Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Employer's Disparate Enforcement of E-Mail Policy Against Union Violate NLRA,Appeal Court Rules. An employor that barred employees from using the corparate e-mail system to discuss union matters but did not prevent any other nonbusiness uses of the system violate the National Labor Relations Act,the U.S. Court of Appeals for the fourth circuit ruled (Media Gen.Operations Inc.d/b/a Richmond TimesDispatch v. NLRB,4th cir.,No 061023,unpublished opinion 3/15/07. The appeals court enforced a National Labor Relations Board order against Media General Operations Inc.,affirming that the Richmond Times-Dispatch violated the NLRA when it told the Richmond Newspapers Professional Association,which represents Times-Dispatch employees,to stop using the employer's e-mail system to discuss union matters.Although Media General had a corparate policy that forbade employees from using e-mail for nonbusiness purposes,NLRB found that employees routinely used the system for messages related to charities,social events,and personal matters without being disciplined. Selective enforcement of the policy to prohibit unionrelated messages violates the NLRA,the board decided.Affirming NRLB's conclusion,the court emphasized that Media General made no attempt to enforce its e-mail policy prohibiting nonbusiness use of the system except against those who sent union-related messages.The e-mail system was frequently used by both hourly employees and (managers)to convey news about the employees'personal lives,to arrange social events,and to inform employees about charities,"the court said."Restriction of the union's access to this communication channel,while others were allowed unfettered access,is an unfair labor practice that is prohibited by the NLRB.


Anonymous said...

Posted: Wednesday, April 25th, 2007 5:01 AM HST

Arbitrator rules new hospital owners must rehired fired workers

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) _ Hawaii Medical Center has been ordered to rehire some of the 85 union employees laid off in February when new management took over Saint Francis hospitals.

A labor arbitrator also told the Hawaii Medical Center to pay the employees back pay.

But arbitrator Michael Nauyokas says the new owner wasn't contractually obligated to retain all employees when it took over the money-losing operation.

Hawaii Medical Center laid off 210 full- and part-time employees. That's about 12 percent of the hospital's 16-hundred member work force.

Nauyokas' ruling did not say how many of the 85 members of the Hawaii Teamsters and Allied Workers, Local 996, would have to be rehired or how much the hospital would owe in back pay.

The parties are expected to work out those details.

(Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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Anonymous said...

LAS VEGAS) — The Teamsters mighty army of 500 organizers kicked off the national Unity Conference Sunday by marching into the Las Vegas ballroom, chanting and pumping their fists as thousands of their brothers and sisters cheered them on.

The organizers' hard work is making the Teamsters one of the few unions in the United States that are growing. Last year they organized 2,000 workers at DHL, 2,000 school bus drivers, 2,000 law enforcement officers and in Collier County, Florida, 1,000 school workers voted 12-to-1 to be Teamsters.

"We are organizing left and right," said Teamster President Jim Hoffa, just hours before he and fellow international union officers were sworn in to five-year terms.

Hoffa had one message: Teamsters need to build political power in order to build the union. Teamsters need allies in government to strike down barriers to organizing and to repeal bad trade laws that allow good American jobs to move overseas.

The Teamsters growing clout already helped Democrats gain majorities in the U.S. House and Senate, California Rep. Xavier Becerra told the assembled Teamsters.

It was the Democratic House this year that passed the Employee Free Choice Act, landmark legislation that would help make organizing workers easier and hold companies more accountable for anti-union activities. The Democratic Senate is expected to do the same.

If EFCA were signed into law, Hoffa believes, Teamsters could double the size of the union.

But President Bush has already promised to veto EFCA.

Hoffa vowed to put a labor-friendly Democrat in the White House in 2008. That will take plenty of money and boots on the ground. Hoffa urged everyone at the conference to contribute to DRIVE, the Teamsters' Democrat, Republican, Independent Voter Education political action committee.

All three major Democratic candidates—New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and former vice presidential candidate John Edwards—came to Teamsters headquarters and pledged to sign EFCA if elected.

Never again, said Hoffa, will Teamsters support a candidate who doesn't believe in what the Teamsters believe in.

And at that, the crowd rose to its feet.

Anonymous said...

FedEx Freight East Settles Racial-Bias Lawsuit
FedEx Freight East has agreed to pay $500,000 to settle a lawsuit in which the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) accused the trucking company of denying 20 qualified African American employees promotions and assignments based on their race.

The EEOC alleged in the lawsuit that American Freightways, which was subsequently acquired by FedEx, discriminated against African Americans in making promotions from part-time to full-time dockworker positions, promotions to dock supervisor positions, and work assignments at its St. Louis terminal.

In addition to $500,000 in monetary relief, the consent decree resolving the litigation--pending approval by the U.S. District Court in St. Louis--also requires reporting by FedEx on promotions from part-time to full-time dockworker positions and to dock supervisor positions.

"We are pleased that FedEx corrected the problems at its St. Louis terminal after it acquired American Freightways and now has reached a fair resolution of this lawsuit," says Robert G. Johnson, regional attorney for EEOC's St. Louis District Office.

Anonymous said...

June 13, 2006
Jury Awards $61M to Two FedEx Drivers
A jury in Oakland has awarded $50 million in punitive damages and $11 million in compensatory damages to two FedEx drivers who said a manager subjected them to a hostile work environment because of their ethnicity, the Oakland Tribune reports.

The two drivers, who are independent contractors for FedEx Ground, claimed that over a two-year period, a manager directed ethnic slurs, such as "terrorists" and "camel jockeys," at them because they are Lebanese-Americans. In the lawsuit, they alleged that they complained to management but the company failed to take steps to prevent harassment.

The company continues to deny the allegations, saying it will appeal, the newspaper reports.

"FedEx personnel policies strongly prohibit harassment and discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, age or disability," Maury Lane, a spokesperson for the company, tells the newspaper. "None of this is tolerated."

The jury decided to hold the manager liable for $1 million in damages as part of the $61 million award to the two drivers, the newspaper notes. California has a law that allows an employee to be held personally liable for harassment.

Anonymous said...

Laidlaw Workers Overwhelmingly Choose Local 690

Employees Seek Fair Pay and Improved Working Conditions

May 5, 2007

Recently, school bus drivers with Laidlaw in Riverside, Washington voted 34-3 to join Local 690 in Spokane.

“These drivers carry our nation’s most precious cargo—our children—and they deserve a strong union contract that will provide for good wages and working conditions,” said Justin “Buck” Holliday, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 690.

The workers approached the Teamsters, seeking strong representation in dealing with concerns on the job. A Laidlaw employee made the initial contact with Holliday, whose son attended a district school.

“Our local met with the workers to discuss their concerns and we explained the process of unionization to them," said Val Holstrom, President of Local 690. "They were strong the entire time, and the vote count shows that they were united in support of a change for the better.”

Local 690 is proceeding with a proposal meeting and will soon schedule the first dates for bargaining.