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Monday, November 14, 2011 - 12:29pm

Isakson Targeting 'Mini Unions'

Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson is trying to undo a National Labor Relations Board decision allowing unions to organize just a handful of workers at a business.

A new bill he introduced would reverse an August decision that a group of nursing assistants in a nursing home could form a union without including other employees, like cooks, records clerks, and activity planners.

Isakson said that turned seven decades of labor law on its head and means businesses could end up with a different union for each different group of employees – and have to bargain with those “mini unions.”

“Go into some place like Home Depot that has a multiple number of retail products and you could unionize each product,” Isakson said. “What that does is it ends cross-training. And you’re negotiating with multiple people.”

Georgia has about 175,000 union members.

Georgia AFL-CIO president Charlie Flemming said workers need to be represented, but he can see difficulty in having several different unions for different employee groups.

“I don’t think it’s very practical or realistic,” Flemming said. “I think they should have that right to have a voice on the job.”

Isakson said the NLRB should stop undoing legislative labor policy with their own rulemaking.

“At a time of high unemployment and difficult economic situations going on, the worst thing is to pass more regulation or a labyrinth of favorable legislation for labor against management at a time management’s trying to stay in business,” Isakson said.

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