Big Temporary Networks

Robert Bonomi bonomi at
Wed Sep 19 00:18:34 UTC 2012

> From: William Herrin <bill at>
> Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2012 19:04:22 -0400
> Subject: Re: Big Temporary Networks
> On Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 6:22 PM, Robert Bonomi <bonomi at> 
> wrote:
> > 'Right to work', as defined by section 14 B of the Taft-Hartley Act, 
> > only prevents a union contract that requiures union membership as a 
> > PRE-REQUISITE for being hired.  What is called  'closed shop' -- where 
> > employment is closed to those who are not union members. It does -not- 
> > prevent a 'union ship' -- where employees are required to join the 
> > union within a reasonable period =after= being hired.
> The Taft-Hartley Act outlawed closed shops nationwide.  It further 
> authorized individual states to outlaw union shops and/or agency shops. 
> 23 states, including my fine home state of Virginia, have done so.

"False to fact" on the last point.  Many of the right-to-work states do 
-not- proscribe union shops.  Thoe that do, almost invariably allow for
an automatic/involuntary payroll deduction from non-union members covered
by a collective bargaining agreement, payable to the union involved, which
was a pro rata share of the direct costs of negotiting the collective

> > Right-to-work also does not prevent an organization from requiring, by 
> > contractual agreement, that third parties performing work ON THE 
> > 0ORGANIZATION'S PREMISES, employ "union labor" for _that_ work.  It 
> > cannot specify _what_ union (or local) however.
> In Illinois, which has not enacted a state right-to-work law, that's 
> correct.

Illinois, not having right-to-work, is irrelevant.    <grin>

In IOWA, where I grew up, and which has one of the strongest right-to-work
laws in the country, "union shops" _are_ legal.  As are 'on-site' union
labor requirements.  The family business (PR consulting) was heavily
involved with the state Manufacturers Association (and the national org),
and several other associations of large employers.  I had access to
*LOTS* of detailed info on the state of right-to-work, and collective-
bargaining practices nation-wide.  My remarks apply to the vast majority
of right-to-work states.

>         In Virginia, which has, there was just recently a big hullabaloo 
> where the airports authority tried (and spectacularly failed) to place a 
> union preference rule in their contracting process where bids from union 
> shops would have a 10% preference versus bids from non union shops.

Government entities run into all sorts of difficulties with _any_ such
'preference' biases in the bidding/contracting process -- there are
statutory requirements to accept the lowest-price 'qualified' bid, with
lots of supporting case law on 'fiduciary responsibility' of public
monies -- _unless_ there is a demonstrable _compelling_ public policy
reason to include scuh a preference.  *VERY* few such survive a court
challenge -- a 'set-aside' of a portion of the contracts for the
'preferred' group tends to have an equivalent effect and is much less
expensive to implement.  (a few percentage points on, say, 10-15% of
the contracts is *far* less wasteful than circa 10% on _all_ contracts)

I don't know of _any_ such bidding/contract 'preference' that has -not-
been challenged in the courts.  By a 'discrimminated against' vendor,
in the case of government enditie, or by shareholders, in the case of
private entities.

I don't _think_ anybody has challenged hiring preferences for U.S. armed
forces veterans, but I wouldn't be surprised if it _had_ been.

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