Tag Archives: United States

The Internet of Peeps

 IoP = Internet of People

Your car may be the future cockpit of the Internet of Things (IoT), and your house will be largely managed by apps in a few years, but the big change coming down the road is the Internet of People. (IoP).  Actually, it’s just about here now.

I just used an app called Map My Walk to….map my morning walk around the lake.

The Internet for Peeps is here

Check it:


Enhanced by Zemanta

Employer agrees to rescind social media policy

On April 7, 2014, Valero Services, Inc. agreed to rescind its nationwide social media policy and to post and mail a NLRB remedial notice to its employees throughout the country in response to a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Valero Services provides employee leasing services to refineries and plants located throughout the United States, including a refinery located in Port Arthur, Texas.

The United Steelworkers of America filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB Region 16, alleging that Valero Services social media policy interfered with employees’ rights to discuss their terms and conditions of employment on social media. Region 16 found merit to the allegations and issued complaint. During the hearing, Associate Chief Administrative Law Judge William N. Cates approved a settlement agreement resolving the dispute. Under the terms of the settlement, Valero Services agreed to notify employees that it will rescind its unlawful social media policy and to post NLRB notices at its 52 facilities nationwide, as well as to mail notices to employees, advising them that they will not be prohibited from using social media to discuss their terms and conditions of employment.

Enhanced by Zemanta

The Rhetoric of Union Elections

 Two sides to the union representation decision

The UAW loss of their union representation election at Volkswagen made national headlines a couple of weeks ago.  While these kind of elections are always contentious, and can cause serious disruption within an organization, the Chattanooga  election outcome has elicited criticism from organized labor about the “unprecedented” involvement of outside parties. The employees at Volkswagen even went so far as to create their own non-profit worker center named Southern Momentum as part of their effort to keep the UAW out of their facility. This is a very new thing in labor relations, and something we may see more of in the future. Lawyers for both sides are already busy filing arguments about the validity of such worker groups before the NLRB. Lawyers for Southern Momentum say these charges are an effort by the UAW to silence them because their efforts were effective during the recent election.

The Battle for Hearts and Minds

What seems to be lost in this dialogue is that it was really the votes of 712 VW employees who decided the outcome of the election.  A simple majority made their vices heard in a secret ballot election and said “No thanks” to the UAW. There are similar efforts going on at the plants of other auto manufacturing plants in the Southern United States.  These efforts are largely being driven around the idea that the UAW is working to create a new kind of labor union representation model in the United States, based on coöperation between the parties and a democratic approach to worker involvement in the plants by a Worker Council.  This is a traditional European model that is difficult to create under existing US labor law. There are always two sides in a fight over union representation, those who support  the union; and those who are against it.  Every union election is a battle for the hearts and minds of the undecided and the uncommitted, and the rhetoric you hear usually reflects that.  Here is what the campaign rhetoric looks like in the ongoing campaign at the Mercedes plant in Vance Alabama.

Welcome to UAW-MBUSI Organizing!

MBUSI Team Members have been in contact with United Auto Workers (UAW) organizers for several months. For some, contact goes back several years. While interest is steadily growing, it is certain that there are mixed feelings about organizing among Team Members at MBUSI: many support the idea, some oppose it, and a large number are undecided or simply don’t know what a union would mean for this plant.

Welcome to UAW-MBUSI Organizing!

Forming a union requires serious consideration and hard work. This site is intended to be a resource for MBUSI Team Members as they consider unionization. Of course, the best resources available are people—UAW Leadership Council members, organizers, and German colleagues from IG Metall & the Daimler Works Council—but we hope this site will help to supplement the process. Enjoy!

Here is some truth from the Team Member Information Committee as we know it:

  • We know the UAW is not here to help us, they are here to help themselves to a portion of our paychecks after they helped bankrupt the Detroit auto industry and helped themselves to a taxpayer bailout.


