When separate companies or different entities merge, how the seniority lists of the two are Combined, this becomes a critical question. These mergers will frequently require the consolidation of seniority lists and, where the parties cannot agree on how it Is to be done, arbitrators will be called in, as they have been in the past. If the decisions and awards in these cases are to be intelligent, fair, and practical, the possible criteria which are available for use in the merging of seniority lists need to be explored carefully. The merger must specify which principle of combining seniority lists will be used. The most important of these criteria are: 1. the surviving-group principle;
2. the length-of-service principle;
3. the follow-the-work principle;
4. the absolute-rank principle;
5. the ratio-rank principle.
The Surviving-Group Principle, In some industries it is the accepted practice that, when one company purchases or acquires another company, the employees of the purchasing or acquiring company receive seniority preference over the employees of the purchased or acquired company. In the printing industries, for example, this principle has had the support of the International Typographical Union for many years. As a result, when one newspaper buys out another newspaper, the seniority lists are merged by adding the names of the employees from the acquired paper to the bottom of the list of the surviving paper. In summary, the surviving-group principle is a criterion which is widely used for the merging of seniority lists not only in intercompany but also in intra-company consolidations.. Another method is the The Length-of-Service Principle seniority lists are usually based primarily on length of service. As a matter of fact, in most labor agreements seniority is defined as length of service when an employee’s length of service is considered, regardless of which company he or she worked for before the merger; therefore, the two...