Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers and is traditionally observed on the first Monday in September. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894.
While we celebrate Labor Day 2019, Nuclear Security lieutenants with the United Security Professionals Local 2 Union working at Xcel Energy Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant have been locked out of their jobs as of Midnight on August 31st.
The main sticking point is a change to their health benefits package. The union says they want to work out an agreement, but according to workers there, G4S is refusing to come back to the table.
Union President Joshua Haider stated they were allowed to clock in for their shift at 5:30 p.m. but they will be locked out starting at midnight.
The unions say’s they sent G4S a last minute Either or” proposal which included.
Option A was the nuclear officers would take the new Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance, but with raises to cancel out the insurance loss.
G4S wants to switch to the new Blue Cross Blue Shield package and cut their contributions by half, which is around $10 thousand dollars for each worker every year.
Option B was nuclear officers keeping the current insurance coverage but with less of a raise.
Haider says G4S called their proposals unreasonable and rejected both proposals.
A source with the union stated that when G4S took over in the spring of 2018, the company allegedly told union members both verbally and in writing they would not make any changes to their health insurance.
This source said when the two sides went to the bargaining table, health insurance was the first thing G4S mentioned they were going to change. The source says G4S told them to make up for the cost changes, they were willing to give union members a half a percent over the cost of living raise, but the union says it’s not about the money.
We are told G4S is looking to switch the union over to Blue Cross Blue Shield and workers are very worried about the dispute between Blue Cross Blue Shield and the Minnesota Hospital Association.
Workers say with BCBS denying or delaying coverage for medically necessary care, they and their families are being put at risk.
United Security Professionals Local 2 is made up of roughly 25 highly trained Nuclear Security lieutenants who supply heavy armed security to the Monticello Nuclear Power Plant. They are trained in anti-terrorism tactics, and they worry the plant will be vulnerable.
NUNSO, will do whatever we have to do to assist our brothers and sisters in this fight noted Maritas.
NUNSO Organizing Director is planning to fly to Monticello, MN tomorrow to help and assist United Security Professionals Local 2 members and their families who are on the picket line. Maritas has also offered assistance in trying to mediate an end to this lockout, if G4S is willing to come back to the table and negotiate in good faith.
The Union say’s they are very concerned that with fewer people providing security, and those who are in place not being familiar with their training, tactics, security plan and layout of the plant, employees in other areas of the plant and those in the surrounding communities are being put at serious risk.
The union has asked for G4S to come back to the bargaining table, but they are refusing, and no more talks are scheduled.
UPDATE: UNION SECURITY WORKERS LOCKED OUT OF THEIR JOBS AT NUCLEAR POWER PLANT
Labor Day: What it Means Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
Labor Day Legislation Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.
More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.
Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”
But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.
The First Labor Day
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.
The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.
The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.
The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.
THE GUARDS TRILOGY: THE NLRB LOWERS THE GUARD ON EMPLOYEE RIGHTS
Private security guards have demonstrated a growing interest in union representation’ in an attempt to address the problem of low pay scales in the industrial security industry. Employers have often argued against guards’ unionization because of the possible incompatibility of the guards’ employment responsibilities with their union loyalties during strike situations. Although the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA or Act) authorizes security guards to unionize legally, the Act contains some restrictions to avoid possible conflicts of loyalty. Recently, in a trilogy of cases, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) has limited guards’ rights to choose freely and maintain their bargaining representatives. These restrictions on guards’ rights places employees’ rights, provided for in the NLRA, in a secondary position to the employer’s right to be free from employee conflicts of loyalties, also provided for in the Act. The NLRA grants guards the right to unionize free from employer interference. Section 7 of the Act guarantees guards the right to choose freely a union representative who is authorized to bargain with the employer. The union representative election procedures are set forth in section 9 of the NLRA.’ The procedure includes a secret ballot election of guards within a collective bargaining unit as well as NLRB certification of the guards’ union after the election process.”
Congress responded to employers’ concern about the potential problem of unionized guards’ divided loyalties between the employers and the unions when it drafted the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947. Section 9(b)(3) of the NLRA is Congress’ response to the problem of guards’ potential conflict of loyalties. Section 9(b)(3) has two parts. The first prohibits the NLRB from placing guard and nonguard employees together in a collective bargaining unit. The second prohibits the NLRB from certifying a guard union as the guards’ bargaining representative if the union also represents nonguards or is affiliated with a nonguard union. In the past, the Board generally recognized guards’ rights under section 7 of the NLRA to bargain through the representative of their choice, even if section 9(b)(3) barred NLRB certification of a union representing security guards. Recently, in a trilogy of decisions, however, a divided Board reversed its policy of permitting the use of guard-nonguard unions as the guards’ bargaining agent. In Wells Fargo Armored Service Corporation, the NLRB held that an employer’s withdrawal of voluntary recognition from a noncertified guardnonguard union during an economic strike did not violate the Act. Shortly thereafter in University of Chicago, the Board ruled that section 9(b)(3) prevented the NLRB from allowing a union whose membership includes nonguards as well as guards to take part in a Board-conducted representative election for a bargaining unit of security guards. In Brink’s, Inc. the Board announced that it cannot consider a unit clarification petition that a guard-nonguard union files because unions that the NLRB cannot certify under section 9(b)(3) should not use the NLRB’s processes to clarify the scope of their unit’s composition.