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Workplace Issues Today

Daily News for Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Selected by the Catherwood Library Reference Staff each Monday through Friday, excluding University holidays, WIT is a free alert service, providing abstracts and links to workplace-related news stories covered in the major media. Subscribe to WIT »

Established in 1999, this service also includes a searchable archive.

Boeing workers face uphill battle to unionize

In a state notorious for its hostility to union activity, workers at Boeing's South Carolina plant have begun exploring the idea of organizing to represent the company's 7500 employees. Workers there have a long history of complaints regarding issues such as mandated overtime on weekends, wrongful termination and improved wages, and hope forming a union will help employees gain some redress for these problems. They face long odds in their efforts, however, from South Carolina's stringent right-to-work laws, and from Boeing itself, which is actively discouraging any organization activity.

See “Labor organizing underway at Boeing, MUSC despite anti-union climate in S.C.,” by Paul Bowers, Charleston City Paper, Aug 20 2014 (SBG)

New CA bill aims to protect franchises from contracts

A new bill in the California legislature aims to give franchisees protection from having their businesses taken away from them by their respective corporate headquarters. The bill comes in response to the NLRB's recent ruling that chains can be held liable for workplace violations at their respective franchises. Franchise owners are concerned they could have their licenses terminated for even the smallest infraction and passed on to new owners. The bill is backed largely by the Service Employees International Union, which hopes shielding franchises will provide protection for workers as well in improving wages and conditions. Franchising companies have criticized the bill, stating that they see no need to change their relationship with their franchises.

See “Backed by SEIU, franchisees seek greater protection in contracts,” by Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times, Aug 20 2014 (SBG)