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View Diary: NLRB holds hearing on proposed union election changes (19 comments)

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  •  These changes will be of some if they come about, (2+ / 0-)
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    opinionated, Oh Mary Oh

    but a more bold strategy is needed.  The problem is
    that the "majoritarian" model of unionism has become the norm, and is dependent on government certification procedures.  Workers need to able to unite across workplaces ASAP by forming worker groups in their own communities.

    These groups can educate non-union workers in ways to fight back within the context of their worplaces.  For example: how to "handle" a performance review, the theory of "no rate-busting", how to navigate OSHA, Workers' Compensation, etc.

    The right to organize "minority" or "non-certified" unions exists on paper, but not much in reality.  This concept would be a great boon to the labor movement.  

    "If you love your Uncle Sam, bring 'em home; bring 'em home." - Pete Seeger

    by brae70 on Tue Jul 19, 2011 at 10:38:44 AM PDT

    •  it should be pointed out that there is no legal (1+ / 0-)
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      requirement for any union to be certified through an NLRB election. In cases where I was organizing a small workplace with not many employees, I always advised them to use a strike, a slowdown, or some other on-the-job action to forcibly extract a voluntary recognition from the boss WITHOUT going through the NLRB, specifically to deny the boss the opportunity to utilize all the standard anti-union tactics. That strategy worked much more often than it failed--and even if it failed, there was still the option of an NLRB election as a plan B.

      And in cases where we had to go through the NLRB, if there were ANY violations at all, I always filed a blizzard of labor law violation charges against them, as many as I could think up, then ask the NLRB for a "bargaining order", an order to recognize the union without an election -- a theoretical remedy for instances where the boss's illegal actions have made a fair election impossible. Bargaining orders are virtually impossible to get (and I never got one), but the threat of it was often good enough to end at least the most blatant abuses--and besides it gave the boss's lawyers something expensive to do.

      •  Hmm (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Oh Mary Oh

        Any employee who was recognized as participating in a slowdown or other action basically risks just getting fired. If they were actually organizing for a union, it is possible that the actions could be violations in and of themselves--and any strike over anything that was not due to a ULP (for instance, to somehow try to obtain voluntary recognition) would allow the employer to terminate every one of them with no penalty. Either an employer is going to offer voluntary recognition or they're not; most employers will spend more money to fight the union than it would cost to have the workplace unionized in order to avoid the precedent, so if they aren't initially offering voluntary recognition, (which is a TINY number of employers anyhow) they certainly aren't going to offer it because they are getting pissed on.

        And yes, bargaining orders are virtually impossible. The behavior of the employer has to be so incredibly egregious and without question that it makes any kind of disputed ULP claim not likely whatsoever to get a bargaining order. If you have the kind of evidence you need to obtain a bargaining order, you'd just have it. I think that most management attorneys I have dealt with would laugh at someone throwing a bargaining order threat around, as they know that it is nearly impossible, not to mention they are fully aware of the law.

        Sorry to write a lame comment, but as someone who has investigated numerous ULP violations at the Board, I can say that throwing a litany of alleged violations that don't have merit or are a long-shot really just work against the union. You end up with a boy who cried wolf situation, and each charge is assigned to one agent. This also means that the process available to workers might take longer because of the increased caseload due to questionable charges.

        If you were so inclined, it would be cool if you were to follow me so that I show up in your DK4 stream. I do my best to put a lot of work into my diaries and I hope you dig em.

        by nickinnewyork on Tue Jul 19, 2011 at 07:22:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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