Monday, January 23, 2012

More Labor News . . . .

FoxconnThere have been several more recent labor developments/stories that are worth a look.  Among them:

  • A possible issue for the Supreme Court?  Disagreeing with both the Third and Fourth Circuits, the Eleventh Circuit (2-1) in Mulhall v. UNITE HERE, has just held that neutrality agreements might be considered a "thing of value" that violates Section 302 of the LMRA.  This reversed a motion to dismiss, so the court avoided details about when such agreements would violate Section 302, but this could be a big deal that warrants the Court's attention (I'm pretty sure petitions for cert. are in the works as I write this).  If it does get to the Court, I'd be willign to bet that the 11th Circuit gets overturned.  Even for a labor-unfriendly Court, this interpretation is a stretch; note the lack of virtually any examination of the intent of Section 302 in Mulhall.  But we'll see.
  • A fascinating piece by the New York Times on why Apple and other companies manufacture in Asia.  Costs is obviously part of the story, but perhaps less than you thought.  Of particular interest given all we're going to year this election year about economic inequality.
  • Part of the FAA Authorization compromise affected the NMB's new election rule.  The rule stands, but there was a compromise that now requires a 50% showing of interest to get an election (an increase from 35%), allows employees to vote for "no union" in some runoff elections, and requires the NMB to hold public hearings before it engages in major rulemaking.

Hat Tip:  Dave Casserly & Dennis Walsh


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Re: Mulhall, worth noting that the neutrality agreement apparently included an obligation on the union's part to support a local ballot measure that benefited the employer, which the union then did, to the tune of $100,000. The majority specifically mentioned this, and - to me, anyway - it seems to be animating the discussion.

Posted by: Alek Felstiner | Jan 24, 2012 6:59:13 AM

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