The founder of a New York-based pop culture and sports blog recently took to Twitter to threaten workers who are thinking about forming a union. In the Aug. 13 tweet, David Portnoy said that any workers who asked for advice about organizing would be fired on the spot. The brash entrepreneur has been a harsh critic of unions in the past and it is not clear if his tweet was intended to be taken seriously, but that did not stop lawmakers, state officials and union representatives from reacting angrily to it.
The Department of Labor has proposed some changes to apprenticeship rules as part of creating apprenticeship programs that are regulated by industry, but some New York labor unions are speaking out against the proposal. On Aug. 5, Rep. Anthony Brindisi and labor leaders in Binghamton announced their opposition.
Farmworkers in New York have won an important victory in an appellate court, upholding their right to form unions. The Appellate Division of the state's Supreme Court ruled that farmworkers, like all other workers in New York, have the right to unionize, rejecting an exemption in state law that excluded agricultural employees from collective bargaining rights. The court ruled that this exemption was unconstitutional. Workers' rights advocates hailed the decision, saying that it was critical to protecting farmworkers' rights and dignity on the job.
After New York raised the minimum wage at the start of the year, the city's residents noticed a change in something else: the price of food. Unfortunately, servers who expected to be paid more are now being let go.
Fans of the Amazon series "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" might be interested in learning that the production company behind the show, Picrow Streaming, is facing a labor complaint. The complaint was filed by IATSE Local 52 in New York over some allegedly unfair labor practices during the production of the show.
New Yorkers who are public employees and union members and have experienced the difficulty with labor relations will inevitably understand that not all negotiations to improve work conditions and benefits will go as smoothly as they would like. Difficulty is frequently part of the process and if the sides cannot come to an agreement, the office of collective bargaining (OCB) will step in with assistance. One way in which they assist is with impasse panels. Understanding the basics of what impasse panels do is key when a union is about to be part of that process with the employer. As always, legal help is critical for the union to be adequately prepared and protected.
News stories about workers having a strike are everywhere in New York and across the U.S. Strikes are a critical negotiating tool when dealing with complex collective bargaining issues. For those who are confronted with the need to stage a walkout and seek better pay, benefits and more, it is important to understand what the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) says about the legality of organizing a strike. As with any issue related to labor law, having help from a law firm that specializes in helping unions is key.
Union members in New York could be unaware of exactly what their rights are in relation to dealing with employers. Being unionized is beneficial to workers in many industries as it provides them with bargaining power and certain protections under the law. There are certain rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when dealing with employers and alternatives if these are violated. Knowing employee rights under the law is critical when seeking to maximize benefits and compensation.
Unions in New York and New Jersey will know the value of having representation that has their interests in mind. Similarly, it is important for a union and its members to have a friendly advocate for its interests in strong political positions. That can be accomplished by supporting and gaining the support of political candidates. There is a difference between legal contributions and support and those that violate the law. Having legal protection is a must to ensure avoiding problems.
In New York, workers have certain rights under state labor law. Oftentimes, they are not granted these rights for the simple reason that they are unaware of them. In other instances, the employer might grant that the worker has the right to exercise certain rights, but subtly or overtly dissuades the worker from doing so with threats to job status. Workers should be cognizant of their rights and one of the relatively new laws gives Paid Family Leave benefits.