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Labor Relations / Unions

How to respond when unions come a knockin’

02/01/2001
No union, no problem. Right? Not really. Even if your company isn’t unionized now, you can’t afford to be oblivious. Just ask Amazon.com. In the thick of the holiday shopping …

New schedule legal, barring contract or illegal reason

02/01/2001

Q. Our company of 15 employees manufactures labels in California. We have an employee whom we want to move from the day shift to the swing shift. Although this employee has the most seniority, he has the least experience with the presses we run during the day. When we told the employee of our plans, he said that moving him would be illegal. Is he correct? We are worried that if we move him and he quits, it won’t be the last time that we hear from him. —T.R., California

Don’t count on seniority system to block reassignment of disabled

12/01/2000
After injuring his back while working in a cargo job for USAir, Robert Barnett used his seniority to transfer to the company’s mailroom. When he learned two workers with more seniority …

Iron out union, legal issues

11/01/2000

Q. We have an apparent conflict between our union agreement and our responsibility to maintain a harassment-free workplace. The agreement says we must give the shop steward 48 hours’ notice before dismissing a regular employee. But we have proof positive that two employees have been harassing—and continue to harass—African-American and gay employees. The two harassers have just caused us to lose a good employee who couldn’t take it any longer. What trumps what? —J.V., Louisiana

Prepare for OSHA visit when labor’s unhappy

10/01/2000
Pay extra attention to safety when your company is going through labor unrest. Reason: A new study shows that the likelihood of a federal safety inspection …

New union threat: NLRB makes it easier for temps to join

10/01/2000
If you thought contracting for temporary and contingent workers would save you headaches, you may be reaching for the aspirin again. Temps used to need permission …

Let employee bring co-worker to inquiry meeting

09/01/2000
If one of your employees wants to bring a co-worker along to an investigative meeting that could result in discipline, you’d better let him. Union employees …

Be wary of firing employees for aggressive union organizing

08/01/2000
John Ramirez’s union asked him to apply for a welder’s job to help organize the workers. He got the job and quickly started rallying support for a union bid. But …

Don’t ban employees from discussing a co-worker’s health

03/01/2000
Jolene Conn, a security guard at Lockheed Martin Astronautics, developed a medical condition that made it hard to carry a gun …

Review pay equality; Clinton proposal will raise awareness

03/01/2000
While Congress isn’t likely to give President Clinton the extra $27 million he wants to strengthen equal-pay enforcement, that doesn’t mean you should forget …