Chapter 15

Chapter 15
Labor Law
Copyright © 2012 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Learning Objectives
 Discuss the history of unions in the United
 Identify the Norris-LaGuardia Act of 1932 and
what it covers
 Identify the National Labor Relations Act of 1935
(Wagner Act) and what it requires
Learning Objectives
 List and explain several collective bargaining
agreement clauses
 Explain unfair labor practices and give examples
 Describe the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 and its
Learning Objectives
 Define the Landrum-Griffin Act of 1959 (Labor
Management Reporting and Disclosure Act) and
its provisions
 Discuss collective bargaining in the public sector
and how it differs from the private sector
Coming Together on Issues
 Labor law – different and discrete from
employment law
 Collective bargaining: Negotiations and
agreements between management and labor
about wages, hours, and other terms and
conditions of employment
 Nature of the American economy – shift from
agrarian to industrial
 Basis for modern labor issues
A Historical Accounting
 Criminal conspiracy laws – Early union activity
considered to be common law criminal
 Injunctions: Court order requiring individuals or
groups of persons to refrain from performing
certain acts that the court has determined will do
irreparable harm
 Yellow dog contracts: Agreements stating that
employees do not belong to a union and will not join
one; now illegal
A Historical Accounting
 Antitrust attacks
 Sherman Antitrust Act
 Secondary boycotts: Union pressure on
management by getting others who do business with
management to cease
 Clayton act
 Issue of injunction against labor
 Constitutional challenges to early congressional
Out of Necessity Comes Change
 National War Labor Board
 Peaceful resolution of labor disputes
 National Industrial Recovery Act
 Put business in charge of regulating prices and
 Established a minimum wage
 Gave workers collective bargaining and other rights
 Declared unconstitutional in 1935
Out of Necessity Comes Change
 Decrease in unionization
 Reduction in heavily unionized industries
 Aggressive nonunionizing campaigns by employers
 Union concessions during downturns in the economy
 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
 International competition
 Labor unions still remain an important part of the
Labor Laws
 Began with
 Restricting court responses to union activity
 Establishing the right of employees to form labor
 Protection against unfair labor practices
 Unions gained power and abused it, resulting in
additional labor management legislation
The Norris-Laguardia Act
 The first major labor law statute enacted in the
United States
 Provisions
 Curbed courts’ power to intervene in labor disputes
 Issue of injunctive relief
 Yellow contracts made non-enforceable in any court
in the U.S.
 Significant impact in curbing prosecution under the
antitrust laws
The National Labor Relations Act of
1935 (Wagner Act)
 The National Labor Relations Act
 Enacted to avoid the unconstitutional delegation of
legislative power
 Outlines unfair labor practices
 Administered by NLRB
 Unfair job practices by unions are notably
missing from the act
The National Labor Relations Act of
1935 (Wagner Act)
 The National Labor Relations Board
 Enforces labor laws in the private sector and
conducts union elections
 Community of interests – formation of a bargaining
 Concerted activity
 Union organizing
 Discussion of unionization and solicitation of union
The National Labor Relations Act of
1935 (Wagner Act)
Community of
Factors employees have in common for bargaining
Bargaining unit
The group of employees in a workplace that have
the legal right to bargain with the employer
Shop steward
Union member chosen as intermediary between
union members and employer
The National Labor Relations Act of
1935 (Wagner Act)
Negotiated contract between labor and
Industrial union
Union organized across an industry, regardless of
members’ job type
Craft unions
Unions organized by the employee’s craft or trade
Business agent
The representative of a union, usually craft
The National Labor Relations Act of
1935 (Wagner Act)
 Good faith bargaining
 Mandatory subjects of bargaining: Wages, hours,
and other conditions of employment, which, by law,
must be negotiated between labor and management
 Permissive subjects of bargaining: Nonmandatory
subjects that can be negotiated between labor and
 Closed shop: Employer hires only union members
 Bad-faith bargaining
The National Labor Relations Act of
1935 (Wagner Act)
 Duty of fair representation
 Requires the union to represent all employees fairly
and nondiscriminatorily
Collective Bargaining Agreements
 Management security clause: Parties agree
that management has the right to run the
business and make appropriate business
decisions as long as applicable laws and
agreements are complied with
 Midterm negotiations: Collective bargaining
negotiations during the term of the contract
Unfair Labor Practices
 Unfair labour practices may include
 Refusal to bargain in good faith
 Engaging in activities that would tend to attempt to
control or influence the union
 Interfering with union’s affairs
 Discriminating against employees who join or assist
 Strikes and Lockouts
The Taft-Hartley Act
 Amendment to the NLRA
 Enacted to curb excesses by unions
 Section 7, unfair labor practice for unions to
 Restrain employees in the exercise of their rights or
employers in the selection of their representatives for
collective bargaining
 Cause an employer to discriminate against an
The Taft-Hartley Act
 Section 7, unfair labor practice for unions to
 Refuse to bargain with an employer
 Engage in jurisdictional or secondary boycotts.
 Charge excess or discriminatory initiation fees or
 Cause an employee to pay for goods or services that
are not provided
The Taft-Hartley Act
Key Terms
Right-to-work laws Permits employees to choose not to become a part of the
Union shop
Union and management agree that employees must be
a member of the union
Union shop clause
Provision in a collective bargaining agreement allowing
a union shop
Agency shop clause Requires nonunion members to pay union dues without
having to be subject to the union rules
Free riders
Bargaining unit employees who do not pay dues but
whom the union is still obligated to represent
The Landrum-Griffin Act
 Also known as the Labor Management
Reporting and Disclosure Act
 Enacted in response to congressional
investigations into union corruption
 Bill of rights for union members
 Procedures for holding union elections
 Safeguarding funds
Union Members’ Bill of Rights
 Right to attend union meetings, vote on union
business, and nominate candidates for union
Right to bring an agency or court action against
the union after exhausting union procedures
 Certain procedures must be followed before any
dues or initiation fee increases
 Full and fair hearing when being disciplined by
the union; exception – failure to pay dues
Labor Relations in the Public Sector
 Federal employees
 Many states have collective bargaining statutes
covering most public employees
 Federal restrictions
 Civil Service Reform Act of 1978
 Federal Labor Relations Authority
Labor Relations in the Public Sector
 State, county, and municipal public employees
 Professional associations
 Craft unions
 Industrial-type unions
 Difference between public and private collective
Management Tips
 If employees decide they wish to unionize, do
not try to negatively influence the decision
 Do not assume any employee you speak to for
the purpose of persuading employees not to
unionize will keep the conversation confidential
 Know the kinds of things the employer can
legally do to influence the unionizing decision,
and do only those things that are permissible
Management Tips
 Once the union is in place, conduct all
negotiations only with the union representatives
 Treat the collective bargaining process as one
would any business activity
 Know what the law requires
Management Tips
 Keep the lines of communication open
 Try to keep the “us versus them” mentality from
having a negative impact on the collective
bargaining process
 Play hardball without setting management up for
an unfair labor practice charge