Labor Peace Agreements Leading to Successful Organizing: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Workplace Freedom Initiative has released a new report, “Labor Peace Agreements: Local Government as a Union Advocate.” The report is a comprehensive overview of local “labor peace” legislation that is becoming more commonplace nationwide. The trend noted by the Chamber usually involves states or municipalities including a “labor peace” provision as part of awarding a contract, project, etc. By “labor peace” the legislation almost always means card check organizing and neutrality agreements. This is a novel way that labor unions have successfully organized workers, even in the midst of their overall continuing membership decline.
Split in Organized Labor?: Steve Malagna of the Manhattan Institute writes in the Wall Street Journal of a growing split in organized labor between public sector and private sector unions. This split is personified in New Jersey, where Republican Governor Chris Christie enjoys unlikely support from private sector unions in his re-election campaign, because of his strong emphasis on creating jobs and cutting back government largess. Public sector unions, however, have been flabbergasted at Christie’s cutbacks on government spending. While public and private sector unions usually keep their differences hidden, Malagna wonders if the split in New Jersey is about to spill over to the national stage, especially if Christie is a viable presidential candidate in 2016.
The $400,000 Strikers? The stagehands at Carnegie Hall–who end up making $400,000 a year based on OT pay and benefits (yes, that’s $400,000 – I didn’t add an extra zero) are on strike over whether an expansion of the hall dedicated to education will be manned by the Union workers – or not. The strike already cancelled a major concert gala at the facility. While it’s difficult to imagine that the handsomely paid stage hands will generate much sympathy—even in New York—the New York Times coverage was a little odd, noting at the beginning that the Hall took its stance “with scant notice” but then further on down we learn that negotiations were ongoing for “more than a year.” It remains to be seen whether the Hall will hire replacement stagehands and let the “show go on”—or if it’s “lights out” for the foreseeable future.