Loading Quotes...
WBI BLOG

Nexus of Workers' Rights, Research & Social Policies



February 6th, 2016

The Cruelty at Fred Fincher Motors, Houston

Sam Harless and Texas State Rep. Patricia Harless, co-owners of Fred Fincher Motors, a used car sales lot is the place where former top salesman Bradley Jones was tortured by taser at the hands of coworkers.

Here’s the Feb. 5, 2016 story on Inside Edition.

Share

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Humans abusing adult humans, Target Tale, WBI Education | Post Comment



February 5th, 2016

Inside Edition tells tale of tasered employee in Texas Feb. 5

Texas tasered employee story re-visited by TV’s Inside Edition.

Former best car salesman at Fincher Motors in Houston, Texas, Bradley Jones, is facing his day in Harris County Court next week. If you have forgotten, or never heard, his story, watch the KHOU-TV segment below.

Briefly, Jones worked for Fincher for nearly 9 years and was top performer during his entire time working there. Shortly after the co-owner and general manager, Sam Harless, acquired a taser, Bradley became the target of surprise assaults — at his desk in a glass-walled cubicle in front of customers and other employees and from behind — by two coworkers while Harless filmed the terrorization. In all, there were nearly two dozen attacks. Jones was involuntarily immobilized, unable to protect himself and often fell to the floor banging his head and limbs.

Let me repeat that. Harless and cohorts treated the weapon — originally created for law enforcement as an alternative to deadly force (shooting someone) that when held too long in contact with a person’s body can cause cardiac arrest — as a instrument of humiliation for their own sadistic entertainment.

The TV show Inside Edition recently interviewed Bradley on the eve of his day in court at which it is hoped that Harless takes an oath and has to defend his cruel misconduct. The segment airs on Friday night Feb. 5. As they say, check local listings for air-time.

By the way, it was Bradley, the best salesman at the auto dealership, who was fired after his repeated tasings. Go figure.

Share

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Humans abusing adult humans, Media About Bullying, Target Tale, WBI Education | Post Comment



January 28th, 2016

2016 WA State activity: WBI Healthy Workplace Bill

Eleven Washington State House Representatives have sponsored the anti-bullying Healthy Workplace Bill (HB 2894). Another 11 state Senators of both parties are sponsoring the Senate companion bill (SB 6532). The HWB defines health-harming abusive conduct and makes it unlawful for employers to allow it to happen.

This marks the return of the legislation to Washington, absent since 2012. Washington was the 4th state to ever introduce the legislation.

If you live in the state, please visit the WA State Page at the Healthy Workplace Bill website. Contact information for all bill sponsors and committee members can be found there. You can also volunteer to testify or help the State Coordinator get the bill through committees and floor votes in a very short legislative session.

Share

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Healthy Workplace Bill (U.S. campaign), Workplace Bullying Laws | Post Comment



January 22nd, 2016

HR Webinar: When the Bully is the Boss — Feb. 4

Business 21 presents a Webinar for HR

When the Bully is the Boss
HR must do something about bully managers
When: Thursday Feb. 4 2016, 2:00 pm Eastern, 60 minutes, HRCI credit hour
Presenter: Dr. Gary Namie, WBI Director

REGISTER HERE

Many companies assume they don’t have a bullying problem. Employees get along. In meetings, team members respect each other. But look closer. You might find that the bully is the very person you would expect to protect your employees from being bullied—the boss.
Some managerial bullying is unintentional—supervisors see themselves as “demanding results.” Other times bosses know their behavior crosses the line, but they don’t care.

Not convinced? Consider the slew of new state laws protecting workers against bullying. And consider the number of companies that have rushed to adopt anti-bullying policies and procedures for investigating complaints.
Problem is, most policies are written for peer-to-peer conduct. They don’t do enough to protect employees against bully bosses.
The costs are real. The employee’s health can suffer, causing missed work, higher healthcare costs and reduced productivity. Bullied employees are also a flight risk, as are those who witness bullying. And there’s the threat of lawsuits against the company.

In this session, Dr. Gary Namie will teach you:
• How to recognize and respond to a bully boss
• What differentiates “bullying” from other conduct- both illegal (discrimination) and legal (non-abusive disagreements)
• Why your workplace climate may be allowing the bully to prosper
• Why owners and executives tend to defend bullies
• How to build an abuse-intolerant, accountable culture for all employees, regardless of rank

REGISTER HERE

Share

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Advice for Employers, Products & Services, WBI Education | Post Comment



January 22nd, 2016

WBI presents at Oregon Labor Law Conference Jan. 29

Oregon Labor Law Conference

The goal of the Oregon Labor Law Conference is to help officers and staff of unions serve their members better, be better equipped to organize the unorganized, and get training on how to avoid legal liability.

