Three Decisions By NLRB Today Favor Unions

NLRB decisions on bargaining

The National Labor Relations Board issued three predictable, but significant nonetheless, decisions, related to card-check and bargaining units today.

The Board reversed the Dana ruling giving employees or rival unions the ability to immediately challenge a union’s status following a card-check authorization:

Lamons Gasket Co., focuses on the new bargaining relationship created by an employer’s voluntary recognition of a union based on a showing of support by a majority of employees. For over forty years, federal law had barred challenges to a union’s representative status for a “reasonable period” following voluntary recognition, in order to give the new bargaining relationship a chance to succeed. In its 2007 decision in Dana Corp., the Board allowed for an immediate challenge to the union’s status by 30% of employees or a rival union.

The Board also reversed the MV Transportation ruling expanding employers ability to challenge a union’s status follow a sale/ merger:

UGL-UNICCO Service Company, looks at the period following a change of ownership of a company with a unionized workforce. It overrules the 2002 Board decision in MV Transportation, which created an immediate window after the sale or merger for the union’s status to be challenged by 30% of employees, the new employer, or a rival union. The MV Transportation decision in turn reversed a 1999 decision in St. Elizabeth Manor, Inc., under which the new bargaining relationship between the incumbent union and the new employer was held to be protected for a reasonable period of time without a challenge to the union’s representative status.

The Board also certified what defines an appropriate bargaining unit for non-acute healthcare facilities:

The 3-to-1 decision in Specialty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center of Mobile finds that Certified Nursing Assistants at a nursing home may comprise an appropriate unit without including all other nonprofessional employees. It overrules the Board’s 1991 decision in Park Manor, which had adopted a special test for bargaining unit determinations in nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other non-acute health care facilities.

All three decisions fell along the typical 3-1 split.

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