We recently obtained a dismissal of a complaint brought by the Philadelphia Carpenter’s Union against a contractor that sought to obtain an audit of that contractor’s books and records for the purpose of determining an alleged ERISA liability owed to the Carpenters under a collective bargaining agreement. A copy of the opinion can be found… Continue Reading
In a complaint alleging racketeering, he Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority seeks to recover more than $1 million in damages it says was imposed by the Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters.
In recent years – and as chronicled on this blog – businesses and prosecutors have slowly chipped away at the belligerent tactics Philadelphia labor unions have for years employed to achieve their objective of monopolizing work for their members (and ultimately enriching fat cat union bosses). The first blow came when an apartment developer dared… Continue Reading
With construction going on around the city and building projects on the rise, six of Philadelphia’s building-trades unions settled contracts Thursday designed to make them more marketable in the suburbs.
It looks as if some residents in South Carolina take their state’s Right-to-Work laws very seriously.A Charleston-area union claims that some of their organizers and recruiters met the barrel of a gun when they knocked on the doors of workers from…
The governor “is showing a propensity to pay back, not only to building trades, but other unions as well. It’s not a surprise, politically,” Zimolong said.
Local 401 business agent Edward Sweeney admitted to participating in 10 incidents of extortion or attempted extortion, including a December 2012 arson at a Chestnut Hill Quaker meetinghouse. He is one of 12 to be charged.
The Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority is no more or less a joint employer than it was when the National Labor Relations Board and its state counterpart looked at the cases, one attorney said.
Employers concerned about the NLRB’s new “ambush” election rules have rightfully protested that the new procedures make it easier and faster for unions to hold an election certifying the union as the exclusive bargaining representative of employees. On April 14, 2015, the day the new rules became effective, The Wall Street Journal’s Opinion page asked – probably… Continue Reading
As I have blogged about before, one of the most powerful weapons contractors and owners have in combating illegal secondary activity by unions is Section 303 of the Labor Management Relations Act. Section 303 authorizes a party to bring in action in federal court for monetary damages against a labor union who has caused harm… Continue Reading
Yesterday’s guilty verdict is the trial of former Ironworkers’ Union President, Joe Dougherty, is a monumental decision with far reaching ramifications. First, there is no longer any question that union bosses enjoy no immunity from federal racketeering and extortion laws. Second, the decision clears the way for contractors to employ what has been called the… Continue Reading
In short, no. However, that short answer is not so simple and does not mean you can run and opening a non-union company. Almost all construction industry collective bargaining agreement contain clauses that attempt to prevent a signatory firm from operating a non-union firm. These clauses are commonly known as anti-dual shop or double-breasting clauses. … Continue Reading
As we enter the New Year, here is a look at 5 areas that will be a hot bed of legal activity for contractors and their attorneys. 1. Aggressive Union Activity. Decreasing membership and market share, will cause Big Labor to ramp up efforts to “persuade” public and private owners to use an all… Continue Reading
In an earlier post, I explained how a September 2011 decision in a matter U.S. v. Larson paved the way for the indictment of ten members of Ironworkers Local 401. That post explained that because of a controversial Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Enmons unions enjoyed almost unfettered protection from RICO claims so long as… Continue Reading
An article on the website Real Estate Weekly entitled “Construction unions going after alter-ego contractors as profits shrink” recently grabbed my attention. The article recounts the familiar tale of a union shop contractor that was forced to pay $6 million for violating its collective bargaining agreement with a Carpenters Local. The Carpenters accused a New… Continue Reading
In the wake of the indictment of 10 members of Ironworkers 401, most of the attention, rightfully, has focused on the potential criminal liability of the Ironworkers Union and its indicted members. What has not occurred, at least not yet, is the filing a civil lawsuits by the contractors against the Local 401 for the… Continue Reading
On Friday 28 March 2014, I was quoted in the Philadelphia Business Journal’s article “Disunion in the house: The steep price we pay,” regarding the negative economic impact caused by the leaders of the Philadelphia Building Trades (Big Labor). You can read the article here or download a pdf version here.
News of the indictment of 10 members of the Ironworkers Union, left many wondering “What took them so long?” As any developer or merit shop contractor will tell you, the actions that the Ironworkers are alleged to have engaged in are not solely the purview of the Ironworkers. Indeed threats, violence, and property destruction are… Continue Reading
The terms “double breasted” or “dual shop” contractor refers two construction firms often sharing common ownership one of which is a signatory to a collective bargain agreement (the union firm) and the other that is not (the open shop firm). Here are some frequently asked questions I have received in counseling clients who either already… Continue Reading
Often construction unions will force ask non-union construction firms to hire a union worker for employment on a construction project where the non-union firm is completing work. Faced with the threat of a picket line, many contractors consider the employment a minor tax inconvenience in exchange for labor peace and decide to hire the union worker…. Continue Reading
With a high number of their members still out of work and an increased willingness of owners to build projects using non-union construction in traditional union dominated markets, trade unions have increased their picketing activity on projects using non-union labor. Here is a list of frequently asked questions we receive from owners and contractors working… Continue Reading
Federal Courts continue to be a friendly venue for victims of illegal union actions. Recently in Waugh Chapel South, LLC v. UFCW Local 27, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals joined a growing number of Federal Courts in affirming the right to recover damages against a union for illegal secondary activity. In that case, Waugh Chapel… Continue Reading
When unions picket a construction site to warn about a non-union contractor’s destruction of area wage and labor standards, the First Amendment does not give them unlimited protection for their actions. Philadelphia Magazine’s Property blog has a story about an ongoing labor dispute between Philadelphia trade unions and an apartment developer that brings to the… Continue Reading