Labor Law

Topics: National Labor Relations Act, Unfair labor practice, Law Pages: 6 (1367 words) Published: October 1, 2013
HRMD 620
2HistoryofLaborLaw Agenda
Historical overview of labor laws
Understand the effects of the legal system on unionization
Understand the major provisions of US labor laws
Understand the differences and similarities between US private and public sector law Assignments
This week’s reading contained a lot of information! This material, however, is vital to your understanding of how we got to our current state of labor laws. Watch out for our close friends – efficiency, equity and voice – in this historical material. Because there is so much information in Chapter 4, I’m going to “chunk” the information to make it easier for you to digest. Following is a chart that summarizes the evolution of labor laws:

1790s to 1842
Common Law Conspiracy Theory
Unions as conspiracies
Dominance of injunctions issued without full hearings; heavy court presence Injunctions applies to yellow dog contracts which the courts deemed enforceable Mainstream economics foundation
1842 – 1932
Unions As Corporations
Danbury Hatters case (1842): union boycott violated Sherman Antitrust Act. Individual union members held liable for over $200K in damages. Clayton Act passed giving unions the right to exist.
Prevailing view of unions as legal entities as long as there’s regulation 1932
Norris-LaGuardia Act passed
Great Depression legislation
Act sought to remove dominance of courts in labor relations; eliminated injunctions powers of federal courts. Known as “anti-injunction act.” Yellow dog contracts unenforceable
Exempts labor unions from Sherman Antitrust Act
Ended common law era
Underlying policy: workers should be able to unionize to balance corporate power in order to improve wages and working conditions Did not protect or promote union activity
Beginnings of National Policy
Railway Labor Act
1. Purpose was to avoid strikes and other forms of labor-management conflict 2. Protects rights of employees to form labor unions with their own representatives (individualism) 3. Establishes adjustment boards to resolve grievances

4. No mechanism for mandating employer recognition of unions National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA)
1. Gave employees rights to organize and bargain collectively through their chosen representatives without interference, restraint or coercion 2. Lack of specific enforcement programs
3. US Supreme Court ruled NIRA was unconstitutional in 1935
Wagner Act (National Labor Relations Act (NLRA))
Industrial relations intellectual foundation; emphasis on unequal bargaining power as the focus of the labor problem Promotes collective bargaining
Section 7 rights:
1. employee right to self-organization
2. bargaining rights through chosen representatives
3. right to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection Section 8 unfair labor practices: lists 5 of them (see p. 121) 1. Managers and supervisors may want to remember the acronym TIPS and FORE. TIPS (threaten, interrogate, promise, spy) are actions that managers cannot undertake to discourage unionization. FORE (facts, opinion, rules, and experience) are things that managers can share under the NRLA to discourage unionization.

Section 9: Exclusive representation rights with majority support (Section 9); eliminates possibility of multiple company unions Established National Labor Relations Board to enforce the Act. NLRB conducts representation elections and adjudicates unfair labor practices Act declared constitutional by US Supreme Court in NRLB v. Jones and Laughlin Steel Corp.

Taft-Hartley Act (Labor Management Relations Act)
Significantly amends the Wagner Act
Prohibits secondary boycotts
Contrasts with Wagner Act (promotes collective bargaining) by establishing union unfair labor practices Outlaws closed shop...
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