  • We know the German union IG Metall is not here to make a better life for us, they are here to make sure we do not get any more jobs in Alabama and to take the ones we do have away from us and back to Germany.
  • We know what west Alabama was like before MBUSI built the first M Class in 1997, and we know we do not want to go back there again.
  • We know that Alabama has been winning, and we know that Detroit, the UAW, and IG Metall has been losing – badly.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Working with Marijuana: What a long strange trip it’s going to be

Marijuana goes mainstream


Medical Cannabis Growing Operation in Oakland,...
Medical Cannabis Growing Operation in Oakland, California (Photo credit: Rusty Blazenhoff)


(For my HR friends and the VC speculators at #sxsw)


How do you when an interesting yet risky counter culture business venture is about to go mainstream?


You see start to see people being hired by companies who are investing in the business even before it is ready to launch, and you start to see job boards.


I saw a story in my local paper today about a guy here in Florida who landed a job as a Professor of Cannabis at a Tampa start-up called Medical Marijuana Tampa.  The company  founded by Jeremy Bufford who is hoping that Florida voters will approve a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana in November.  According to the Ledger report, Medical Marijuana Tampa now has 14 paid employees, all in training and hopeful that the ballot initiative will become law.


Our local Professor of Cannabis found his job via Cannajobs.  According to their website:


Cannajobs is about creating qualified, reliable people to work in the cannabis industry. It is also about educating you about how to find a job, qualify for a job and start a career for yourself.

If you are an employer, we are here to either help you find a qualified, reliable worker OR get you information that will help you market your cannabis business more effectively.

We are not just a posting site. We will be holding job fairs in many cities of the U.S. to promote this industry and get people informed about their options. We will be actively involved with qualifying people to be employed.

Join Cannajobs in creating an online community of potential cannabis employees and burgeoning cannabis businesses linking up to become more successful than ever before.

This a new American industry. Let’s make the most out of it.


Working with Pot is the new American dream, not to mention Canada, and what a strange hazy dream it turns out to be.


There are currently 626 postings and position desired postings on CannaJobs, ranging from marijuana marketing consultants – “I am very familiar with your products;” and facilitators – “Much time spent in Amsterdam with Seed Breeders, and other Luminaries. Willing to Relocate to Florida for the right opportunity…;” to a 2nd Generation Shamanic Dowser, 10+ years horticultural experience.


My name is {Redacted}, I have been working in the Horticultural Industry for well over a decade. This has been in the form of a plant health specialist for upper level Golf Courses I have worked at in South Florida. Over this time I have perfected my Shamanic Dowsing Techniques for perfect plant nutrient levels. 

I have also developed many innovative and unique ways to energetically enhance the health of plants through shamanic means. I can also resolve issues associated with noxious earth energies and other nasties as well. 

Unfortunately I have never been able to market these techniques to others in the industry I am in now because of the culture and close mindedness of most in the golf course field. I am testing the waters with this post to find out if there are any in the Cannabis industry that would be interested in benefiting from my skill set. This, as a service to any growers operating within the legal guidelines of their local government. 

I will offer initially a free trial to any state legal growers that are curious to find out if I am full of s— or not. All you have to do is contact me and let me know how many test plants you want me to perform my skill set on. If you are not satisfied with the results, you pay zero and all is good. 

Because of the Shamanic means by which I perform my techniques, my services can be done remotely. No need for me to be on site. I can dowse all essential plant nutrient levels on any plant anywhere in the world. All I need are the desired growth and plant health characteristics of the grower.


There are also serious legit jobs on Cannajobs, like this one from our Canadian neighbors to the north, posted below.  Who knew that even those employed in the ultimate counter-culture biz would need to comply with HR policies?


 Marijuana Master Grower, Permanent, Atlantic Canada


SBHIR Consulting in Atlantic, Canada


Marijuana Master Grower, Permanent, Atlantic Canada
Master Grower required for a 25,000 square foot, state of the art medical marijuana production facility in Atlantic Canada. The ideal candidate will hold a Masters Degree in horticulture or agriculture, and have significant experience managing a commercial production facility.

