Labor Relations Insight
from Phil Wilson
EFCA: No Time To Lose!
We are only 2 weeks away from what at this point looks like a big win for Barack Obama and a substantial - perhaps filibuster-proof - Democratic majority in the Senate. Many people we've talked to over the last several months about the Free Choice Act have told us they are waiting until after the elections before they do anything. I have a feeling many of those will say that they are going to wait until the legislation passes before they take action after the election.
These "conservative" strategies seem logical. After all, why prepare for a change in the laws when you don't even know what the rules are going to be? But the strategies are not logical. And they're not conservative. They are reckless. Companies who aren't fully engaged in devloping an action plan and educating new and incumbent employees right now about union cards are going to be sorry.
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Boeing Strikers Should Take Note
Daimler Trucks North America has scheduled a closure of a Porland, OR plant. The closure will send 900 machinists looking for jobs, as the production work is be shifted to climates with less union encumbrances in the Carolinas and Mexico. Striking Boeing machinists, represented by the same union representing the Freightliner employees, could drive Boeing to a similar move once production on the 737 comes to an end.
In a related reinforcement of the point, Boeing executive Fred Kiga, speaking at a Washington state aerospace industry conference, warned of the northwest becoming known as a “strike zone.” "I don't think anyone would call this region an aerospace rust belt today," he said. "But we cannot afford to become known as the strike zone either. The stakes are much too high."
McCain vs. Obama: Labor Policy
The Alliance for Worker Freedom has release a chart comparing the two presidential candidates on labor positions, including right-to-work, card check, and other key issues. Check it out!
UFCW vs. Business Reality
The six Wal-Mart employees of a Tire & Lubrication Express department in a Canadian store probably thought they had finally cracked open the “evil empire” when they won a 3-year court battle over representation by the United Food & Commercial Workers union. Business realities soon hit home when the Express was closed due to the unprofitability of the venture adjusted for the new wage hikes. The employees were offered employment – non-union – at other Wal-Mart locations.