[lbo-talk] Democratic NLRB to Sue Arizona, South Dakota Over Measures That Guarantee Secret Ballot Union Elections

c b cb31450 at gmail.com
Tue Apr 26 14:12:01 PDT 2011

NLRB to Sue Arizona, South Dakota Over Measures That Guarantee Secret Ballot Union Elections By Associated Press April 25, 5:10 PM


WASHINGTON - The National Labor Relations Board says it will move ahead with lawsuits seeking to invalidate state constitutional amendments in Arizona and South Dakota that require workers to hold secret ballot elections before a company can be unionized.

The move comes after months of negotiations that failed to reach a settlement with attorneys general for the two states, according to an April 22 letter from the agency's acting general counsel, Lafe Solomon.

It's the latest in a series of high-profile steps the agency has taken to defend union rights since gaining a Democratic majority last year for the first time in nearly a decade. And it comes as Republican state legislators are enacting anti-union laws in many states as budget-cutting efforts.

Last week, the NRLB filed a controversial lawsuit that accuses Boeing Co. of putting one of its assembly lines for the new 787 in South Carolina - a right to work state - to retaliate against union workers in Washington state who went on strike in 2008.

Solomon told state officials he has directed staff to file the lawsuits against Arizona and South Dakota "shortly." He claims the amendments conflict with current federal law that gives employers the option to recognize a union if a majority of workers simply sign cards, a process known as "card check."

Solomon also claims the state amendments are pre-empted by the supremacy clause of the Constitution. That clause says federal law prevails if there is a conflict between state and federal law.

[For the rest of the story go to the link above]

(2) NFL Lockout Lifted; Judge Rules in Favor of Players By Sam Farmer Los Angeles Times April 25, 2011


NFL players saw the labor fight tip in their favor Monday as a federal judge ordered the league to end its lockout, meaning football will continue while owners and players bicker over how to divide more than $9 billion in annual revenue.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson in St. Paul, Minn., ordered an end to the 7-week-old lockout, saying she believed the players' argument that the situation was causing irreparable harm to their careers.

"It's one step closer to trying to do what we brought this case for - to make sure that there's football, that players can play and fans can watch," players attorney Jim Quinn told The Times in a phone interview.

Now, the ball is in the court of the NFL, which will attempt to get a stay of the ruling - keeping the lockout in place - from Nelson. The NFL already has filed a notice with the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, questioning whether the district court exceeded its jurisdiction. . A lockout is a vital leverage tool for the owners, because players are much more likely to be willing to negotiate a new labor agreement if they're being denied paychecks in the interim.

"We believe that federal law bars injunctions in labor disputes," the NFL said in a written statement. "We are confident that the 8th Circuit will agree. But we also believe that this dispute will inevitably end with a collective bargaining agreement, which would be in the best interests of players, clubs and fans. We can reach a fair agreement only if we continue negotiations toward that goal."

The ruling will not affect this week's draft, which was put in place as the last piece of the now-expired CBA. But because there is no longer a players union - the NFL Players Assn. decertified as a union last month - the league is in peril of running afoul of antitrust laws with each decision the owners make collectively.

[For the rest of the story go to the link above]

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