The Aftermath of BE&K v. NLRB: When May an Employer Challenge the Legality of Union Practices
LACHES, Vol. 451, p. 15, August 2003
4 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2011
Date Written: August 1, 2003
Picture it. You are the owner of a non-union construction company who was recently awarded a contract to modernize a manufacturing plant. However, as you begin performing the contract, local unions begin to wage war against your company. They begin picketing and encouraging strikes without telling people the reasons for their animosity. They begin lobbying for higher emissions standards, even though there is no reason to believe the project would harm the environment. They seek to delay and raise the costs of the project by filing questionable lawsuits against you. Finally, they launch wholly unsupported grievance proceedings against your company based on inapplicable collective bargaining agreements. As the owner of the company, what are you to do? You can either sit back and take the abuse, or you can file a lawsuit against the unions seeking to prevent these draconian practices. However, before June 24, 2002, if your company did not prevail in its lawsuit, it would be subject to charges of unfair labor practices simply because your company lost while trying to vindicate its rights.
This article discusses the legal parameters surrounding such a situation and advises employers (and their attorneys) on ways to handle these matters.
Keywords: labor, union, unfair labor practices, grievance, collective bargaining
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