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Unions In the News - November 2011 Updates

Milwaukee County DA Office Investigating Allegations of Out-of-State Union Members Registering to Vote in Wisconsin Election - The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office is investigating a “complaint accusing out-of-state election volunteers of voting in Wisconsin, listing a local hotel as their residence.” The investigations follows a blog post by Media Trackers, a conservative advocacy group, which identified the out-of-state voters as employees of the Service Employees International Union.
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- jsonline.com

Florida Ethics Commission Dismisses Teamsters Complaint Against Gov. Rick Scott- The Florida Commission on Ethics recently dismissed a complaint filed by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which alleged Gov. Rick Scott had a conflict of interest in deciding to privatize the state’s prisons. The state ethics commission determined it could find no legal basis for the complaint that Gov. Scott was conflicted because he oversees both the prisons agency and is a trustee of the State Board of Administration, which invests state money, including holdings in companies that would benefit from prison privatization.
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- news-press.com

U.S. House Committee Accuses NLRB of Withholding Information in Boeing Case - On Oct. 17, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) sent a letter to the NLRB's attorney accusing the NLRB of withholding information in the committee's investigation into the complaint against Boeing and ignoring a congressional subpoena. The letter asserts “while you have attempted to mask such defiance under the cloak of the rights of the litigants, it now appears you have intentionally withheld responsive documents that do not implicate the rights of the litigants.” Finally the letter requests the NLRB make six individuals available for transcribed interviews on Nov. 7.
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- abcnews4.com

Illinois Bill Would Prevent Pension Double Dipping by Chicago Labor Leaders - Following a Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV report that found several Chicago union officials were eligible for multiple concurrent pensions, Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross filed legislation to limit union leaders to one pension at a time. Specifically, Rep. Cross' bill would prevent union leaders who receive city pensions from participating in any union pension plan covering the same work period, regardless of where the leader's labor organization is located or how it is structured. The Tribune/ WGN-TV investigation found the executive directors of two city pension funds allowed union leaders to accrue additional union pension benefits if the funds were created by labor groups that are not located in Chicago or that include multiple unions.
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- chicagotribune.com

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Targets Labor Unions - The Associated Press (AP) recently published a lengthy profile of Rahm Emanuel’s ongoing battler with labor unions as he attempts to ease the city’s budget problems. According to the report, “Emanuel has ridiculed the practice of paying heavy equipment operators overtime just to get ready for work. He's invited private trash haulers to square off against city crews to see who does a better, cheaper job. And he's called out transit workers for getting paid time off not only for their birthdays but for the day they landed their jobs.” The article notes that the recent public fights between the mayor and labor unions represent “a brand-new spectacle in Chicago, where for generations unions have kept a tight hold on many jobs and played an important role in the party political machine that kept mayors in office.”
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- google.com

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