The program includes a workshop on Unions and Workplace Bullying led by Dr. Gary Namie, WBI Director. This is a return visit by WBI to OCCL; the first appearance was in 2013.

Founded in 1996 by Norman Malbin, the Oregon Labor Law Conference is now also sponsored by IBEW Local 48, Oregon AFL-CIO, Center for Worker Rights, Northwest Oregon Labor Council, Labor Education and Research Center (LERC), Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council and Oregon State Building & Construction Trades Council.

When: Jan. 29, 2016
Where: IBEW Local 48 Meeting Hall, 15937 NE Airport Way, Portland, OR
Details: OLLC website

Share

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 2, Unions | Post Comment



January 21st, 2016

Audio & transcript of Friedrichs anti-union Supreme Court hearing

On January 11, SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case designed to overturn a 39-yr. precedent involving public sector unions. Since the 1977 Abood decision, government workers had the right to enjoy all the benefits of union membership without paying all of the dues owed to unions. That is, Abood split dues into “fair share” fees and expenses ostensibly not related to collective bargaining and the mere protection of workers’ rights. Non-members were to pay only the bargaining-related fees.

The Friedrichs case found 10 California teachers who wanted to claim the right to refuse to pay any dues, even costs associated with protecting their workplace rights. Right-wing, anti-union groups used the case to bring to the pro-corporate/pro-employer Roberts SCOTUS to put what might be the final nail in the coffin of the strongest unions left in the country, public-sector unions.

You can read the NY Times SCOTUS watcher, Linda Greenhouse, as she interprets the oral testimony.

Details of the case can be read here.

You can read the entire transcript here.

Or listen to the audio of the oral arguments.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Decision is expected in June.

Share

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Rulings by Courts | Post Comment



January 17th, 2016

WBI sets March Workplace Bullying University date

Marh 11-12-13 are the dates for the next public WBI Workplace Bullying University® Training for Professionals. The location is Boise, Idaho.

Since 2008, the Drs. Namie have delivered the only comprehensive research-driven training covering all aspects of the workplace bullying phenomenon. They are the pioneers and you can learn directly from them.

This interactive, intensive 3-day session is life-changing.

It will enable professionals to add abusive conduct to their list of specializations with the take-home lessons learned.

Professionals who have attended past sessions:

– Attorneys
– Union officials
– Nurses
– Counselors/psychotherapists
– Academics
– HR professionals
– Physicians
– School bullying trainers
– Consultants to organizations
– Corporate trainers
– Former targets turned entrepreneurs

Tuition Discount Ends Valentine's Day

Call today for — 360-656-6630. Visit the Workplace Bullying University website for program and registration details and testimonials from graduates.

Share

Tags: , ,
Posted in WBI Education, Workplace Bullying University | Post Comment



January 11th, 2016

American public sector labor unions’ future weighed by Supreme Court today

A most important 80 minutes of oral argument is heard today, Jan. 11 2015 by the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. The case is Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (CTA), Docket No. 14-915.

The case was brought by a group of California teachers who don’t want to pay any fees to unions for anything. Essentially, they want to enjoy benefits of having a contract — wages and other work condition protections (alas, not full protection from bullying yet) that are negotiated — for free. The CTA represents teachers in public schools; public school districts are government employers.

There are 39 years of history dealing with this issue. A May 1977 unanimous U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision, Abood v. Detroit Board of Education [431 U.S. 209 (97 S.Ct. 1782, 52 L.Ed.2d 261)] divided union dues into two parts. One part is costs associated with providing union workers with a contract, the collective bargaining agreement with the employer, and its administration, the subsequent services of representation at adversarial meetings with management, grievances and arbitrations. Fees for those services are called “fair use” or “agency” fees. In other words, Abood said that non-members who benefit from union services have to help cover costs.

The second part of union dues is “expenditures for ideological causes not germane to its duties as a collective-bargaining.” This has been dubbed the political activity of the union, including overt politicking, lobbying lawmakers for specific legislation and financial support for political candidates. People who object to this part of union activity can refuse to pay that portion of dues to the union.

In the specific case before SCOTUS today, Friedrichs, plaintiffs are challenging California law. If a teacher wants to protest the political portion of the CTA dues, she or he can give the union a written objection — an “opt out” declaration. That portion of the contested fee is then refunded or a portion is reduced. The anti-union plaintiffs want that teacher to have to “opt in” and agree to the fees. Plaintiffs frame the issue as one of free choice and the First Amendment (whether or not the non-administrative fees constitute speech).

The Case’s Strange Origin

The union-busting groups, typically with a libertarian or right-wing political bent, found this case in order to abolish the last bastion of unionization in America — in government. The private sector unionization rate is now under 7%. If government, public sector, unions can be further weakened, the U.S. labor movement will be effectively gutted.