An attractive compensation package will be offered to the successful candidate, including a base salary, performance based bonuses, stock options and a one-time signing bonus (to assist with relocation costs).
Manage a large-scale commercial production facility of over 10,000 plants. Perform all the tasks in the grow including: cloning, transplanting, feeding plants, defoliation, super cropping, topping, flushing, foliar and preventative sprays, trimming, packaging, waste disposal and inventory management. Company operates under the highest standards of professionalism.

  • Manage a large-scale warehouse with 100, thousand watt grow lights.
  • Perform all the tasks in the grow including: cloning, transplanting, feeding plants, defoliation, super cropping, topping, flushing, foliar and preventative sprays, trimming, packaging, waste disposal and inventory management.
  • Develop and/or maintain grow warehouse protocols and nutrient regiment.
  • Manage grow warehouse working crew of 10 employees.
  • Manage marijuana plants, giving each individual plant the attention it needs one at a time.
  • Manage plant scheduling and organization to precisely project all garden needs on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to keep garden green and expenses low.
  • Cataloging and analyzing each individual strain from clone to flower to harvesting.
  • Cloning and manage vegetation with at least a 90% success rate.
  • Execute preventative maintenance and elimination of all types of mold, powdery mildew, spider mites, root aphids, fungus gnats, etc.
  • Maintain a clean and organized work environment.
  • Mastery of Ebb & Flow, DWC and Aeroponics growing methods, including in-depth knowledge of PH; PPM and EC counts.
  • Mastery of Soil growing methods including micronutrients, beneficial bacteria and nutrient implementation.
  • Working knowledge in container systems with soil and hydro as well as understanding temperature and humidity manipulation.
  • Expert knowledge of plant diseases, insects and fungi, as well as plant treatment options
  • Well researched in new techniques and insight to expand knowledge in nutrient of individual strains, high yield recipes, controlled stress environments to different lighting systems and set ups.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of Strains; Sativa, Indica and Hybrids and mastery of medicinal implementation and knowledge of effects of strains and types of medicinal administration.
  • Assist government auditors with inventory, sales and compliance audits.
  • Comply with all HR policies including confidentiality and non-disclosure.
  • Facility maintenance and troubleshooting as necessary.
  • Management of a commercial grow operation for more than 5 years.
  • You have at least 2 years commercial grow experience as a Master Grower.
  • Knowledge of large scale commercial plant cultivation including nutrient requirements, mediums, light requirements, temperature control, air flow, etc.
  • Knowledge of plant diseases, insects and fungi, as well as plant treatment options
  • Physical aptitude and health necessary to perform manual labor tasks required for the proper management of grow warehouse.
  • Advanced knowledge of the cannabis plant and genetics.
  • Must be able to provide grow resume, pictures and portfolio at interview.
  • Must have accountability, proactive behavior and strong attention to detail.
  • You are at least 21 years of age
  • You have no felony convictions
  • You are willing to participate in an extensive background security check.
  • You can start immediately.
  • You are trustworthy and hard working


Enhanced by Zemanta

The True Joy of Business Travel

The Story Behind Geriatric Happy Hour

This week I headed out on my first business trip of the year, an overnight jaunt to Deerfield Beach FL to deliver a update on developing labor relations trends to a management team.

A room with a king bed at the Hampton Inn.   Lunch at Taco Prince.  Dinner on the way home via the Publix deli. Sounds glamorous, right?

There are some fun parts to business travel for me.

I love taking advantage of the opportunity to connect with people, which I did on this trip by having lunch with an HR colleague.   That’s great stuff for personal and professional networking.

What I love the most though is the opportunity to find ways to watch people and find fun stories.  On this trip, I had a tremendously fun experience.  I went to Duffy’s Sports Grill to watch a rebroadcast of the Women’s Hockey game between the USA and Canada.  This was during Happy Hour, which was 2 for 1.  The bar was packed with local senior citizenry, many of whom I would bet congregate there on a daily basis.  They were drinking and carrying on like grade school kids, cracking jokes and cackling.  They literally had me rolling off my bar stool in laughter.  I shared some of the gems on Facebook as I heard them.

