hospital Medical Center, 368 NLRB No. 139 (Dec. 16, 2019).
Once again, the percentage of private sector union-represented workers fell – to 6.4% in 2018, from 6.5% in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.
Executive Summary: On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31 struck down an Illinois law requiring public employees represented by a union to pay agency fees to the union even though the employee is a non-member, objects to positions taken by the union and has not consented to payment of the fee, holding the law “violates the free speech rights of nonmembers by compelling them to subsidize private speech on matters of substantial public concern.” The Court’s decision overrules its 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed., 431 U. S. 209 (1977).
In a long-awaited decision, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that “agency fee” laws in 22 states plus Washington, D.C. violate the First Amendment rights of public sector employees. Public sector employees who exercise their right not to join the union representing their bargaining unit can no longer be required to pay “agency fees” to that union to cover the costs of negotiating contracts, processing grievances, and representing unit members in disciplinary proceedings. The ruling in Janus v. AFSCME Council 31 could cripple powerful public sector unions financially and blunt their political influence if a significant number of employees elect to resign their union membership.
Public sector employees who are non-members of a union cannot be legally required to pay agency or “fair share” fees as a condition of employment, the U.S. Supreme Court has held in a 5-4 ruling. Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, No. 16-1466 (June 27, 2018). Janus reverses the Court’s 1977 decision in Abood v. Detroit Board of Educ., 431 U.S. 209, in which the Court found such mandatory fees to be constitutional.
Home health aides who successfully objected to the collection of “fair share” fees without their consent may not proceed as a class, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled, affirming a lower court’s determination. Riffey v. Rauner, No.16-3487 (7th Cir. Oct. 11, 2017).
As expected, Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) has reintroduced a bill targeting the National Labor Relations Board’s decision in Specialty Healthcare, 357 NLRB No. 83 (2011). The Representation Fairness Restoration Act (S.1217) would reinstate the pre-2011 standard for determining which employees belong in a particular bargaining unit. Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) introduced a companion bill (H.R. 2629) in the House of Representatives.
Labor unions today are “tech” savvy, using mobile app and other technology to grow and maintain their memberships.
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Richard Griffin wants the Board to declare it unlawful for employers to withdraw recognition from an incumbent union without an NLRB election. See GC Memorandums GC 16-01 (Mar. 22, 2016) and GC-1603 (May 9, 2016). This would be a major change from current Board law articulated in Levitz Furniture Co. of the Pacific, 333 NLRB 717 (2001), which permits employers to unilaterally withdraw recognition from an incumbent union based upon “objective evidence” that the union has lost majority support (i.e., typically a petition signed by a majority of bargaining unit employees indicating that they no longer wish to be represented by their union). The General Counsel’s proposed change will not become law unless it is adopted by a majority of the Board.
In a simple, one-sentence decision handed down on March 29, 2016, in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, the U.S. Supreme Court preserved the ability of public employee unions across the country to collect fair share fees from non-union employees in their bargaining unit. The per curiam decision simply stated: “The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court.”
On January 11, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Frederichs v. California Teachers Association, a case that will decide whether public-sector employees can be forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment. The latest battle over the payment of union fees in the public sector arose from claims by some California teachers that state “agency shop” laws violate free speech and association rights under the First Amendment. California law requires teachers working in most of its public schools to financially contribute to the local teachers’ union and that union’s state and national affiliates to subsidize collective bargaining expenses. California law also requires public school teachers to subsidize expenditures unrelated to collective bargaining unless a teacher affirmatively objects and then renews his or her opposition in writing every year.
On August 27, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board, in Lincoln Lutheran of Racine, 362 NLRB No. 188, overturned 53 years of precedent, holding that, like most other terms and conditions of employment, an employer’s obligation to check off union dues continues after expiration of a collective bargaining agreement that contains such a provision. The Board’s determination is not surprising in light of its 2012 decision in WKYC-TV1, which held similarly, but was overturned (on procedural grounds) by the U.S. Supreme Court in NLRB v. Noel Canning, 134 S.Ct. 2550 (2014).
As we previously observed here, no cases that were invalidated by the United States Supreme Court in Noel Canning v. NLRB remain for the National Labor Relations Board to decide.