INK: November 18, 2008

by | Nov 18, 2008 | Labor Relations Ink

inkquill22 Labor Relations INK Download a PDF of this issue with links here.   Labor Relations Insight from Phil Wilson Why Campaigns Matter I received the following email today from someone who got my “Unions: The 7 Lies You Must Know” email series. I thought I would share it. My response follows. Here was the email from “localunion21”: Hello Philip I have read your seven lies and have a question for you. I work non-union in Omaha Nebraska making $17.00/hr with no health benefits for my family and no plan for retirement. I was approached by a union organizer and he did use some of the info you provided.

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********** Boeing Strike The Last Straw? Boeing Strike In 1991, former Boeing Chairman Frank Shrontz warned civic leaders in a speech to the Seattle Chamber of Commerce that aircraft could be built in other parts of the country for 30-to-40 percent less than Washington State. “Could Puget Sound turn into an aerospace rust belt of the 21st century, complete with padlocked factories, unemployment lines and urban blight?” Shrontz asked then. “It certainly could.” We soon may add to Shrontz’s titles that of prophet. The recent plight of the Big Three automakers, Boeing’s loss of 200 production days over the last two decades due to strikes, and the hardships to parts suppliers across the country impacted by the latest strike, have many industry analysts predicting Boeing will move out of state at the first opportunity. ********** Strike Forces Jobs Out

Striking employees at an American Standard plant in New Jersey didn’t make out as well as the Boeing machinists. The company eliminated 20-30 jobs and moved a bathtub production line to another plant. The line being moved is a high-volume sales item and the company said keeping the supply of products open to customers was critical. Said plant manager Paul Lee, “We will do whatever we must to ensure we continue to meet our customers’ needs.” When asked if other work might be moved from the plant, Tracy Benson Kirker, a spokesperson for the company, reiterated that the company would keep all of it’s options open.

********** OLMS Busy Last Year During the fiscal year ending in September 2008, the Office of Labor-Management Standards obtained 102 convictions and 130 indictments, with restitutions totaling more than $3.2 million. Since 2001, the OLMS has secured court orders of more than $91.5 million. That’s a lot of union dues! ********** Only In A Union

Employees of UPS who are members of Teamsters Local 804, filed a report charging that union officials colluded with UPS management to divert almost $18 million from the local health fund to the union pension plan, while raising member health care co-payments. The amount represents more than half of the health plan assets.

********** Grocery Union Picking Up Steam

In 2003/2004, a 141-day strike and lock-out seemed to shatter the back of the United Food and Commercial Workers union in southern California. With a resurgence of energy and a more coordinated strategy, the UFCW is back on the prowl. “We are coming back,” said Jennifer Riddagh, who works at a Vons store in Thousand Oaks. “Things are pretty good right now.” The UFCW has set it’s sights on the rapidly growing Fresh & Easy grocery chain. The company has opened 48 stores in Southern California and 49 in Phoenix and Las Vegas, with plans to expand to 200 stores by early next year. Rick Icaza, president of UFCW Local 770 in Los Angeles, said “We realize that Fresh & Easy will be a major problem for us if we don’t do something about organizing it.” ********** NOVEMBER SCOREBOARD Who are the winners (and losers) of the labor movement? Don’t guess, just check the LRI Scoreboard

View this month’s scoreboard (archives also located here).

Download a PDF of this month’s scoreboard.

        ********** Employee Relations tip-of-the-month Adopt a park close by your place of work and get a crew together to clean it up and maybe even add some new feature (playground equipment, flower garden, trees, etc.). ********** Sticky Fingers! Current charges or sentences of embezzling union officials: Kevin Sherlock – NALC: $45,000 Krista Yeatts – IAM: $47,746 Kathleen Kordish – USW: $2,500 Eugene Huss – USW: $2,000 Grace Gaines – AFT: $15,597 Janet Johnson – AFGE: $11,251 Glenroy Richards – AFGE: $11,243 ********** Labor Relations INK is published semi-weekly and is edited by Labor Relations Institute, Inc. Feel free to pass this newsletter on to anyone you think might enjoy it. New subscribers can sign up by visiting: If you use content from this newsletter please attribute it to Labor Relations Institute and include our website address: Contributing editors for this issue: Phillip Wilson, Greg Kittinger Labor Relations Institute 7850 South Elm Place – Suite E Broken Arrow, OK 74011 US


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