Particular actions performed by employers or unions are deemed illegal under federal law. Commonly known as unfair labor practices, these activities contravene the labor laws stipulated by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB prohibits employers and unions from taking steps that would interfere with employees’ rights and freedoms (Dau-Schmidt et al., 2019). The case analysis postulated herein features some gross violations of employee privileges. There are several unfair labor practice claims that the union can make against the company.
Principally, the union can put forth a claim for a charge for the company with unjust labor exercises to offer benefits to prevent a fair election and sabotage employees’ freedom to join a labor association. Following the fatal incident, workers expressed interest in being affiliated with a union. However, it is notable the company moved in fast to suppress their free will by all means. Officials from the company discouraged them from joining the group. Ideally, all the conferences that they had held with the employees were implicit in financial facilitation. The company ensured that it paid all sales assistants who turned up for the meetings. It was using financial advantages to control its workers and derail their original plans. This act is an unfair labor practice because stipulations of the National Labor Relations Act prohibit employers from interfering with an employee’s right to organize or join a union (Feldman, 2017). Nonetheless, the organization can provide some defense for the above claim.
For instance, it can focus on offering financial benefits to the employees during the regular meetings that company officials held with them. The company can deny that the motivation for the financial benefits was aimed at preventing the formation of a union. Indeed, there is no solid proof that the executives paid the workers to prevent them from forming an association. Upon coming up with such a defense, the matter would now be left in the NLRB’s hands.
Another unfair labor practice claim that the union could make is creating an employer-controlled labor union. The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) clearly states that employers should not organize a labor group (Moela, 2018). Therefore, the association could charge the company for creating a labor union that is employer-dominated. Referring to the case study presented herein, it is evident that the company had made attempts to form an employer-dominated labor union. After the fatal incident, the company moved in fast to address the grievances of employees. It adjusted the working hours, installed canopy lights, and implemented a policy that barred employees from working alone at night.
Furthermore, the management officials directed workers to select committee representatives who would regularly meet with them to present employees’ complaints. The company then singled out the ten most frequently mentioned issues and recommended them for discussion. Consequently, it listed and enforced ten priority issues that the workforce had raised and granted them a new package of welfare benefits. By so doing, the company created an employer controlled labor union, contravening the National Labor Relations Act. The NLRB bars employers from dominating or establishing their association (Goad, 2017). As such, employers have no right to control a workplace group.
For the above claim, there is a way in which the company could defend itself. For instance, it could deny the allegations that the employee organization was, indeed, a labor one. Under the National Labor Relations Act, labor organizations must satisfy certain conditions to be recognized (Hogler, 2020). In this regard, the company could argue that its employee organization had not met all requirements to be perceived as a labor union. Moreover, it could refute the argument that its labor organization was employee-dominated. Even if the NLRB ruled out that the company had formed a “labor organization,” the firm can deny the allegation that it was a company-dominated union.
Dau-Schmidt, K. G., Malin, M. H., Corrada, R. L., Cameron, C. D. R., & Fisk, C. L. (2019). Labor law in the contemporary workplace. West Academic.
Feldman, S. (2017). An interview with Wilma Liebman: Liebman knows labor law-the future of the National Labor Relations Board. Emory Corporate Governance and Accountability Review, 4, 195.
Goad, K. (2017). Columbia University and incarcerated worker labor unions under the National Labor Relations Act. Cornell Law Review, 103, 177.
Hogler, R. L. (2020). Labor unions in the Trump administration: Courts, congress, and the National Labor Relations Board. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 32(1), 25-32.
Moela, M. P. (2018). The unfair labor practice relating to suspension. Nelson Mandela University.