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Will scandal cripple the UAW, or transform it? (Read More…)

Leaders face a time of reckoning
February 19, 2018 By Michael Wayland
DETROIT — The UAW’s traditional tactics of walkouts, sit-ins and strikes can’t help it fight the latest threats to its fading influence.

The union, already weakened by the proliferation of foreign auto plants in the South, low-wage competition in Mexico and decades of factory closures on its home turf, is now reeling from a haymaker delivered by its own leadership: a $4.5 million corruption scandal reigniting complaints that the UAW has gotten too cozy with company executives.

Some believe the malfeasance uncovered by federal authorities could deal a crippling blow to the union, devastating the broader American labor movement as well, following several failed attempts by the UAW to organize plants and with right-to-work laws now letting dissatisfied members in Michigan and other states opt out.

UAW dissidents see the situation — years of funneling money meant to train workers into the pockets of union and company officials instead — as an opportunity for profound change. They’re urging rank-and-file members to “take back” the union from leaders they claim are overly willing to comply with employers’ requests.

Judge Tosses Union Challenge to Foundation’s Outreach (Read More…)

By Bill McMorris On October 17, 2017

A state court dismissed a key union objection to a think tank’s effort to inform home health aides that they are not obligated to pay union dues.

Service Employees International Union Local 775 filed suit to block the Freedom Foundation, a Washington State-based free-market think tank, from reaching out to home health aides to inform them they could no longer be compelled to pay union dues and fees following a 2014 Supreme Court ruling. King County Superior Court Judge Steve Rosen granted a summary judgment on Friday tossing the union’s claim that the group’s outreach constituted “tortious interference,” in which a party causes economic harm to another.

Foundation attorney James Abernathy called the ruling on Friday a victory for free speech rights, saying, “the First Amendment won and SEIU lost” in a statement. The SEIU’s contention that the foundation’s outreach would prevent it from collecting expected revenue “was the heart of their case,” according to Abernathy; the judge’s dismissal could undermine the rest of the union’s claims, allowing the organization to continue its outreach campaign.

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