INK: September 11, 2008

by | Sep 11, 2008 | Labor Relations Ink

inkquill22 Labor Relations INK Download a PDF of this issue with links here.   The Stench of Scandal In a new attempt to shape up the SEIU ship, president Andy Stern has requested the help of two labor reform groups, both of which are skeptical of Stern’s proposal. The SEIU placed Tyrone Freeman, a senior manager at its biggest California local, on leave and two lower-ranking staffers lost their jobs, because of allegations that other employees were retaliated against in connection with a widening spending scandal. Disclosure of their conduct has launched a federal criminal investigation and a congressional inquiry. Part of Stern’s plan involves a new “ethics code” and an internal watchdog commission, but as Herman Benson, founder of the Association for Union Democracy said, “Why does he need a new code of ethics? People didn’t know that what they were doing was wrong? It’s preposterous.” Ken Paff of the Teamsters for a Democratic Union chastised the SEIU for not taking action sooner on the misdeads of an LA-based local. “How could they not know?” Paff said of the SEIU’s national leadership. ********** $100 Million Per Day Flushed Boeing StrikeThe 27,000 plus striking workers at Boeing will cost the company $100 Million of lost revenue for every day the strike lasts. It will also disrupt the already-behind-schedule of the new 787 Dreamliner, perhaps exposing the company to demands for compensation from airlines frustrated by further delays. Scott Carson, Boeing’s head of commercial aircraft, said: “Over the past two days, Boeing, the union [International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers] and the federal mediator worked hard in pursuing options that could lead to an agreement. Unfortunately, the differences were too great to close.” In 2005, the Machinists struck for 24 days, and this is the second strike in as many contract negotiations with Boeing. The 2005 strike caused the delayed delivery of over two dozen airplanes. Thirty-year Boeing employee Ed Zvonik, said of the expected length of the strike, “It could be a couple of days, or three months. It depends on whether the company wants them to go back to work,” he said. As of July, Boeing reported a backlog of airplane orders totaling $346 billion. ********** Republicans Respond to EFCA Threat The GOP is adding a plank to their policy platform that safeguards a workers right to unionize through secret-ballot elections and protects them from corruption and intimidation. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said of the move, “I think that it’s just a principle of American democracy that you should be able to choose to be a member of a union or not be a member of a union, and you should be able to make that choice without anything rigged either way.” ********** Only In a Union Staff members of the SEIU Florida Public Service Union were forced to file a petition to gain recognition of their collective bargaining agent, the Communication Workers of America (CWA). Apparently, although Big Labor would like to force card check recognition on the rest of the country via the Employee Free Choice Act, they do not believe in giving the same opportunity to their employees. ********** SEIU Sabotages Student Efforts Andy Stern’s union torpedoed the efforts of students attempting to aid in the organizing of service workers on four campuses. In an open letter to SEIU, the students complained of being treated as “pawns.” An agreement signed by SEIU and service employers caused the ruckus. The agreement, grants those companies the right to determine where SEIU will organize. Interesting that SEIU is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to promote the Employee Free Choice Act, stating the need for workers to have the right to individually choose whether or not they desire a union, while at the same time entering into master agreements that insure workers at certain company locations will never even have the opportunity to choose. Nelson Lichtenstein, a professor of history at the University of California at Santa Barbara and director of the UC-Santa Barbara’s Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy, said of the agreement, “It does have a bad odor to it, absolutely.” ********** ULP Charge of the Month

Concerned about mismanagement by his Steelworkers Local 386 officials, this member was forced to file 3 different ULP Charges to review phone and credit card records.

********** Most Decertified Union Award The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is the winner of Union Free America’s 3rd Annual award, given to the labor union that lost the most decertification elections during the preceding 12 months. ********** Sticky Fingers! Current charges or sentences of embezzling union officials: Donna Simpson – USW: $87,823 Kenneth Saltz – USW: $15,809 Jamie Solis – USW: $15,000 Katherine Leese – FOP: $87,000 Amy Cross – Utility Workers: $31,886 Brian Dolney – IAM: $11,565 Gerald Conaway – FOP: $5,500 Willie Chambers – Int’l Guards Union: $6,805 Rebecca Montgomery – IAM: $508 ********** 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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