Union members normally view unions as a way for them to communicate and negotiate with their employers on a level playing field. Collective bargaining refers to the way in which the workers bargain together to make a deal about the conditions of their employment. Collective bargaining has a goal to make bargains or deals to address a broad variety of concerns in the workplace. A collective bargaining agreement is a labor contract that is reached through the negotiations process. Swartz Swidler may assist workers with understanding their rights under a collective bargaining agreement.
The National Labor Relations Act covers many legal issues involving unions and employers. The National Labor Relations Board is the agency that is tasked with handling labor disputes and enforcing rights when the NLRA provisions are violated.
Employees have the right to form unions and collectively bargain under the NLRA. There are some industries and employers who are not covered by the law, however. For employers that are covered, the NLRA prohibits them from interfering with employees to keep them from organizing or forming unions. There is a broad range of employee activities protected by the NLRA in addition to bargaining and unions.
The good faith requirement
Both sides are required to engage in good faith bargaining. Some examples of bad faith might include the following:
- Refusing to bargain and to meet with the other party;
- Making unilateral changes to the terms or conditions; and
- Engaging in sham negotiations
Duty of fair representation
Unions have the responsibility to represent their members fairly and equally. If you believe that your rights have not been upheld in a fair and equal manner by your union, you should first use the grievance procedures to try to obtain relief. If that doesn’t work, you might want to consult with an attorney at Swartz Swidler for help with bringing a legal action.
When disputes arise, they may end up being handled by the NLRB. The agency investigates claims that are made and determine whether it believes that further actions are warranted.
Get help from an attorney
If you have a labor issue with your employer or union, you may need to get legal help. Labor relations can be complex. While a union may offer legal representation, there may be times when you must strike out on your own. To learn more about your rights, contact Swartz Swidler today.