I present them here for your amusement.

Overheard at geriatric happy hour

I just had my second knee replacement.

it’s 2 for 1, right? I’d like a red wine and a white wine. I like to live dangerously!

I’m so old I can remember when a cigar was just a cigar, and you were actually allowed to smoke them.

She was going to divorce him, but then he died.

That kid Reagan, he turned out to be a good President after all.

Canada, Is that near Cuba?

I told my wife to order me an Old Fat Bastard, and she said WTH would I do with two of you?

Somebody is putting the shit we say on Facebook! Wtf?

2 for 1? Johnny Walker Black, Double it up and make sure I get another one before happy hour ends!

Is there anything better than hanging out at a geriatric happy hour in South Florida?

Only one thing, seeing a guy wearing driving gloves while cruising in his NIssan Versa on the Florida Turnpike


Enhanced by Zemanta

Raising the Minimum Wage Raises Questions #RaiseTheWage


Raising the Minimum Wage looks inevitable, but what will happen as a result?

There’s this old adage about statistics that goes something li

829Strike Fast Food strike in Oakland
829Strike Fast Food strike in Oakland (Photo credit: Steve Rhodes)

ke “You can make statistics say anything you want.”  And sometimes, you can make them say completely opposite things, especially when it comes to politics, and especially pertaining to discussions about raising the minimum wage in the United States.

There’s a huge discussion in our country right now about raising the minimum wage.  Many groups, including organized labor are running campaigns  to pass such initiatives at the local, state and federal level.  President Obama just announced an Executive Order that raises the federal minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 an hour. It looks like a safe bet that similar changes will take place in other jurisdictions in the next couple of years.

The weird thing is nobody really seems able to credibly say what kind of impact these changes will have on our economy. Depending upon who you listen to, raising the minimum wage would either:

1) resurrect the middle class by spurring the economy to new heights; or 2) send us spiraling into the next Great Depression.

I’m confused, and so are the amateur and professional pundits on Twitter: (#RaisetheWage)

Update: from over on Think Progress and their article “What really happens when you raise the minimum wage” = “Sure, we might lose some jobs, but the people who work will be making more.”

“I bet Dems will say #RaiseTheWage will only cost 100k & GOP will say it’ll cost 900k jobs.”

“Give 16.5 million a raise, lift 900,000 out of poverty and put $2 billion into the economy? It’s time to #RaiseTheWage.”

“Grasping at straw men: Desperate Harry Reid invokes Koch Brothers in #RaiseTheWage demand wp.me/p2Q0J0-xd

#RaiseTheWage wld elimin8 500,000 Jobs #LibLogic: Not as bad as #Obamacare that’s good4Us. blog.heritage.org/2014/02/18/min..”

Media preview

“If we #RaiseTheWage to a #LivingWage, we won’t have to subsidize the fast food industry anymore. (poster) pic.twitter.com/6c0nYdihr2

Media preview

Enhanced by Zemanta

Labor Relations Round ’em up, head ’em out…Rawhide! #NLRB

Labor Relations Roundup

Chicago (Photo credits: www.roadtrafficsigns.com)

I’ve been on a roll with NLRB posts this week, so it makes sense to finish up a few more tidbits from the wonderful wacky world of the National Labor Relations Board.

Voting at Volkswagon ends tonight

We’ll know late tonight whether or not the UAW has finally achieved their long cherished objective to organize an automotive plant located in a southern state here in the US.  At least, we’ll know the outcome of act one, the legal curtain won’t drop on this one for a long time.  Polls close at 8:30 PM. stay tuned.

NLRB hearing begins in NU football players’ quest for union

Then there’s the football union thing…

The Chicago Sun-Time reports that the NLRB conducted a hearing regarding the effort by student athletes at Northwestern University seeking to organize a union to represent their interests as football players for the school.  The hearing was held at the NLRB’s Chicago office.

