From the desk of Stephen Cabot: After years of often provocative and aggressive organizing efforts, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has finally had its efforts circumscribed. While the NLRB had recently informed Corporate America that it must post information about workers’ rights to join unions that same NLRB has surprisingly and uncharacteristically informed the SEIU that it cannot prevent workers, who do not support its activities, from working. At Morehouse College in Atlanta, the SEIU had been trying to organize the workers of Sodexo, which operates the college’s dining facilities.

The NLRB ordered SEIU to post notices that it not “restrain or coerce” employees “in the exercise of their rights guaranteed” under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, which includes the right not to engage in union activities.

Following an SEIU organized demonstration at the college, Sodexo had complained to the NLRB that there was an effort by the SEIU to prevent employees, who chose not to participate in the demonstration, from coming to work in the college’s dining facilities.

While this is certainly an unusual action for the pro-union NLRB, one cannot expect the Board to continue being fair and balanced and stick to the letter and spirit of the National Labor Relations Act. The Board’s majority composition remains decidedly pro-union.

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Would the Prisoner's Guard Themselves?

Prisoner Guard TowerWhen referring to illogical situations, it has often been said that the prisoners are running the prisons, the inmates are running the asylums, the foxes are guarding the hen houses.

Such a situation was successfully avoided at a prison in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

The Teamsters Union, ever on the look out for possible new members, had attempted to organize the Chester County Prison correction officers. The officers, ever vigilant of their responsibilities, voted 155 to 35 against forming the Chester County Corrections Officers Independent Union, which – had it succeeded – would have been allied with the Teamsters.

One can only imagine what would have occurred in the prison, if –at some future time – unionized corrections officers would have be unable to reach an agreement with the warden and the county. Would the officers have felt obliged to go out on strike? Would certain prisoners be given the responsibility of guarding their fellow prisoners?

The fact that the corrections officers believe that they can negotiate on their own, without the normal threats that unions often bring to the bargaining table, says much about their apprehension of realism and their sense of responsibility. They are to be commended for putting professional responsibilities ahead of personal interests.

The adversarial relationships that so often characterize the bargaining between management and workers have proven to be counterproductive and should be tossed onto the ash heap of labor relations history. It has proven utterly injurious to the economic health of the country.

This article was originally published here.

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