Daily Archives: September 17, 2015

9th Circuit rules against Idaho anti-union law

In the construction and trades industry unions often engage in “market recovery” or “job targeting” programs, which allow a union company to remain competitive in the job market.  In these programs, the union subsidizes bids of union contractors, thus allowing union contractors to lower their labor costs in order to compete effectively with non-union contractors.  This is necessary to protect the rights of workers under the National Labor Relations Act.

In Idaho, the legislature passed a bill banning the use of such market recovery programs.  Recently, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Idaho anti-union law was unconstitutional.

In Idaho Building and Construction Trades Council, et. al. v. Lawrence Wasden, No. 11-35985 (Sept. 16 2015), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled:

The NLRB has repeatedly held that job targeting programs are actually protected under [Section] 7 of the NLRA. Most recently, the Board reaffirmed its earlier cases by explaining that “the objectives of job targeting programs fall squarely within the ambit of Section 7 of the Act,” which “protects concerted employee activities engaged in ‘for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.'”

This is crucial because without these programs, employees would be deterred from being associated with a union and engaging in collective bargaining or other protected activity under the NLRA.

The Attorney General attempted to argue that the case was not preempted by federal law. In other words, that federal protections awarded by the National Labor Relations Act did not apply.  The Court disagreed.

Source: Courthouse News Service

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Anti-Union law fails in Missouri

Republicans had drafted a Right To Work law in Missouri, which was vetoed by Governor Nixon.  In doing so, Nixon stated:

“For generations, the ability of workers to join together and bargain collectively for fair wages and benefits has formed the foundation of the American middle-class.  This extreme measure would take our state backward, squeeze the middle class, lower wages for Missouri families, and subject businesses to criminal and unlimited civil liability.”

Recently, Republicans attempted to overturn this veto and failed to secure the 109 votes they needed.  The vote was 96-63.

Source: Courthouse News Service

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