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Cheney Killed Bambi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-02-07 01:13 PM
Original message
Labor Relations Question -- Looking for expert help
I have a labor relations question that I was hoping some people on this board might be able to answer.

Las Vegas has very strong unions and many employees in the casino industry and elsewhere are unionized. However, Nevada is a right to work state. I had always thought that right to work laws hurt unions and might it impossible for unions to organize. However, Las Vegas would seem to be contrary to that since its unions are so strong.

So, my question is: How have Las Vegas unions managed to operate so successfully in a right to work State?
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-02-07 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. People covered under a union contract are exempt from right to work
Edited on Sat Jun-02-07 02:07 PM by Gman
as long as they have a "just cause" clause in their contract.

Right to work means your employer has the right to fire you for any reason other than the legally prohibited ones including race, religion, etc. and including a union contract that includes "just cause". Right to work also means you can quit working for your employer for any reason you want.

Right to work has nothing to do with organizing a union. Union organizing laws are federal and are overseen by the Department of Labor, not state laws. There are may flourishing union locals in right to work states.

"Just cause" in a union contract means the company has to have a good reason to terminate you. Good reasons usually include, misconduct, illegal conduct and overall job performance. However, if a the reason is job performance the company usually has to show that it took corrective measures to correct the job performance with some kind of performance improvement plan and progressive discipline. When it can be shown that none of the corrective measures worked, the termination can be considered "for cause". But, often the company must justify it's actions in front of a 3rd party impartial arbitrator if the grievance procedure failed to provide a remedy.

Right to work also means that you don't have to join the union, in other words "closed shops" are illegal. In a closed shop state you have to pay some kind of dues to the union even if they are only those allowed under the Beck decision. In other words, in a closed shop state, you only have to pay the costs of administration of the union and the cost of representation. You do not have to pay the cost of any political activity from union dues. (Keep in mind also that hard money political contributions from union dues is and has been for many years very illegal. Political activity is usually limited to get out the vote drives for endorsed (usually Democratic) candidates and contributions to defer administrative costs for a political party such as your local Democratic Party office.
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Sgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-02-07 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Not Quite
Right to work means that you can't be forced to join a union to get a job.

Your thinking of the at will employment doctrine -- which is the case in most states -- where a boss can fire you for any reason (or none) as long as its not an illegal reason (certain forms of discrimination, etc.)
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