An attorney representing the College Athletes Players Association, which the Wildcats players started, said CAPA is not alleging that Northwestern University has violated NCAA rules.

Instead, he said CAPA intends to “demolish the myth” created by the NCAA that student-athletes — who receive scholarships, bring in “billions of dollars of revenue” to their schools and spend more than 40 hours a week in their sports training and activities — are not employees.

Northwestern University’s attorney, Alex V. Barbour, argued that the players are students first and foremost and that their scholarships provide an educational experience. He cited a 2004 NLRB case in which graduate-student teachers at Brown University were deemed to have no right to unionize.

NLRB Says Union Not Responsible For Member Facebook Posts

and there’s another NLRB Facebook thing in which the Board says it’s ok to call your fellow union members “scabs”.  The Board  ruled that it would not require a union local to take down negative Facebook comments on a union Facebook in which some workers directed negative comments towards co-workers who crossed a picket line during a strike.


Enhanced by Zemanta

The NLRB is getting into some big briefs

English: Black and white logo of the National ...
English: Black and white logo of the National Labor Relations Board, an independent agency of the United States federal government. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NLRB requesting briefs on several topics

The NLRB has been busy lately asking for briefs related topics where they will be making some big changes. Last week it was a request for briefs on the proposed rule changes for union certification elections. This week they are requesting briefs related to the status of university employees under the act under certain circumstances.

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Representation-Case Procedures

The National Labor Relations Board (Board) has proposed amending its rules and regulations governing representation-case procedures. The proposed amendments are intended to enable the Board to more effectively administer the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Specifically, the proposal would modernize and simplify representation-case procedures and render them more transparent and uniform across regions. Issuance of the proposed rule was approved by Board Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce and Members Kent Y. Hirozawa and Nancy Schiffer. Board Members Philip A. Miscimarra and Harry I. Johnson III dissented.

The Board has periodically reviewed and revised its procedures in representation cases in order to efficiently carry out its duties under NLRA. Since the NLRA was enacted in 1935, the Board has amended its representation case rules at least three dozen times, often in substantial ways. The proposed reforms represent the Board’s latest effort to improve its service to the public.

The Board invites comments on the proposal. Comments may be submitted until April 7, 2014, either electronically through www.Regulations.gov or by mail to the Board’s Washington D.C. headquarters. Reply comments may be submitted by April 14, 2014. In addition, the Board will hold a public hearing during the week of April 7, 2014.

Board invites briefs regarding religious university jurisdiction and faculty member status

The National Labor Relations Board is inviting briefs from interested parties on two questions: whether a religiously-affiliated university is subject to the Board’s jurisdiction, and whether certain university faculty members seeking to be represented by a union are employees covered by the National Labor Relations Act or excluded managerial employees. Click here to view the invitation for briefs.

The case is Pacific Lutheran University (19-RC-102521). At this Tacoma, Washington-based university, the Service Employees International Union, Local 925 filed a petition to represent a unit of all non-tenure-eligible contingent faculty who taught a certain number of hours. The university argues that the Board lacks jurisdiction because the university is a religiously-operated institution that is not subject to the Act, and that certain faculty in the petitioned-for unit are managers. In its invitation, the Board listed three questions to be addressed concerning jurisdiction, including what test the Board should apply under NLRB v. Catholic Bishop, 440 U.S. 490 (1979), to determine whether self-identified “religiously affiliated educational institutions” are exempt from the Board’s jurisdiction, and what factors the Board should consider in determining the appropriate standard for evaluating jurisdiction under that case. The Board listed nine questions that the briefs should address concerning the standard under NLRB v. Yeshiva University, 444 U.S. 672 (1980).

Briefs should be filed with the Board on or before March 28, 2014. The parties and amici may file briefs electronically at http://mynlrb.nlrb.gov/efile. If assistance is needed in filing through http://mynlrb.nlrb.gov/efile, please contact Gary W. Shinners, Executive Secretary, National Labor Relations Board.

