News & Commentary

August 2, 2023

Jacqueline Rayfield

Jacqueline Rayfield is a student at Harvard Law School.

In today’s News and Commentary, eBay faces unfair labor practice charges, the Department of Labor issued a rule requiring federal contractors to disclose use of anti-union consultants or law firms, and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) will restart talks later this week after a three-month standoff.

Union workers at eBay owned company TCGplayer filed multiple unfair labor practice complaints with the NLRB against both organizations. The complaints allege that eBay refused to bargain with the union after it was recognized in March of this year. They further allege that eBay refused to provide relevant information to the union, refused to maintain the status quo at work in violation of workers’ Weingarten Rights, and refused to negotiate on unilateral changes. Workers at TGAplayer explain that they have not received a cost-of-living raise in three years and have been forced to sit through captive audience meetings hosted by anti-union law firm Littler Mendelson.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a rule on Friday requiring that all federal contractors disclose their work with anti-union consultants and law firms in LM-10 forms. The rule explains that greater transparency for workers about who their employers’ hire could allow workers to make informed decisions about union participation. “[W]ith the knowledge that the source of the information received is an anti-union campaign managed by an outsider, workers will be better able to assess the merits of the arguments directed at them and make an informed choice about how to exercise their rights,” the DOL explained. The new rule has predictably faced backlash from contractors and employer-side labor firms.

Three months after negotiations between the WGA and studios fell apart in May, the parties plan to reconvene for talks this Friday. The WGA explains that studio negotiator, Carol Lombardini, reached out to the WGA to discuss negotiations. A chair of the WGA negotiating committee addressed a video to fellow members emphasizing that the union remains unified and powerful; tens of thousands of actors and workers joined together on picket lines this month for the first simultaneous walk-out since the 1960s.

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