• On November 6, 2012, Alabama voters approved an amendment to the Alabama state constitution which prohibits unions from organizing by card check. After the passage of the amendment, the only means for union organization now are by secret ballot. According to Alabama AFL-CIO president, Al Henley, “[t]he measure give[s] companies more control over an already corporate-dominated system.”
  • The NLRB’s dispute resolution program will now provide assistance from not only ALJ’s, but also from Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service mediators. According to the Board, the dispute resolution program director will remain available to serve as a mediator in unfair labor practice cases.
  • In California unions spent significant funds campaigning against Proposition 32, which was defeated on Nov. 6, 2012. The proposition would have, inter alia, barred unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. Unions depend almost exclusively upon payroll deductions to fund their political contributions, so the defeat of the proposition is a substantial victory for unions’ abilities in California to contribute to political parties and campaigns.
  • In a presentation at Cornell University, NLRB Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce said that the Board is making strong efforts to increase its reliance on technology, education, and other outreach programs to increase awareness of both the Board and worker’s rights to engage in concerted action. Specific steps taken by the Board to further these efforts are the Board’s downloadable “app,” its Facebook presence, its involvement in social media cases, and its notice-posting regulation.