April 2011, Week 4


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Portside Labor <[log in to unmask]>
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Portside Labor <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 25 Apr 2011 22:10:05 -0400
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NLRB to Sue Arizona, South Dakota Over Measures That
Guarantee Secret Ballot Union Elections
By Associated Press
April 25, 5:10 PM


WASHINGTON - The National Labor Relations Board says it
will move ahead with lawsuits seeking to invalidate
state constitutional amendments in Arizona and South
Dakota that require workers to hold secret ballot
elections before a company can be unionized.

The move comes after months of negotiations that failed
to reach a settlement with attorneys general for the
two states, according to an April 22 letter from the
agency's acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon.

It's the latest in a series of high-profile steps the
agency has taken to defend union rights since gaining a
Democratic majority last year for the first time in
nearly a decade. And it comes as Republican state
legislators are enacting anti-union laws in many states
as budget-cutting efforts.

Last week, the NRLB filed a controversial lawsuit that
accuses Boeing Co. of putting one of its assembly lines
for the new 787 in South Carolina - a right to work
state - to retaliate against union workers in
Washington state who went on strike in 2008.

Solomon told state officials he has directed staff to
file the lawsuits against Arizona and South Dakota
"shortly." He claims the amendments conflict with
current federal law that gives employers the option to
recognize a union if a majority of workers simply sign
cards, a process known as "card check."

Solomon also claims the state amendments are pre-empted
by the supremacy clause of the Constitution. That
clause says federal law prevails if there is a conflict
between state and federal law.

[For the rest of the story go to the link above]

NFL Lockout Lifted; Judge Rules in Favor of Players
By Sam Farmer
Los Angeles Times
April 25, 2011


NFL players saw the labor fight tip in their favor
Monday as a federal judge ordered the league to end its
lockout, meaning football will continue while owners
and players bicker over how to divide more than $9
billion in annual revenue.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson in St. Paul,
Minn., ordered an end to the 7-week-old lockout, saying
she believed the players' argument that the situation
was causing irreparable harm to their careers.

"It's one step closer to trying to do what we brought
this case for - to make sure that there's football,
that players can play and fans can watch," players
attorney Jim Quinn told The Times in a phone interview.

Now, the ball is in the court of the NFL, which will
attempt to get a stay of the ruling - keeping the
lockout in place - from Nelson. The NFL already has
filed a notice with the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of
Appeals in St. Louis, questioning whether the district
court exceeded its jurisdiction. . A lockout is a vital
leverage tool for the owners, because players are much
more likely to be willing to negotiate a new labor
agreement if they're being denied paychecks in the

"We believe that federal law bars injunctions in labor
disputes," the NFL said in a written statement. "We are
confident that the 8th Circuit will agree. But we also
believe that this dispute will inevitably end with a
collective bargaining agreement, which would be in the
best interests of players, clubs and fans. We can reach
a fair agreement only if we continue negotiations
toward that goal."

The ruling will not affect this week's draft, which was
put in place as the last piece of the now-expired CBA.
But because there is no longer a players union - the
NFL Players Assn. decertified as a union last month -
the league is in peril of running afoul of antitrust
laws with each decision the owners make collectively.

[For the rest of the story go to the link above]


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