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View Diary: Outsourcers' Bill of Rights to come to a vote on Thursday (54 comments)

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  •  I do have some expertise, since I filed an (0+ / 0-)

    awful lot of unfair labor practice complaints with the NLRB over the years.

    Your understanding is completely wrong. The law is excruciatingly clear----it is illegal to locate (or relocate) a plant if any part of the reason for so doing is to escape a labor union.

    Period.

    End of debate.

    And Boeing apparently admitted that this is exactly what they did. This is a fight that Boeing has no legal leg to stand on.

    As for your lawyer friends, it sounds as if not a one of them is a labor lawyer.  Any first-year labor-law student would know the provisions of the Wagner Act.

    •  What are the rules? (0+ / 0-)

      Since you say "the law is excruciatingly clear", I assume you are talking about statutory law (as opposed to case law which can be overturned by the courts) or regulations developed under the auspices of the law. Do you have a cite for this?

      I'm wondering because I'm trying to figure out if a business violates this law if they select a plant site

      1. ONLY,
      2. PRIMARILY, or
      3. to ANY EXTENT
      to avoid Unionization of the site.

      Also, does this apply ONLY to businesses which already have Union employees somewhere or does it apply, for example, to businesses with no Unionization selecting their first site?

      I have to believe there are hundreds of thousands of businesses that have selected a plant site, possibly their first, to avoid Unionization to some extent. If that is illegal, why haven't we heard more about NLRB pursuing these claims against businesses regularly? For example, I have a hard time believing that Walmart doesn't include to some extent a state's 'right to work' status when deciding where to open stores and, especially, distribution centers. Has the NLRB just been afraid to pursue these cases knowing that it would lead to the law being changed to limit the restriction on this practice to decisions primarily motivated by retaliation?

      •  the case law is clear (0+ / 0-)

        It is illegal to do anything, anywhere, to avoid a union.  Workers have the legal right to "concerted activity", and employers have no right whatever to interfere with that. If you list a thousand reasons for doing something, and one of those reasons is "to avoid a union", that is illegal.

        You are of course entirely correct that companies do it all the time anyway. And it is all illegal.  The problem is that PROVING this was one of their reasons is very very very difficult, and so charges are virtually never filed over it.  That's what makes the Boeing case so startling--they were apparently stupid enough to declare their motives out loud--which cooks their goose.

      •  some additions . . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WillR
        Also, does this apply ONLY to businesses which already have Union employees somewhere or does it apply, for example, to businesses with no Unionization selecting their first site?

        Federal labor law protects "concerted activity". That means it applies to any situation, under any circumstances, where two or more employees are together attempting to alter or change their terms or conditions of employment.  No union is necessary--ALL workers have the protection of Federal labor law whether they are in a union or not.

        I assume you are talking about statutory law (as opposed to case law which can be overturned by the courts) or regulations developed under the auspices of the law.

        The statutory law is Section 7(a) of the Wagner Act, which protects "concerted activity". Most of the case law regarding what is or isn't "concerted activity" was settled half a century ago.The Repugs would be pretty ballsy to try to reverse it now--although they might try.

        BTW, labor law is not heard by or enforced by Federal courts--it is done through Administrative Law Judges, the same ones who hear administrative cases in the other Federal agencies such as SEC or Social Security.

        ALJ's are pretty nonpolitical--they are appointed on the basis of civil service tests, and they do not have to be confirmed by the Senate.

        The NLRB members themselves, of course, are entirely political.

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