• Transportation Security Administrator John Pistole issued a Determination that allows nonsupervisory federal airport screeners employed by the TSA to vote on whether they want to unionize. In addition to granting screeners the right to vote on union representation, the Determination establishes limits on what issues may be subject to bargaining and outlined the process for resolving labor disputes. Bargaining, which will be allowed at the national level only, may not include compensation, standards for discipline, job qualifications, proficiency testing, and some security related policies and procedures. The Federal Labor Relations Authority is scheduled to conduct the election between March 9 and April 19 and votes are expected to be counted on April 20. Although it is anticipated that they will vote in favor of representation, if the transportation security offices vote against it, they will continue to be represented by the union of their choice, or by a non–union representative, for some matters including individual grievances.
  • Walter Wise is the new president of the Bridge, Structural, and Ornamental Iron Workers Union. Wise´s term expires at the end of 2011, but Wise plans to run for a full term later this year.
  • A survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press reveals that public opinion of unions remain generally low. While there has been a small change in the percentage of people holding favorable opinions of unions (up four percent to 45 percent), the percentage is still significantly below the 58 percent favorable rating that was recorded in 2007. According to the survey, while more than half of Americans believe that unions positively effect salaries, benefits, and working conditions, only about one–third of Americans think that unions contribute to productivity, access to good domestic jobs, and the ability of U.S. companies to compete in the global economy. Those who hold the most favorable opinion of unions continues to be younger people (18-29 years), democrats (over republicans and independents), and those who reside in households with union workers. There was no significant distinctions based on gender.
  • NLRB General Counsel Lafe E. Solomon issued Memorandum GC 11-06 to regional offices of the NLRB advising that it is no longer necessary to refer to the Division of Advice certain cases involving employees who are bargaining for their first collective bargaining agreement. Pursuant to the memorandum, regional offices can request notice-reading remedies without first having to obtain approval from the Division of Advice in instances where a fact pattern exists suggesting that an employer´s alleged unlawful conduct undermines union support. Regional offices will also be empowered to seek six to 12 month extensions of the “certification year” following a union election victory if an employer allegedly engaged in unfair labor practices that delayed good faith bargaining. General Counsel Solomon also granted regional offices the authority to impose bargaining schedules as remedies in instances where an employer has allegedly purposefully delayed bargaining. In such cases, regional offices can impose a bargaining schedule requiring 24 hours of bargaining per month, with a six hour per session requirement.
  • The International Brotherhood of Teamsters´ election appeals master remanded the election supervisor´s decision that unsuccessful attempts by the union president to offer jobs in exchange for union support during a re-election campaign did not violate the union´s election rules. The election appeals master found that even unsuccessful attempts to garner union support by offering union jobs are prohibited.
  • In June 2010, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. entered into a project labor agreement with the Chicago Building and Construction Trades Council, thus agreeing to use only union workers for construction on Wal-Mart and Sam´s Club stores and distribution centers over a three year period in certain locations in Illinois. Wal-Mart recently entered into another PLA with the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, which commits Wal-Mart to use union labor for new store construction within New York City for the next five years.