NLRB Logo; National Labor Relations BoardOn June 17, 2017, the AFL-CIO issued a legislative alert to U.S. Senators regarding Trump’s nomination of Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel to fill the vacant seats on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
In the alert, Emanuel is noted for representing the “…notorious union-busting law firm Littler Mendelson,” and Kaplan’s, “…sole experience with labor law is on a policy level, drafting legislation to weaken worker protections…”
Click here to read the entire letter from the AFL-CIO.
A Senate committee may vote on these nominations as early as tomorrow, July 19, 2017 –
so contact your Senator today: 
Visit the SMART TD Legislative Action Center (LAC) to call your Senator and voice your opposition to these nominations.
On Tuesday, July 18, the Chicago Tribune outlined how Trump seeks to dismantle unions in America. Click here to read the article.


Washington – Philip A. Miscimarra has been named chairman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by President Donald J. Trump.  

“It is a great honor to be named NLRB Chairman by the President,” Miscimarra said. “The Board has the important responsibility of applying the National Labor Relations Act in an even-handed manner that serves the interests of employees, employers and unions throughout the country. I remain committed to these efforts.”

President Trump designated Miscimarra NLRB chairman, April 24, 2017, after the White House announced the President’s intent to name Miscimarra Chairman April 21.  Miscimarra had been previously designated Acting Chairman by President Trump January 23, 2017, and served as a Board Member since August 7, 2013. Miscimarra was nominated April 9, 2013, to serve on the Board, and was approved unanimously by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions May 22, 2013. He was confirmed by the Senate July 30, 2013, and his current term expires December 16, 2017. 

The NLRB also consists of NLRB Member Mark Gaston Pearce (previously NLRB Chairman), whose term expires August 27, 2018; and NLRB Member Lauren McFerran, whose term expires December 16, 2019. Two Board member seats are currently vacant. 

Before joining the Board, Chairman Miscimarra was a Senior Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School in the Wharton Center for Human Resources, and a labor and employment law partner with Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP in Chicago. He also previously worked as a labor and employment attorney with Seyfarth Shaw LLP; Murphy Smith & Polk PC (now the Chicago office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, PC); and Reed Smith Shaw & McClay (now Reed Smith LLP). 

Miscimarra received his Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania Law School; a Master of Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School; and a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from Duquesne University.

Union Yes; Union check yesDays after the Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker announced his plan to get rid of the National Labor Relations Board, Democratic lawmakers are rolling out a plan to strengthen the government agency. The bill, introduced on Wednesday, will also serve as a litmus test to Democrats vying for union endorsements in the 2016 presidential election.

The Wage Act, which stands for Workplace Action for Growing Economy Act, is being sponsored by Washington senator Patty Murray and Virginia congressman Bobby Scott.

“Too often, as workers are underpaid, overworked, and treated unfairly on the job, some companies are doing everything they can to prevent them from having a voice in the workplace,” Murray said in a statement. “The Wage Act would strengthen protections for all workers and it would finally crack down on employers who break the law when workers exercise their basic right to collective action.”

Read more from The Guardian

NLRB Logo; National Labor Relations BoardOn August 27, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) overturned its policy that had existed since 1962, and held that employers remain obligated to withhold from wages and remit union dues to their employees’ union, even after the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that creates the obligation.

Collective bargaining agreements frequently contain “dues check off” provisions, which require employers to deduct union dues from their employees’ wages, and to then forward those dues to the union. For the past 50 years, these check off provisions were among certain reciprocal contractual entitlements flowing to the union and employer that automatically terminated when a collective bargaining agreement expired. As such, they were not among other contractual provisions that pertained to the wages, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment for the bargaining unit employees that continued indefinitely after the collective bargaining agreement expired until impasse or a replacement agreement was reached. This allowed employers to stop collecting dues for unions once their contract ended.

Read more from Lexology.

NLRB Logo; National Labor Relations BoardUnions and other labor advocates are brainstorming strategies after a National Labor Relations Board ruling that could strengthen the hand of those at the lowest level of such industries as warehousing, construction, fast food and home health care.

The NLRB said Thursday that a Silicon Valley recycling center was a “joint employer,” as was the staffing agency that provided the center’s workers. The ruling determined that companies using workers hired by another business, such as temp agencies, contractors or fast-food franchisees, are still responsible for labor violations and could be required to bargain with unions representing those employees.

That finding, which is sure to be tested in the courts, gives a boost to labor groups, which have scored victories in recent years with highly choreographed nationwide protests for better pay in traditionally minimum-wage industries such as retail and fast food, analysts say. It could also help increase union membership, which has been on the decline.

Read more from Standard-Times.

NLRB Logo; National Labor Relations BoardIn the 80 years since the National Labor Relations Act was enacted, the workplace has changed in ways that President Roosevelt never could have imagined when he declared that the goal of the law was “common justice and economic advance” for all. Yet his signature so long ago guaranteed that one thing would and has remained the same — democracy has a rightful place in the workplace.

Enacted in midst of the Great Depression, the National Labor Relations Act gave workers an avenue to join together to improve their wages and working conditions. The ability to organize and bargain collectively put more money in the pockets of workers while helping build – and maintain – the middle-class.  

Through good times and bad, the Act has offered workers a voice in their workplace and promoted industrial peace. Our country and workplaces have changed over the last eight decades, but the need for the Act has remained a constant.

Today, the law continues to protect employees who seek to improve their working conditions by joining together, with or without a labor union. It protects the union member seeking to improve conditions at their plant just the same as it does the single-mom in a non-union workplace working the night shift who speaks with coworkers about their pay and work hours. And through collective bargaining, unions and employers can resolve their differences and devise solutions to meet the challenges of our ever-changing economy.