According to Maryann Parker, SEIU Associate General Counsel, speaking at an American Constitution Society expert panel, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association made it to the Supreme Court in two fast years without any facts associated with the case. The reason is that the plaintiffs filed the case in both District and Appellate courts and asked for a verdict against them just so they could take the case to the Supreme Court. Since the union-busting groups are well funded, the case raced to the Roberts pro-employer court. Unlike any other case, no facts have been argued in court before a judge or jury. No discovery of evidence on either side was completed.

The only facts have come via several amicus briefs written by advocates for both sides. The list of briefs filed before the Nov 6, 2015 deadline can be found here. On the anti-union side are organizations such as Pacific Legal Foundation
National Right to Work Legal Defense Fund, Mackinac Center for Public Policy, Goldwater Institute, Former California Governor Pete Wilson, Cato Institute and the NFIB. On the defense side, briefs were filed by Kamala Harris, California Attorney General (who also argued the case before SCOTUS today), California State Employees Association, and several California and New York cities that, as government employers, described the benefit of having a unionized workplace.

The other unusual aspect of the origin of the case is that the five majority justices in the 2014 Harris v. Quinn decision called for a reconsideration of Abood. In other words, the doctrine of stare decisis, of letting earlier case decisions stand, is betrayed by calling out for a case to challenge Abood.

The Anti-Union Argument

Here’s the argument by the union busters in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. Collective bargaining in the government context is inherently political because government worker wages are public funds. Therefore, if the government compels “fair use” fees collection, it is a violation of a worker’s First Amendment rights. It forces an association with a political cause (bargaining with the state) with which a worker might not agree.

Abood had separated the functions of the union, administrative work versus political activity. Fredrichs says that ALL activity of unions is political.

If the Supreme Court decision agrees with Friedrichs, it will overturn Abood. It will end the practice of a “union shop.” The absence of any requirement to pay unions for services rendered will make it too easy to be a “free rider.” In turn, unions will wither and die from not having a budget.

Remember, even with a negotiated union contract, employers — only governments in this case — are entitled to all rights over workers which are not covered in the contract. With this line of reasoning, without unions, employers will have unchallenged, unbridled control over workers with no ability to contest mistreatment or abuse.

The undermining of unions, the only organizations that advocate for rights of workers, will contribute to the Republican-led state legislatures’ move to right to work laws. Currently 25 states have right to work provisions. The RTW advocates characterize states where unions represent government workers as “forced-unionism” states.

Advocates for “free bargaining” states label the right to work as the “right to work for less.” The quality of life for workers in RTW states is lower than in public sector union states — lower wages, more low wage jobs, higher rates of workers without health insurance, higher poverty and infant mortality rates. And if working in a RTW state, you have a 54% higher chance of dying at work.

Finally, by gutting union budgets, opponents will also thwart overt political activity by unions. Unions support Democratic candidates. Union-busting groups are partisan. By reversing Abood, the law of the land since 1977, Republicans will be able to reduce funding for Democratic opponents. However, this is not a realistic fear by Republicans. It seems closer to a zero-sum game in which Republicans want to eliminate all opposition. According to the Center for Responsive Government, 2015-16 interest group donations to the upcoming elections finds that labor has given to date a total of $19.2 million compared to $839.6 given by donors other than unions. Non-labor groups outspend unions by 43.7 times. A successful Friedrichs SCOTUS decision would nearly eliminate the influence of unions on candidates. Rights of workers will be driven further underground buried in a corporate post-Citizens United deluge of cash.

If the Court does not overturn Abood, the plaintiffs could still win a partial victory. Its a nuanced part of the practice in California. Contained in the fees charged to non-members are other expenses not involved with the costs of collective bargaining. If a teacher wants to protest that portion of the fee, she or he can give the union written objection — an opt out declaration. That portion of the contested fee is refunded or a portion is reduced. The anti-union plaintiffs in the case also argue that an employee should have to “opt in” and agree to the fees.

Stay tuned. The decision should be announced in June.

###

You can listen to the oral arguments and read the transcript of Jan. 11 hearing here.

Share

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Fairness & Social Justice Denied, Rulings by Courts, Unions | Post Comment



December 31st, 2015

Stay alive to stop workplace bullying in 2016. We need you.

Happy New Year 2016 from WBI

New Years Eve Potato Drop in Boise ID

Share

Posted in Hear Ye! Hear Ye! 2 | 1 Comment



December 26th, 2015

The (real) work of Christmas

To all of us who call ourselves Christians and to all compassionate, well meaning people in the world, here’s a call to action …

The words are a poem by Howard Thurman (1899-1981)

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.

Set to a cappella choral music by Dan Forrest

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Share

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Commentary by G. Namie | Post Comment



OLDER ENTRIES →


This site is best viewed with Firefox web browser. Click here to upgrade to Firefox for free. X