Today in Labor History: November 27; Member Tip

Today in Labor History: November 272013.11.25—history-pins-n-needles
The pro-labor musical revue, “Pins & Needles,” opens on Broadway with a cast of Int’l Ladies Garment Workers Union members. The show ran on Friday and Saturday nights only, because of the cast’s regular jobs. It ran for 1,108 performances before closing – 1937
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Member Tip: The Duty of Fair Representation (DFR)
There are no hard and fast rules for what the union must do to live up to its duty of fair representation.  There isn’t even a precise definition of what that obligation consists of.  When the United States Supreme Court and the National Labor Relations Board have wrestled with the meaning and extent of this obligation over the years, they have described it in such ways as “an honest effort to serve the interest of all … without hostility to any” and the right of bargaining unit members to be free from “unfair or irrelevant or insidious treatment” by their union representatives.  The catch phrase often used is that unions breach their obligation when they engage in actions that are “arbitrary, discriminatory or in bad faith.”  But the union obligation to represent the interests of all unit members fairly does not translate into a legal obligation always to speak for each individual member, or to be flawless in performing its representation duties.
—Adapted from The Union Member’s Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer

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