The National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency vested with the power to safeguard employees’ rights to organize and to determine whether to have unions as their bargaining representative. The agency also acts to prevent and remedy unfair labor practices committed by private sector employers and unions.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Hot stove: Walmart and NLRB step up to plate for big swing

 Three strikes and you’re out

Walmart Clock
Walmart Clock (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The National Labor Relations Board released a consolidated charge against Walmart last week that many labor relations professionals view as a key test in the on-going struggle over labor rights in the United States.

The Board charges that Walmart committed labor violations when it disciplined employees that participated in one day strikes organized by a union backed worker center.  According to the NLRB, the alleged violations as reported by Wall Street Cheatsheet include:

  • “During two national television news broadcasts and in statements to employees at Walmart stores in California and Texas, Walmart unlawfully threatened employees with reprisal if they engaged in strikes and protests on November 22, 2012.
  • Walmart stores in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Washington unlawfully threatened, disciplined, and/or terminated employees for having engaged in legally protected strikes and protests.
  • Walmart stores in California, Florida, Missouri and Texas unlawfully threatened, surveilled, disciplined, and/or terminated employees in anticipation of or in response to employees’ other protected concerted activities.”

Walmart has denied any wrongdoing, and plans to fight the charges.

The key issue in question in this case is the legal status of a series of sporadic one day labor strikes, walkouts, flash mobs and similar protest activities that the group OURWalmart has organized and conducted at Walmart stores across the county for the past 18 months.  Traditional labor strikes have lasted longer, and end when a contract settlement has been reached.

Labor attorneys for Walmart charge that the NLRB is trying to use this case to expand the traditional concept of protected strike activity.


Enhanced by Zemanta

State of the Union: Show Me the Money

State of the Union = Raise the Minimum Wage

Official photographic portrait of US President...
Official photographic portrait of US President Barack Obama (born 4 August 1961; assumed office 20 January 2009) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight’s State of the Union address is shaping up to be all about issues driven by labor organizations, perhaps more so than any #SOTU speech in recent memory.  Advance reports have made it clear that President Obama will mainly focus on income inequality.

And he’s not just talking about it, he’s also taking action under his plan of not waiting for Congress to act by issuing an Executive order to raise wages for federal contract employees who earn less than $10.10 an hour, according to a breaking news story on the Huffington Post:

President Barack Obama will announce during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address that he’s raising the minimum wage for workers under federal contracts to $10.10 per hour, an administration official told The Huffington Post.

The new policy, to be instituted via executive order, may affect hundreds of thousands of workers whose jobs are supported by federal dollars. The move is designed in part to ratchet up pressure on Congress to pass legislation raising the minimum wage for all workers. The current federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 per hour, and hasn’t been raised since 2009, after the last of a series of increases signed into law by then-President George W. Bush.

The new executive order is part of a broader pledge from the White House to pursue policies that don’t rely on congressional approval. What other policies are in the works, the administration has refused to say.

According to an Obama administration fact sheet, the executive order will cover “workers who are performing services or constructing buildings and are getting paid less than $10.10 an hour.” Those likely to see bumps in future paychecks include dishwashers, food servers and construction workers. Many work in government buildings, but for private employers.

This move will increase pressure on Congress to act on raising the Federal minimum wage.  Minimum wage bills, have been proposed by Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. George Miller, and would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for all workers in $0.95 increments and tie it to inflation. It would also increase raise the minimum wage for tipped workers. although that idea is opposed by some in the restaurant industry.  Numerous bills have also been introduced in state legislatures to increase the minimum wage, as well as in cities like Seattle and Washington DC.

As part of the theater that often surrounds the SOTU speech,  Representative Linda Linda Sanchez has invited a worker from an LA McDondald’s to be her guest at the #SOTU speech.  The worker is a member of the fast food movement that has held demonstrations around the United States over the last year, pressuring fast food companies to pay a minimum wage of $15 and hour.



Enhanced by Zemanta