Wednesday, January 24, 2018

See FedEx Decertifed Terminals , If You Would Have Only Stood Strong ...

The XPO employees  in Miami Florida stood Strong and held to their true beliefs that organizing is the right thing to do. Now reap the rewards of standing up to XPO.
And not giving up hope, because they did not get new tractors.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Trump’s Labor Board Likely to Strip Auto Workers of Southern Victory by Chris Brooks

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After losing a high-profile election at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant in 2014, the Auto Workers won a smaller unit: the skilled-trades workers at the plant. Now a Trump-appointed Labor Board is about to undo even that small victory. Photo: Volkswagen
Two years ago the Auto Workers (UAW) broke new ground when skilled-trades workers at the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant voted 108 to 44 in favor of unionizing.
It was the union’s first victory at a foreign-owned automaker in the U.S. South.
But the success was short-lived. The UAW went on to suffer several high-profile losses, including at Nissanand Fuyao last year.
But now, even that small victory at Volkswagen is likely to be stripped from the union by the D.C. Circuit Court and Trump-stacked National Labor Relations Board.


Only 162 skilled-trades workers in the maintenance department at the Chattanooga plant were eligible to vote for unionization in 2015. The year before, the union had lost an election to represent all 1,500 hourly employees.

Timeline of UAW Organizing Drive at Volkswagen

  • February 14, 2014: UAW loses union election 712 to 626.
  • July 10, 2014: UAW charters Local 42, a “members-only union.”
  • December 5, 2015: Skilled-trades workers win union recognition by a vote of 108 to 44. The company refuses to negotiate, claiming the skilled-trades unit is improper.
  • August 26, 2016: The NLRB issues a unanimous decision that Volkswagen violated federal labor law and orders the company to bargain with the union. However, the company does not comply. Instead, it appeals the decision.
  • September 25, 2017: The Senate confirms Trump’s second appointee to the Labor Board, giving the Republicans a 3-2 majority.
  • December 15, 2017: The Labor Board overrules Specialty Healthcare in favor of position that benefits employers.
  • December 19, 2017: The Labor Board asks D.C. Circuit Court to remand Volkswagen case back to the Board to be considered under the new Board’s decision to overturn Specialty Healthcare.
  • December 26, 2017: The D.C. Circuit Court remands the case to the Labor Board.
What allowed this vote by a smaller section of the workforce was the Labor Board’s 2011 Specialty Healthcare ruling, which gave unions more influence over which workers would be included in a bargaining unit.
The Auto Workers were falling in the footsteps of retail workers at Macy’s and Target, where the ruling allowed specific departments like cosmetics or the pharmacy to form their own bargaining units. Specialty Healthcare meant that unions could target their campaigns to the areas where they had greater support, rather than be forced into wall-to-wall elections.
Volkswagen had previously pledged neutrality, but as soon as the UAW had a foot in the door the company went on the attack. The company announced that it would fight any Labor Board decision to recognize a unit that did not include all hourly-wage production employees at the plant.
Volkswagen refused to bargain with the skilled-trades workers—a violation of federal labor law, but one that allowed the company to buy time. The UAW brought unfair labor practice charges, which Volkswagen appealed.


As the appeal slowly made its way through the courts, Donald Trump was elected president and the Labor Board was reconstituted with a Republican majority.
In December, the Trump Labor Board rammed through a series of pro-employer rulings demolishing Obama-era gains for unions. Among these rulings was a complete reversal on Specialty Healthcare, once again giving employers substantial power to ensure that the size and composition of a bargaining unit benefits the company, not the union.
Following the Board’s reversal, the D.C. Circuit Court kicked Volkswagen’s appeal back down to the Labor Board to be decided under the new precedent—all but guaranteeing that the skilled-trades vote will be overturned.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The FedEx Corporation’s History of Opposing Unionization

FedEx’s effort to keep FedEx Express’ ground transportation employees under the RLA is not– as the FedEx website would have it – a battle between rival package-delivery companies, specifically, FedEx Express and UPS. It is rather a battle between FedEx Express and its own employees, who seek the same opportunity to be represented by a union as counterpart employees at other package-delivery companies. In this regard, the actions taken by FedEx are just the latest in a long history of vigorous resistance to efforts by its employees to unionize:
• As early as 1983, a FedEx booklet titled “Managers Labor Law Book” credits the company’s success in large part to being “union free.” 66 On the second page, the booklet declares that the corporate goal is to remain “union free;”
• In 1989, shortly before acquiring Tiger International Airline, many of whose pilots were union members, FedEx’s founder and chief executive officer, Fred Smith, declared: “I don’t intend to recognize any unions at Federal Express;” 67
• In 1993, FedEx distributed to its managers a booklet produced by the company’s legal department titled “Keeping the People Philosophy Alive: Making Unions Unnecessary.” The cover letter said, “Enclosed you will find a new guide designed to provide Federal Express managers with basic information about union avoidance and union organizing;” 68 and
• As recently as 2006, FedEx’s Human Resource Services and Diversity Organization published a paper calling on human resources staff to “co-develop strategy with Labor Relations team on union avoidance,” and listing five “union avoidance strategies.” 69
The Leadership Conference recognizes the right of an employer, including FedEx, to resist unionization by its employees – provided that in doing so, the employer respects the rights of the employees and complies with its own legal obligations. But that has not always been the case with FedEx.
In 1991, for example, the National Mediation Board found that FedEx Express illegally interfered with the representation election for the company’s pilots. 70 In another election, the pilots voted for union representation, becoming the only group of FedEx Express’ employees to unionize. 71
In 2007, The Leadership Conference issued a report titled “Fed Up with FedEx: How FedEx Ground Tramples Workers Rights and Civil Rights,” which documents how another division of FedEx, FedEx Ground – a shipping company that relies entirely on trucks rather than airplanes, and whose employees are covered by the NLRA – misclassifies approximately 15,000 of its truck drivers as “independent contractors.” 72 This misclassification excludes these employees from the coverage of labor, employment, and civil rights laws, including the NLRA, and among other things, denies them the right to form and join unions. Although several courts, federal agencies, and state officials have ruled that these FedEx Ground truck drivers are employees – as one court put it, FedEx Ground’s agreement with its drivers is “a brilliantly drafted contract creating the constraints of an employment relationship …. in the guise of an independent contractor model” 73 – FedEx Ground continues to adhere to this policy in most of the nation.
The tactics used by FedEx in its campaign to keep FedEx Express’ ground transportation employees under the RLA – while aggressive and disingenuous – have not to date been unlawful. But the statement made by Sen. Kennedy in the 1996 Congressional debate to restore the special exception for FedEx Express is as apt today as it was then:
Federal Express is notorious for its anti-union ideology, but there is no justification for Congress becoming an accomplice in its union-busting