The “Right-to-Work” Con

Andy Schmookler Award-winning author of What We’re Up Against, former Democratic nominee for Congress in Virginia, political commentator and talk radio philosopher

This piece is appearing in newspapers in my conservative congressional district (VA-06) in Virginia.

When I was involved in electoral politics here in Virginia, I was advised by Democratic politicians to stay away from the issue of “right-to-work” laws. Most Virginias favor those laws, I was told. They think that “right-to-work” is a matter of “liberty,” and no one running for office can succeed in explaining to them what these laws are really about.

NLRB Majority, Management Rights Clause Must Be Specific To Enable Employer To Make Unilateral Changes

Collective bargaining agreements, do not, and cannot cover every issue that will arise during their term. Matters concerning terms and conditions of employment that are not addressed in the labor contract have to be negotiated before changes can be made. Sometimes, however, the parties agree that management can make changes to certain terms and conditions of employment unilaterally during the term of the agreement through a management-rights clause. In such cases, the union waives the right to bargain over certain issues. The presence of a management-rights clause, particularly one that is detailed, is a function of leverage in bargaining, and of the history between the parties

Supreme Court 4-4 Tie Deals Victory to Public Employee Unions

The Supreme Court has deadlocked four to four in a key case that could have undermined the power of public employee unions, effectively dealing a major victory to the unions. Following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month, the eight-member court split over whether public employee unions can continue to collect mandatory dues from workers who benefit from collective bargaining even though they decline to join the union. The split leaves in place a lower court ruling allowing unions to continue to collect the fees. It’s the clearest example to date of the impact Scalia’s death has had on the court; he had made it clear during questioning that he sided against the unions.

Without Mentioning “Union,” White House Goes All In For Workers’ Voice

Nevertheless, the White House does appear to be trying its best to appease both, Obama’s corporate cronies, as well as his friends inside the House of Labor on anew campaign page on the White House website announcing the “White House Summit on Worker Voice.”

“A voice in the board room starts with a voice in the break room,” the website site declares. “There’s something every one of us can do to create change in our workplaces, and it always starts with a conversation — with colleagues or with decision makers. Make a commitment to start that conversation today.”