While there is little doubt that the workplace will bear little resemblance in 80 years to what we know today, there is even less doubt that workers will deserve and demand a voice in it.  As long as there is the NLRA, that voice will be protected.  

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the National Labor Relations Act on July 5, 1935, which among other things established a new independent agency tasked with enforcing the Act, the National Labor Relations Board. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week marked the first time in a decade in which all five National Labor Relations Board members were confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Aug. 21, 2003, was the last time the board was fully staffed, according to a NLRB news release. But perhaps the most recent case of the panel operating with members who hadn’t gotten Senate confirmation is the most politically charged.

Read the complete story at The Plain Dealer.

U.S. Capitol Building; Capitol Building; Washington D.C.The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday against the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and their ruling that workplaces must display posters about union organizing, bargaining and protests.

The law would have insisted that more than six million private employers post a “notification of employee rights.” The one-page poster was to include basic rights protected by Federal Labor Law, including the right to join a union and go on strike. Failure to comply with the rule would have resulted in charges being brought against the employer in an unfair labor practice case.

The three-judge-panel stated that the rule was a violation of employers’ rights to freedom of speech, as the poster did not include any opposing information such as how to decertify a union or avoid paying dues.

The rule was scheduled to go into effect last year but was put on hold due to legal challenges posed by the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Right to Work Legal Defense, National Federation of Independent Business, Education Foundation and other business lobbyists. They challenged that the poster requirement was to promote unionization of the work force.

Judge Karen LeCraft Henderson wrote, The National Labor Relations Act “simply does not authorize the board to impose on an employer a freestanding obligation to educate its employees on the fine points of labor relations law.” Unions and the NLRB itself are free to display posters and do so, Henderson noted.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka came out against the ruling stating, the “D.C. Circuit has once again undermined workers’ rights – this time by striking down a common-sense rule requiring employers to inform workers of their rights under federal labor law. In today’s workplace, employers are required to display posters explaining wage and hour rights, health and safety and discrimination laws, even emergency escape routes. The D.C. Circuit ruling suggests that courts should strike down hundreds of notice requirements…”

The Obama Administration strongly opposes H.R. 1120, which would prohibit members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) duly appointed by the president from taking any action.

If the president is presented with legislation that would undermine the functions of the National Labor Relations Board, his senior advisors will recommend that he veto the bill.

H.R. 1120 was introduced March 13 by Rep. David P. Roe (R-Tenn.) and has 25 co-sponsors.

The Obama administration said “This legislation hurts middle-class and working families, weakens the economy and undermines America’s economic competitiveness.

“H.R. 1120 would needlessly place the rights of millions of American workers in jeopardy and erode financial security and economic opportunity for middle class and working families. The National Labor Relations Act charges the NLRB with preventing and remedying unfair labor practices and defending the right of employees to join a union and bargain collectively with their employers.

“These protections are fundamental to growing the economy and creating jobs from the middle class out by ensuring better wages and working conditions for American workers and an open, fair, and prosperous economy for all.

“The Administration rejects the premise of this legislation, as the NLRB properly continues to act while courts resolve legal challenges to the President’s recess appointments, which the Administration believes are valid and constitutional.

“By depriving the NLRB of statutory authority, H.R. 1120 would compromise the President’s constitutional authority to make recess appointments.

“The legislation poses additional constitutional concerns because it would effectively remove the President’s recess appointees from office, authority that resides with the President. Rather than attempting to pass unfounded legislation such as H.R. 1120, the Congress should swiftly confirm the President’s nominees to the Board, which would resolve a situation that is of the Congress’s own making.”

By Calvin Studivant
Alternate Vice President, Bus Department

In late August, a federal appeals court vacated the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s final rule requiring electronic onboard recorders.

The court said the rule does not sufficiently protect drivers from being harassed by employers to remain at the wheel when they are fatigued. The final rule was scheduled to go into effect in June 2012. A lower court, which had set aside a challenge, was told to revisit the case.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals said the FMCSA “needs to consider what types of harassment already exist, how frequently and to what extent harassment happens, and how an electronic device capable of contemporaneous transmission of information to a motor carrier will guard against (or fail to guard against) harassment.”

As a member of the FMCSA advisory committee, I previously voiced concern over this rule, and it is comforting that our concerns were recognized by the appeals court. I expect the lower court will instruct the FMCSA to revise the rule to include better driver protection.

Also of interest to our bus members, the National Labor Relations Board has instructed all carriers subject to the National Labor Relations Act to inform employees of their rights to organize and be represented by a labor union. This will certainly help in our efforts to organize the unorganized. See the separate article on this ruling elsewhere in this issue of the newspaper.

Turning to news of our bus locals, members of Local 1715, Charlotte, N.C., recognize the quality of UTU representation. In recent weeks, three members were returned to work following successful processing of their grievances.

Additionally, the UTU has prevailed in 14 grievances that put $1,000 in back pay into the wallets of each of these Local 1715 members.

We also have begun contract negotiations with the carrier on behalf of Local 1715 drivers. As part of this process, we are restoring respect lost while represented by another organization prior to the UTU representation election victory earlier this year. We are in the process of delivering improved working conditions on the Charlotte property by modifying tentative contracts agreed to by the other organization.

Local 1715 also has completed its local elections. Kevin Moss was elected general chairperson, Hasson Trent was elected vice general chairperson, and Bruce Wright was elected local president. We are very proud of these new officers and the members.

Also in negotiations is Local 172 in Darby, Pa., where Vice President Vic Baffoni is assisting at the bargaining table.