@LRToday Morning Round-Up: January 15, 2013

Retail Groups File Brief With Board Arguing Against "Micro-Unions": Stewart Bishop of Law360 ($$) reports that two retail groups have filed a brief with the National Labor Relations Board in support of a challenge by Macy’s, Inc. to a Board Regional Director’s recognition of a "micro-union" at one of its Massachusetts stores. The Retail Industry Leaders’ Association (RILA) and the Retail Litigation Center (RLC) argue that the NLRB should return to its former presumption favoring whole-store collective bargaining units.

Such a change in favor of micro-unions “would serve to balkanize the structure of the employer’s business, adversely affecting amici’s members and their businesses, complicating labor relations and collective bargaining, threatening to embroil customers and other members of the public in labor disputes, and building in delay and increased costs in the board’s currently fair and efficient representation process,” the brief said.

A retail store composed of multiple independent bargaining units would have an adverse effect on morale, as well as on business, the parties continued. Further, it would arguably undermine the Board’s preference for "stable labor conditions."

Case Against Hyatt Regency Goes to Hearing: Jamie Smith Hopkins of the Baltimore Sun reports that the NLRB has begun making its case against the Hyatt Regency Baltimore, alleging multiple unfair labor practices in response to a union organizing campaign. The complaint, filed last November, contends that the hotel began interrogating employees and "invoking harsh discipline" upon learning of the potential organizing campaign.

"It’s a classic nip-in-the-bud case," said Sean R. Marshall, a senior trial attorney for the board.

However, the hotel said in a statement that it believed it would ultimately prevail over the charges. We will certainly keep you updated as the case moves forward.

Union States School Bus Drivers Strike to Begin Tomorrow: Courtney Gross of NY1 reports that the President of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 (ATU) has stated that New York City school bus drivers will go on strike as of Wednesday morning. The strikers are demanding that the City include certain employee protection clauses in its contracts with bus drivers. Mayor Bloomberg released a statement of his own upon learning of the ATU’s decision to strike.

"The union is abandoning 152,000 students and their families who rely on school bus service each day. We hope that the union will reconsider its irresponsible and misguided decision to jeopardize our students’ education."

Fortunately for parents and students, the City has come up with a contingency plan. Metro Cards will be distributed to regular bus riders during the school day, which will hopefully result in minimal disruption for the students and the schools. Parents and students, however, are somewhat skeptical.

"If we can’t go on the school bus, how are we going to get to school?" asked a student.

We here at @LRToday have been following this story closely and will keep you updated as it unfolds further.