Workers at auto parts manufacturer Creative Foam, Inc.’s Dayton, Ohio facility voted against representation by the United Auto Workers (UAW) by a 63-39 vote. In connection with the union’s organizing effort, the union campaigned that many workers’ pay rates at the plant were capped at $12.75 an hour, with some workers making as little as $8.50 an hour. Weeks before the vote, the union filed a complaint against Creative Foam with the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), alleging various unsafe work conditions.
In the continued movement to organize workers in digital newsrooms, the NewsGuild of New York has announced its intention to organize 130 reporters, editors, news assistants, and apprentices at subscription-based legal news site Law360. The employees, who petitioned the NewsGuild for representation, have asked Law360 to voluntarily recognize the NewsGuild and bypass a secret-ballot election. Employee concerns include compensation, overtime practices, story quotas, and a perceived lack of transparency.
In an effort to help improve workplace conditions and organize employees of T-Mobile US, T-Mobile Workers United has announced its intention to open its first field office in Wichita, Kan. T-Mobile Workers United, a Communications Workers of America project comprised of T-Mobile and MetroPCS store and call center workers and technicians, aims to urge T-Mobile to agree to a labor contract covering the 500 workers at the Wichita-based call center.
A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) regional director ruled that approximately 50 aircraft cleaners at Oregon’s Portland International Airport may vote on union representation in a secret-ballot election. The regional director rejected ground operations Menzies Aviation (USA) Inc.’s argument that it was subject to the Railway Labor Act (RLA) and exempt from the Board’s jurisdiction. While the RLA covers, and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in turn exempts, any company directly or indirectly controlled by any carrier, and Menzies provides services to Alaska Airlines under a master agreement, the regional director concluded that the airline did not exercise meaningful control to make Menzies subject to the RLA. While Alaska Airlines could demand that Menzies remove a worker from assignment and effectively require the discharge of such employee, the regional director concluded that such removal was insufficient to show meaningful control. Menzies Aviation (USA), Inc.
An NLRB regional director ruled that musicians at Boston’s Fiddlehead Theatre Company Inc. were employees under the NLRA, and could hold a representation election seeking the certification of a local chapter of the Boston Musicians Association as their collective bargaining representative. The regional director concluded that the theatre exercised sufficient control over the musicians to render them employees, despite numerous facts suggesting independent contractor status, including that the musicians work on a show-by-show basis, are highly skilled, are paid a flat fee for service, supply their own instruments, receive no benefits, and that the theatre withholds no taxes from their pay. The regional director emphasized that the musicians lack any input into the scheduling of rehearsals or performances, and are instructed to follow the theater’s dress code. Fiddlehead Theatre Company Inc.