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Trade Unions and Labor
Basic Labor Law
The government protects the right of workers to organize in order to address issues ofwages, benefits, and working conditions. The body of laws that protect this right is knownas the National Labor Relations Act, sometimes referred to as the Wagner act. Of course,any questions you have regarding labor law can best be answered by a lawyer, but thefollowing is a list of the basics:
The Wagner Act prohibits the employer from certain acts, known as unfair laborpractices. If you feel you are the victim of an unfair labor practice, contact the NLRB,which will assign an agent to look into your case or consult a lawyer.
Unfair labor practices include management:
The Act also specifies some union activities as illegal:
Also of interest: management (or the union) can be held accountable for anyone actingas an agent, even if management didn't know about or approve of the agent's actions. Inother words, if an anti-union worker threatens you ("You'll lose your job if you voteyes.") management can be held accountable for that threat. This is to preventmanagement from using workers to deliver threats and thereby get around the law.
Companies do have the right to make predictions as to what will happen if a union wins.It becomes a threat, however, anytime the "prediction" is something that can becontrolled by the employer. For example, saying that a major client might withdraw itscontracts with the employer if a union wins is within the bounds of free speech. Theemployer has little or no control over what the client chooses to do. However, saying thata union would be too expensive and that the employer would have to cut its labor force tocompensate is a threat, as the employer has complete control over the size of its workforce.
During the entire campaign and negotiations, the employer must maintain the status quowith regards to pay, benefits, and working conditions. It cannot suddenly grant pay raisesor cut pay, although regu larly scheduled pay raises must be given on time. Failure to doso is an unfair labor practice.
The NLRB uses a doctrine known as "the totality of conduct" when determiningunfair labor practices. This means it looks at the employer's conduct throughout theentire campaign to determine if the law has been broken. In other words, an employerdoesn't have to blatantly flaunt labor law to be reprimanded. If the employer constantlybends the law, or commits many minor infractions, the NLRB may find the employer inviolation. It therefore behooves all employees to write down all infractions, no matterhow minor. Write down the date, who was involved, the time of day, and any witnesses. Gooddocumentation can be critical in winning a favorable ruling from the NLRB.
From: http://dolphin.upenn.edu/~amatth13/#htu<% include "/var/www/vhosts/newyouth.com/httpdocs/yfis-foot.asp"; %>