NLRB Sets New Standards For Who Can Join Unions

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In a 3-2 vote (Bush appointees comprising the 3), the National Labor Relations Board has re-defined the meaning of the term “supervisor,” with the result that millions of American workers may be barred from joining labor unions. The ruling defined as supervisors any nurses who direct and oversee other nursing staff. These definitions can be–and it is expected that they will be–applied to workers in a variety of industries.

For example, restaurant shift supervisors, who wait tables and run the cash register, could, under the new ruling, be exempt from joining a union. Many large retailers, including Home Depot, Abercrombie & Fitch and Staples, have already been sued by employees for denying them overtime because they were classified as supervisors, despite the fact that they rarely supervised anyone.

The NLRB decision actually came from three different cases, one involving a Michigan hospital, one involving a nursing home in Minnesota, and one involving employees at a manufacturing plant in Mississippi.

The AFL-CIO predicts that as many as 34 million workers–23% of the national labor force–could be affected by this new ruling.

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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