Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Thanks to Phillip Wilson, who is Laboring Away at the Institute, Michael P. Fitzgibbon of Thoughts from a Management Lawyer, and George Lenard of George's Employment Blawg for kindly referring their readers to this blog.

This post presents an opportunity to describe the purpose of Labor Law Blog. This blog will focus on traditional labor law (mostly NLRA, but also RLA and public sector labor law). I plan to describe recent cases, analyze them, and discuss their practical implications for unions and employers. The Bush NLRB has recently issued some significant decisions (Brown University, IBM, Oakwood Care Center, etc.). Labor law is changing in important areas. I hope to keep labor lawyers informed of these changes. I also hope to provide some commentary. Feel free to submit comments on the posts.


At 5:04 PM, Blogger Phillip Wilson said...

As I said over at my blog, welcome to the blogosphere! Glad to see more people writing about labor law topics out here. Looking forward to your analysis of the NLRB. What do you tink will be the biggest decision out of the Board this year? My vote is on card-check agreements - I can't remember the case they took up to decide this off the top of my head, but that would qualify as a bold move (as opposed to just reversing the Gould Board reversing prior Republican Boards, which is what a lot of the recent decisions have been). Looking forward to reading more. Phil.

At 9:33 PM, Blogger Fiorino said...

Glad to see a new labor law blog, particularly one focusing on tradional labor law for us remaining diehards. You might have a problem, though. If current trends continue, we'll soon be discussing labor law without labor! And our friends at the Labor Board are certainly not helping out. It's about gotten to the point that a labor lawyer is bordering on malpractice for recommending filing a ULP charge, let alone an RC petition. But I suppose we can still have some fun picking at the carcass.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger webmaster said...


I think that Harborside is a very important case. It sets forth the standard on prounion supervisory conduct. While the opinion did not change the legal standard, it deemphasized a critical factor (the employer's antiunion stance) for finding such prounion conduct unobjectionable.
Harborside did change the law on whether a supervisor can solicit authorization cards. Now supervisors can't solicit cards. Whether a particular worker is an employee or a supervisor is a very difficult question. Thus, there are a lot of folks on the border who may avoid soliciting cards in order to prevent an election from being set aside. These borderline supervisors are normally the natural leaders of a union campaign. Hence, this portion of Harborside will have a negative impact on organizing (especially in the health care sector).

I agree with you that the voluntary recognition bar cases (Dana/Metaldyne) are important. The recognition bar is intended to insulate a newly-recognized union from having to defend against a decert election so that it can focus on negotiating a first contract. If the Board ultimately discards the voluntary recognition bar, employees who don't support the union will quickly petition for decertification. Then the union has to worry about winning the decertification election at the same time its trying to negotiate a new contract.
I don't think that discarding the voluntary recognition bar will destroy voluntary recognition, but I do think unions will suffer. I hope to post on these cases in the future.


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