Minority Bargaining: Background and Prospects

By August 18, 2007Labor Unions

Organized labor’s recent push for “minority bargaining” is drawing more and more attention, a welcome development given the extreme nature of the petition to the NLRB. Who would have thought the United Steel Workers would be so outré?

Michael Fox of Ogletree-Deakins, blogging at Employerslawyer, provides lots of background and useful links. Fox practices in Texas and he obviously has some familiarity with the SMU professor emeritus, Charlie Morris, who propounds the theory that the 1935 National Labor Relations Act requires employers to negotiate with even a minority within a bargaining unit. (Morris’ book is “The Blue Eagle at Work: Reclaiming Democratic Rights in the American Workplace” — Is this the full text via Google? So that’s what all the talk about Google’s attack on copyrights is about.)

Fox concludes:

The general consensus, which I share, is that this is a non-starter with the current NLRB, but is another agenda item if the political winds in Washington should shift. That agenda is beginning to grow, so much so that it probably merits its own category, the 2009 agenda.

The 2009 agenda? Sigh…He’s surely right. And it’s looking like a pretty radical agenda.

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