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McGraw-Hill/Irwin©2007 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 14 Employment Law III: Labor-Management Relations.

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Presentation on theme: "McGraw-Hill/Irwin©2007 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 14 Employment Law III: Labor-Management Relations."— Presentation transcript:

1 McGraw-Hill/Irwin©2007 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. 14 Employment Law III: Labor-Management Relations

2 Employment Law III: Labor-Management Relations Key Points Understand the history out of which labor unions grew Identify unfair labor practices by management and unions Understand the union election process Understand the collective bargaining process and the consequences of work stoppages Chapter 14

3 Unions Today Although the labor union movement grew up as a counter weight to big business, today it appears to be more of a counterweight to big government: 40% of public sector employees belong to unions Only 7.9% of private sector employees belong to unions On the other hand: Corporate scandals have shaken worker faith in corporate America Some new groups are looking at unions, such as physicians and teaching assistants

4 Labor Union History—Part I Late 1800s: The industrial revolution prospered through the exploitation of labor—adult and child 1870s-’80s: The Knights of Labor admitted nearly all workers and started fighting for wage and hour laws, health care and mandatory education AFL later organized workers along craft lines 1932: Norris-LaGuardia Act passed providing some minimal protection for unionizers 1935: CIO evolved to serve the interests of ordinary labor

5 Labor Union History—Part II 1935: Wagner Act passed clearly legalizing unions and establishing the NLRB 1947: Taft-Hartley Act passed prohibiting unfair labor practices by unions 1955: AFL and CIO combined 1959: Landrum-Griffin Act passed regulating union financial matters and providing a “Bill of Rights” for union members Today: The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) now includes the Wagner and Taft-Hartley Acts and much of the Landrum-Griffin Act

6 Unfair Labor Practices by Management Section 8(a) of the NLRA makes it an unfair labor practice for an employer to: Interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of their legal rights Dominate, interfere, or assist with the formation of any labor organization, including contributing financial support to it Encourage or discourage membership in any labor organization by discrimination in regard to hiring, tenure, promotion, salary or any other term of employment Discharge or take any other action against an employee for filing charges or giving testimony under the act Refuse to bargain collectively with a duly certified representative of employees

7 Unfair Labor Practices by Unions Section 8(b) makes it an unfair labor practice for a labor organization to: Restrain or coerce any employee in the exercise of his or her legal rights Cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against an employee who has chosen not to join a labor organization or has been denied membership Refuse to bargain collectively with an employer on behalf of the bargaining unit it is certified to represent Induce or attempt to induce an employer to engage in secondary boycott activities Require employees to become union members and then charge them excessive or discriminatory dues Try to make an employer compensate workers for services not performed Picket or threaten to picket an employer to force the employer to recognize or bargain with a labor organization that is not duly certified

8 National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) The primary obligations of the NLRB are: To designate appropriate bargaining units of workers (deciding which workers have sufficient community of interest so their needs can best be met and so collective bargaining is efficient for employer and union) To conduct elections for union representation To certify results of such elections To investigate, prosecute and adjudicate charges of unfair labor practices

9 Elections Election Petition: A union, employee or employer may initiate formal organizing process by filing an election petition with the NLRB Minimum requirement is signatures of 30% of employees In practice, usually no election without signatures of 50-65% Determination of appropriate bargaining unit: Requires a community of interest among employees Certain employees must be excluded, such as supervisors Election is by majority of votes cast by employees of the bargaining unit identified

10 Protection of Free Speech During Election Process Employers: Cannot use direct or indirect threats of reprisal or force to influence outcome Also cannot use promise of future benefits Example: Multi-Ad Services v. NLRB (7th Cir. 2001) Unions: Restricted in types of acceptable persuasion, although promises of benefits not as problematic here Example: Wal-Mart Stores v. NCRB (8 th Cir. 2005)

11 Loss of Bargaining Unit Decertification: After at least one year, an unsatisfied group of employees may file decertification petition with NLRB, which must have the support of at least 30% of covered employees; election would then be held Withdrawal of Recognition: Employer may unilaterally withdraw recognition of union only where union has lost support of majority of its members; one way to demonstrate that is to file an RM petition with the NLRB for employer-requested election

12 Collective Bargaining Principles Union as Exclusive Bargaining Agent: The union is the exclusive agent for all employees within that bargaining unit, whether they voted for union or not; employer must deal with certified representative Good Faith Bargaining: Section 8(a)(5) of the NLRA requires employer to engage in good faith collective bargaining with a union representative and Section 8(b)(3) imposes same duty on unions

13 Bargaining in Good Faith Relevant factors: An open mind an sincere desire to reach agreement Counterproposals must be offered when a proposal is rejected Positions may not be constantly changed Employee must be willing to incorporate oral agreements into a written contract Mandatory bargaining subjects: Wages, hours and “other terms and conditions of employment” Permissive and prohibited bargaining subjects: Either party may raise permissive subjects, but may not pursue them to a bargaining impasse Prohibited bargaining subjects are those that are illegal under the NLRA or other laws Example: Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NLRB 1997)

14 Work Stoppages Strikes: Unfair labor practice strikes: those instituted by workers in response to employer’s unfair labor practice Economic strikes: those instituted purely as economic weapons Example: Diamond Walnut Growers v. NRB (D.C. Cir. 1997) Lockout: Management locks its doors to some or all of its employees Picketing and Boycotting: Primary picketing/boycotting is expressed directly against employer Secondary picketing/boycotting against third parties, such as suppliers, is generally illegal

15 Employees’ Rights within or against the Union Unions have duty to fairly represent all members of bargaining unit, whether or not they become union members Bill of Rights is designed to ensure equal voting rights, right to sue the union, and rights of free speech and assembly Nonunion employees can be compelled to pay union dues and fees only for core collective bargaining activities 22 states have enacted right-to-work laws; in these states, nonmembers do not pay dues or fees but, as members of bargaining unit, they must be represented by the union

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