Trade Unions

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DC Circuit Gives NLRB a “Stern” Warning (US)

It’s never a good sign when a court calls your reasoning “nonsense” or instructs your lawyers to “brush up” on their familiarity with legal doctrines. But that’s exactly what a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit did in a decision that overturned the National Labor Relations … Continue Reading

High Court quashes legislation allowing temporary workers to cover for striking workers (UK)

Yesterday in R (on the application of ASLEF and ors) v Secretary of State for Business and Trade the High Court quashed the government’s controversial legislation which repealed the prohibition placed upon employment agencies from supplying temporary workers to businesses in order to backfill labour shortages caused by employees participating in industrial action. The proceedings … Continue Reading

Recent Data Confirms Surge In Union Activity in US Workplaces (US)

Since approximately mid-2021, unions have been aggressively seeking to reassert their relevance in the US workplace. Extensive media coverage of high-profile union organizing campaigns at Amazon, Apple, Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, and other well-known large companies has chronicled those efforts, but unions have been hard at work seeking to organize employees at employers of all sizes … Continue Reading

Keeping it real – the quest for reason in whistleblowing cases (UK)

In earlier posts on this blog you will find a handful of cases which consider the distinction between the fact of a protected whistle-blowing disclosure and the manner of it.  Accepted wisdom, thanks in part to the unimprovable words of then Mr Justice Underhill in Martin -v-Devonshires Solicitors here is that an employer can in … Continue Reading

UK Government allows agency staff to cover for striking workers

Despite what seems to be almost universal opposition to its proposals, the government has changed the law to allow employment businesses to supply temporary workers to cover for striking workers. Regulation 7 of the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003 prohibits employment businesses from supplying temporary workers to cover (i) the duties … Continue Reading

Belgium’s largest Joint Committee reaches a new agreement on employment and working conditions – deadlines for employers to act are tight!

Against the background of industrial unrest in other sectors, the social partners of Joint Committee 200 –the Committee representing the largest number of employees in the country, more than 480.000 in total – have quietly come to an agreement on employment and working conditions. The most important provisions of the agreement are summarized within this … Continue Reading

Representative’s reprimand for clear misconduct unlawful, says EAT (UK)

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently handed down a judgment which serves as a useful reminder for employers of the risks of taking disciplinary action against union representatives for behaviour which may look like misconduct but which actually constitutes union activity. By way of background, section 146(1)(b) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) … Continue Reading

NLRB Provides Much-Needed Reality Check, Lowers Barrier To Employers’ Ability To Discipline And Discharge Employees Who Engage In Arguably Protected, But Plainly Disruptive, Workplace Conduct (US)

An employee confronts you – a small business owner – and calls you a “f***ng mother f***cker,” a “f***ing crook,” an “a**hole,” and “stupid,” tells you that none of your employees like you and everyone talks about you behind your back, and warns you that you’ll regret firing him, if you do. Or you’re a … Continue Reading

Are the grounds for dismissal the rationale or the reason? (UK)

Exploring the difference between why you do something and why it happens sounds like one of those abstract A-level Philosophy questions about whether you are a prince dreaming you are a butterfly or the other way around, but without the ability to ask whether anyone cares anyway. However, the question is also key to determining … Continue Reading

Australian Government seizes its moment in union reform proposals

The Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment (Ensuring Integrity) Bill 2019 introduced to the House of Representatives on 4 July passed the House at the end of the month and is now before the Senate. The Bill forms part of the Government’s broader agenda on industrial relations reform to increase the regulation of unions in the … Continue Reading

UK trade union representative unfairly dismissed despite unlawful misuse of confidential information. Really?

Apparently, said the Court of Appeal, the unlawful retention and circulation of confidential material by a union representative “was not a sufficient departure from good industrial relations practice” to justify his dismissal, a conclusion which initially seems little short of perverse, let alone an alarming comment on the state of industrial relations in the UK’s … Continue Reading

NLRB Tackles University Social Media Policy in Advice Memorandum

Second year pro football quarterback and Northwestern University alum, Trevor Siemian is making headlines on the field this season for the Denver Broncos. His alma mater is making headlines off of it in the realm of labor law.  Again. Last year, Northwestern’ s scholarship football players filed an action with the National Labor Relations Board … Continue Reading

French trade union tests boundaries of “respect for the Republic”

One of the requirements which must be satisfied before a trade union can operate in France is that its constitution and its actions should “respect the values of the French Republic”. In Société Global Facility Services v. Snapmrasa, an employer argued that a trade union seeking recognition in its workplace could not validly appoint a … Continue Reading

NLRB Issues New Captive Audience Rule for Mail-Ballot Elections

The NLRB opened a busy February by overruling a rule it established in 1959 governing when captive audience meetings may be held for mail-ballot elections. For nearly 60 years, there was a divide in the way the NLRB handled captive audiences for mail-ballot elections and manual (in-person) elections. For mail-ballot elections, the NLRB followed the … Continue Reading

UK Trade Union Bill – political or practical?

As MPs debate the Trade Union Bill (see our initial summary https://www.employmentlawworldview.com/uk-trade-unions-get-the-bill-for-transport-strikes/), the issue for employers is whether the Bill is political or practical and whether the tightening of the rules on picketing will actually backfire, resulting in unions using more unorthodox methods to achieve their objectives. The Bill has come in for a lot … Continue Reading

NLRB Expands Its Definition Of ‘Joint Employer’

In a highly-anticipated decision, a divided National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) significantly expanded its definition of “joint employers.”  The new standard portends to have substantial implications to employers across a broad spectrum, but most significantly in the franchisor-franchisee and temporary labor context.  In Browning-Ferris Industries, three members of the five-member Board did away with the … Continue Reading

NLRB Punts In Northwestern University Football Case, Declines To Decide Whether Scholarship Athletes at Private Universities Can Join A Union

With the college football season about to get underway, on August 17, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued its highly-anticipated decision involving Northwestern University’s scholarship football players’ attempt to unionize. As background, the National Labor Relations Act guarantees the right to organize and join labor unions.  This right, however, applies only to employees employed … Continue Reading

Noel Canning, Part Deux? Kind of… D.C. Circuit Rules NLRB Complaints Issued By Former Acting General Counsel Are Voidable (But Not Void)

With last year’s Supreme Court decision in Noel Canning only slightly in the rearview mirror, another court has ruled that the NLRB made yet another unlawful end-run around the laws that limit its authority to act.  In a case involving an Arizona ambulance company, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled on … Continue Reading

NLRB’s “Ambush Election” Rules Survive Federal Court Challenge

Those of you following the controversial recent revisions to the National Labor Relations Board’s union election rules know that those rules went into effect in April of this year, over a Congressional disapproval resolution.  (See our previous posts concerning the issuance and implementation of the rules here, here, and here.)  These rule changes have been labeled … Continue Reading

Two Recent D.C. Circuit Decisions Reverse the NLRB, Restore Common Sense

In two recent decisions out of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the court reversed the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board), finding that Board’s conclusion that the employers engaged in unfair labor practices in each case ignored simple realities, and instead restored the common sense balance between employees’ and employers’ rights with respect … Continue Reading

NLRB Approves Employees’ “WTF” and “Cut the Crap” Insignia

In a recent ruling [pdf] the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) held that AT&T and affiliated telecommunications companies in California and Nevada can’t lawfully prohibit employees from wearing buttons and stickers containing phrases such as “WTF Where’s the Fairness” and “Cut the Crap” when such buttons or stickers are worn during union negotiations. Although employees generally … Continue Reading
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