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Labor Law: Union, Collective Bargaining Agreement

By Edited Mar 10, 2016 0 0

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is one of the most widely-used laws in United States, especially in California. Section 7 (29 U.S.C.A. § 157) provides right to form and coordinate labor organization, bargain collectively, and participate in activities that seeks mutual protection and benefits.

Employees also have the right not to join such group or engage in any of its activities. This act prohibits employers from doing wrongful acts that would violate certain rights and interests.

Labor law seeks to settle matters such as:

1. Employer's acceptance of an existing or a proposed union that aims to form a collective bargaining agreement though a representative.

2. The union wants to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with the employer.

3. There is a dispute or conflict in the interpretation of the contract.

The NLRA has specific regulations on prohibiting employers and unions from forcing employees to side with their interest or agreement. The employee has the right not to engage in any of their activities, and is also protected against threat of demotion or termination.

The employer is prohibited from retaliating or implementing physical punishment on employees who engage in peaceful strike, work stoppage, or union activities. However, the employer may assign replacement workers to accomplish pending business transactions or process.

A group of employee may also opt to seek representation from a duly-formed union. The parent association may provide assistance and counsel on how the group will assert its rights and form a bargaining agreement. Membership dues and meetings may be conducted to run its set plans.

Leaflets and other information dissemination means may be done discreetly. However, the union should not force, discriminate, or harass employees because on non-participation in activities.

Employees and concerned people may decide if the union will be represented by a bargaining representative. About 30 percent of total votes should validate the petition for a collective bargaining representative. If this is not met, the National Labor Relations Board will have to assess any obstacles in the election.

The NLRB may also help employer and the union reach an amiable decision. The NLRB may also assist the union to accurately and peacefully conduct its election for a collective bargaining representative. The election may be done through a secret ballot. The union may also have the privilege of picketing or patrolling. It can raise posters of "Unfair" within 30 days.

A peaceful picketing is encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court. A peaceful election and picketing should deliver better negotiation results. The union may raise negotiation matters such as wage, hour, and terms and conditions of employment. The negotiation should be viewed in good faith.

If a group of employees are having a hard time negotiating amicably with their employer's. State agencies or federal mediation and conciliation service may provide mediators to help both parties reach a fair settlement, or litigate a labor law violation.



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