Category Archives: Unions

Employers Must Allow Employees to Exercise Their Organizing Rights

It is important for employers to understand their obligations and responsibilities under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The preamble to the NLRA establishes that it is the policy of the U.S. government to encourage the practice and procedure of collective bargaining. Consistent with that policy, Section 7 of the NLRA gives employees certain rights, and under Section 8(a), it is an unfair labor practice for an employer to interfere with those rights. For example, employers may not interfere Read the rest

Doing the Work: Unions, Coalitions, and Front-line Library Workers

Wondering how to start a union? Want to learn strategies for organizing and how to fight for workplace justice? Then join library workers from across the nation in a discussion on their fight for fair wages and treatment through unionization, organizing, and coalition building. The ALA-APA Salaries and Status of Library Workers committee will be hosting a lively discussion Sunday, June 25, 2023, 2:30 – 3:30 p.m., during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

If you’re interested in working with Read the rest

Marty Walsh to Step Down as Labor Secretary

Labor Secretary Martin J. Walsh, known as Marty Walsh, is expected to leave the Biden administration to become the executive director of the National Hockey League (NHL) Players’ Association, according to a report released by The Daily Faceoff. Sworn in as the 29th Secretary of Labor on March 23, 2021, Walsh is a former two-term Boston mayor with a strong connection to working people—he’s a former union official and reported to be a lifelong champion of equity and Read the rest

Worker’s Rights on Ballots for the Mid-term Elections

Votes related to workers’ rights and wages are still being counted across the country. It appears that working people came out in record mid-term numbers in a stand for pro-labor causes. One case in particular is the passage of Amendment 1 (known as the “workers’ rights” amendment) in Illinois which will amend the Illinois state constitution to ensure the right for workers to organize and bargain collectively to negotiate wages, hours and working conditions. It also prohibits the state from Read the rest

NLRB Rules Employers May Not Unilaterally Stop Union Dues Checkoff When Labor Contracts End

In a news release issued on October 3, 2022, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decided that employers may not unilaterally stop union dues checkoff after a collective-bargaining agreement expires. When a current labor contract expires, employers must continue to honor a dues-checkoff arrangement established in that contract (continue payroll deductions for union dues) until either the parties have reached a successor collective-bargaining agreement, or a valid overall bargaining impasse permits unilateral action by the employer.

NLRB Chairman Lauren McFerran Read the rest

Labor Day Is More Than a Day Off

Labor Day, often considered the unofficial end of summer, was celebrated in the United States last week (September 5, 2022). Although many Americans take advantage of the long weekend to spend time with family and friends, rest, or (for those who teach or have children) prepare for the first day of school; the day is steeped in history. 

Observed the first Monday in September, Labor Day is an annual celebration of American workers’ social and economic achievements. According to the Read the rest

Anti-union Bills Popping up in Congress, Despite Growing Voter Support for Organized Labor

As the pandemic has given employees more power — at least for the time being— labor strikes and interest in unions have increased around the country. According to this article, several bills have been filed to help protect unions and organizing, such as the No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act introduced in May of this year. The number of union representation petitions filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) also increased. However, there are also legislative efforts Read the rest

Unions Helped Keep Workers in Jobs and Paid During the Pandemic

It seems that unions have been workers’ safety net and lifeline during the pandemic. In a recent paper for the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), Eunice Han reviewed data to determine how union workers fared relative to their nonunion counterparts during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this post, Han says, “the nationally representative data allowed her to draw several important conclusions about what unions have been able to do for the workers they represent as the Read the rest

Union Past-President Gerald McEntee Passes Away

Gerald W. McEntee, the longtime president of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), passed away July 10, 2022, at his home in Naples, Florida. He was 87 years old. Considered a giant in the labor movement, McEntee was known as one who led the union to historic growth, positioning it as a voice for working people and a force to be reckoned with in the nation’s civil rights movement. He mobilized AFSCME in support of significant Read the rest

First Library Union in the State of Missouri

Last month (May 2022), workers at Missouri’s Daniel Boone Regional Library system made history when they voted 101 to 55 —a nearly two-to-one margin— in favor of a union. The vote to form a union with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 61, made them the first active library union in Missouri. Many staff from the affected libraries are thrilled with the victory and relish the opportunity to work with the administration to address their Read the rest