October 21, 2014

Public unions can’t make non-members pay fees

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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court dealt a blow to public sector unions Monday, ruling that thousands of home health care workers in Illinois cannot be required to pay fees that help cover the union’s costs of collective bargaining. In a 5-4 split along ideological lines, the justices said the practice violates the First Amendment rights [...]

Koch brothers rallying to hurt pensioners

LANSING, Mich. – Americans for Prosperity, the conservative advocacy group supported by the Koch brothers, has launched an effort to torpedo a proposed settlement in the Detroit bankruptcy case, potentially complicating chances for completing the deal just as its prospects seemed to be improving. The organization, formed to fight big government and spending, is contacting [...]

Tenn. Republicans want a union-free environment

The United Auto Workers are trying to organize a Volkswagen plant in Tennessee, and opposition is building. But it’s not management fighting the union, it’s Republican politicians. The Chattanooga factory, which opened in 2011 to build the Passat, employs about 1,550 hourly workers. On Wednesday they begin a three-day vote on whether to join the [...]

Volkswagen backs union vote at U.S. plant

A Volkswagen AG (VOW) plant in Tennessee is poised to become the first foreign-owned car factory in the U.S. with a union after the company agreed to let employees vote on whether to be represented by the United Auto Workers. Volkswagen has agreed for workers at a Chattanooga assembly plant to vote next week on [...]

Private-sector union membership grows in 2013

In 2013 the total number of workers in unions rose by 162,000 compared with 2012, led by an increase of 281,000 workers in private-sector unions. There were strong gains in construction and manufacturing, against a background of strike actions by low-wage workers in the private sector. But destructive, politically motivated layoffs of public-sector workers continued [...]

Rep. Rahall says unions good for business

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall told West Virginia union leaders on Tuesday that people who believe cheaper, non-union labor is good for American business are “short-sighted.” “Union labor also helps increase corporate America’s bottom line with your safety standards and the quality of your work,” Rahall said at the event hosted by [...]

VW isn’t fighting union, but right-wing groups are

Union Yes; Union check yes

After Volkswagen issued a letter in September saying the company would not oppose an attempt by the United Auto Workers (UAW) to unionize its 1,600-worker Chattanooga, Tenn., facility, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) was flabbergasted. “For management to invite the UAW in is almost beyond belief,” Corker, who campaigned heavily for the plant’s construction during his [...]

Ohio joins in the fight against right-to-work bills

05/02/13 UPDATE: Ohio right-to-work bills were considered “dead-on-arrival” as Senate Republic President Keith Faber rejected the bills last night in an after-hours press conference.  “We have an ambitious agenda focused on job creation and economic recovery, and Right to Work legislation is not on that list. After discussions with other leaders and my caucus, I don’t [...]

Halt the neglect of transportation infrastructure

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SMART Transportation Division President Mike Futhey and Assistant President John Previsich this week joined the leaders of other AFL-CIO affiliate unions at the organization’s annual winter meeting. They also meet separately with members of the organization’s Transportation Trades Department to roll out a 2013 transportation investment and jobs agenda, stake out an aggressive stance against [...]