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Federal judge halts NLRB regulation aimed at simplifying unionization process for employees of large corporations

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A federal judge in Texas has blocked a new rule by the National Labor Relations Board that would have made it easier for millions of workers to form unions at big companies. The rule, which was set to go into effect on Monday, would have established new standards for determining when two companies should be considered “joint employers” in labor negotiations.

Under the current NLRB rule, a company like McDonald’s is not considered a joint employer of most of its workers because they are directly employed by franchisees. However, the new rule would have broadened that definition to consider companies joint employers if they have the ability to control at least one condition of employment, such as wages, benefits, hours, scheduling, duties, work rules, and hiring.

The NLRB argued that the change was necessary to prevent companies from evading their legal responsibility to bargain with workers. However, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups, including the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the International Franchise Association, and the National Retail Federation, filed a lawsuit in federal court in Texas to block the rule. They claimed that the new rule would overturn years of precedent and could make companies liable for workers they don’t employ in workplaces they don’t own.

In a decision on Friday, U.S. District Court Judge J. Campbell Barker granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, stating that the NLRB’s new rule was “contrary to law” and “arbitrary and capricious” in how it would change the existing rule. Barker found that the new rule went beyond the bounds of common law by introducing new conditions to determine joint employer status.

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The NLRB is currently reviewing the court’s decision and considering its next steps in the case. NLRB Chairman Lauren McFerran expressed disappointment in the court’s ruling but hinted at further efforts to align the joint employer standard with common law principles endorsed by other courts.

Overall, the judge’s decision to block the NLRB’s rule is a significant setback for the agency’s efforts to make it easier for workers to unionize at big companies. The ruling highlights the ongoing debate over labor laws and the balance between protecting workers’ rights and business interests. It remains to be seen how this legal battle will unfold in the future and what implications it may have for the labor movement in the United States.

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Police in Sydney report one person shot and multiple others stabbed at shopping center

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A chaotic scene unfolded at a major mall in Sydney on Saturday afternoon, as one person was shot and several others were stabbed, leading to a declaration of a critical incident by the police and the evacuation of the area. The incident took place at Westfield Bondi Junction, a bustling shopping center in the city.

New South Wales Police reacted swiftly after receiving reports of multiple stabbings shortly before 4 p.m. The situation escalated quickly, with numerous bystanders documenting the chaos on social media. Photos and videos depicting crowds of people fleeing the mall or seeking refuge in stores behind closed shutters flooded various platforms.

As the authorities grappled to assess the extent of the injuries and secure the area, details remained scant. It was unclear whether any suspects had been apprehended or what the current condition of the victims was. Witnesses recalled a harrowing scene of shoppers running for safety upon hearing about the attacks, with security alarms adding to the panic.

The response to the incident included the deployment of emergency services, with aerial footage capturing the sight of injured individuals being transported out of the mall on gurneys. The gravity of the situation was palpable as the public awaited further updates from law enforcement.

As this story continues to unfold, authorities are working diligently to gather information and ensure the safety of the public. Stay tuned for the latest developments.

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