The Weekly Workfront Rundown: Labor Twists, Legal Tussles, and Government Nudges

by | Nov 28, 2023 | CWA, Labor Relations Ink, Labor Relations Insight, Legal, NLRB, Politics, Strikes, Union Leaders, Union Organizing, Unions, Weekly Workfront

Hey there, Workfront Warriors! It’s time for another edition of The Weekly Workfront, where we give you a quick look at developing labor trends and news stories. Let’s dive into some of the latest twists and turns in the labor relations world – it’s been a pretty wild ride lately, so buckle up!

Hold the Phone on That Federal Rule!

First, big news from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). They’ve pumped the brakes on a new joint employer rule that was all set to make unionizing much easier for millions of workers. Originally scheduled to kick in this December, this rule ran into a bit of a roadblock thanks to some legal challenges by business groups. Now, it’s pushed back to February 26, 2024. Talk about a rain check!

Abruzzo’s All About Action!

Jennifer Abruzzo, the NLRB’s legal eagle since summer 2021, isn’t playing around. She’s all in on using these powerhouse 10(j) injunctions to stop employers from unfair labor practices in their tracks. These legal lightning bolts let the NLRB zip straight to court for orders against employers. Under Abruzzo’s watch, the NLRB is cranking out these 10(j) cases faster than her predecessor, although not quite at Obama-era levels.

What’s more, Abruzzo’s also big on settling things out of court, leading to a recent settlement rate soaring above 96%. She’s reshaping the labor-management battlefield, and her strategy is proving more effective than chasing down injunctions against individual employers.

Starbucks in the Hot Seat

Abruzzo’s got Starbucks in her crosshairs, with a good chunk of her 10(j) efforts aimed at them. The coffee giant’s not taking it lying down and is fighting back, even taking things up to the Supreme Court. It’s like a legal tug-of-war over there!

Tesla’s Tussles

Over in the tech world, Tesla’s been in the spotlight, too. The U.S. labor board tossed out claims that Tesla was axing employees to stop unionizing. But Tesla’s not out of the woods yet. They’re facing a workers’ strike in Sweden, and it’s the first of its kind aimed at the company. Dockworkers and key suppliers have added to Tesla’s problems by supporting the striking Tesla workers. Even postal workers are joining the fray by blocking Tesla license plate deliveries. Talk about solidarity! However, the courts seem to be smiling on Tesla for now.

Uncle Sam’s Nudging Businesses Toward Unions?

Here’s a juicy trend: the U.S. government uses its wallet to nudge businesses toward being more union-friendly. For instance, Biden’s electric bus subsidies helped workers unionize at Blue Bird in Georgia. Akash Systems in Oakland has promised to play nice with unions while eyeing some CHIPS Act funding. Big players like Microsoft are getting into the “labor neutrality” game. It’s like the government’s giving businesses a little “unionize nudge” with every check they write.

So, that’s the scoop from the labor frontlines! It’s a mixed bag of delays, legal dramas, and government nudges – never a dull moment in labor relations. Stay tuned for more updates – seeing what’s brewing next in this arena is always interesting!

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