We work with clients to manage their union and non-union workforces and develop positive labor relations strategies to minimize the risk of labor disruption. We also regularly counsel clients on traditional labor matters, including protected concerted activity, solicitation and distribution, union access, labor relations policy development, persuader reporting obligations and management training.
For our clients without unionized workforces, we provide strategic guidance to minimize employee interest in union representation. Our approach is focused on reinforcing positive workforce communications and includes vulnerability audits, policy development and management-effectiveness analysis. If union activity occurs, we take action quickly to develop a client-specific response to organizing campaigns. Our team has helped clients prevail in more than 90 percent of union elections.
For clients with unionized workforces, we have experience representing management in negotiating collective bargaining agreements -- from initial preparation, financial analysis and strategy – to collective bargaining and documentation of a final agreement. When disputes occur, we counsel supervisors and management and, when necessary, defend management’s actions through grievance and arbitration. We have extensive experience representing management in unfair labor practice proceedings and have obtained injunctive relief to halt unlawful picketing, secondary boycotts and other illegal union activity.
These are some examples of recent victories our lawyers have obtained on behalf of clients:
- Convinced the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to issue an administrative complaint against a union for engaging in unlawful secondary activity (e.g., picketing and harassing customers and employees), at our client’s Boston store. We obtained a favorable settlement for our client, a national retailer, just prior to the scheduled hearing.
- Ended a 14-year legal process for an Illinois hospital following a contested representation election for its registered nurses through favorably resolving three outstanding unfair labor practice charges, advising our client throughout a four-month organizing campaign, obtaining the dismissal of all but three of 36 new ULP allegations, and, ultimately, convincing the union to withdraw its election petition.
- Obtained a preliminary injunction prohibiting mass picketing by the union and permitted our large retail client to complete construction of its new international headquarters.
- Avoided a strike and negotiated an agreement for a large health care client after 35 bargaining sessions. Afterward, we helped the client improve its negotiating strategy such that a new agreement was reached in 15 sessions, with overwhelming support and no threat of a strike.
- Represented a trailer manufacturer who after, a five-week election campaign, defeated an organizing effort.
- Solved a dispute for a major defense contractor with one of its major unions on a single complex issue that had not been resolved for more than eight years (despite the efforts of three other law firms engaged over that time), by strategizing and then implementing a satisfactory resolution, obtained with court approval.
- Successfully challenged an election petition seeking to organize a group of hospital employees under the health care bargaining unit rules, resulting in the withdrawal of the petition before the election.
- Advised a transportation maintenance company on avoiding joint employer status that could arise from a management agreement with a unionized workforce in Florida.
- Successfully represented a hospital client in defending an unfair labor practice charge alleging failure to bargain as a result of impasse and implementation of a final offer.
- Provided specialized labor counsel and assisted a health care system defeat a surprise union representation petition filed by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC) and assisted a labor relations team in handing the union its biggest defeat outside of California.
- Assisted a client in developing a strategic action plan to defend against union organizing activities and move forward with favorable employee relations initiatives at a newly acquired facility.