In cracking down on employers' communicating about NLRA Section 9(a), NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo seems to want her cake and to eat it too.
NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo wants employers, during union organizing campaigns, to fully explain employees’ Section 9(a) rights under the National Labor Relations Act to include explaining unionized employees’ right to present their own grievances or, if they don’t, employers could face unfair labor practice charges or election objections.
Specifically, Abruzzo wants employers discussing ‘exclusive representation’ to include the following:
Section 9(a) provides that any individual employee or a group of employees shall have the right at any time to present grievances to their employer and to have such grievances adjusted without the intervention of the bargaining representative provided:1. The adjustment is not inconsistent with the terms of any collective-bargaining agreement then in effect.2. The bargaining representative has been given the opportunity to be present at such adjustment. [Emphasis added.]
However, in her zeal to prosecute employers, GC Abruzzo may be overlooking the chilling effect that many collective bargaining agreements, as well as union constitutions, have on employees’ rights under Section 9(a).
For example, Article 14, Section 3, which is found on page 119 of the Teamsters’ constitution, states (in part):
“Every member covered by a collective bargaining agreement at their place of employment authorizes the Local Union to act as his or her exclusive bargaining representative with full and exclusive power to execute agreements with the employer governing terms and conditions of employment and to act for him or her and have final authority in presenting, processing, and adjusting any grievance, difficulty, or dispute arising under any collective bargaining agreement or out of their employment with such employer in such manner as the Local Union or its officers deem to be in the best interests of the Local Union, all subject to Article XII and other applicable provisions of the International Constitution relating to such matters.”
In this episode of Labor Relations Radio, host Peter List explores the General Counsel’s seemingly-contradictory theory that is only being applied to employers, and how it could be applied to unionized employers and unions as well.
For prior episodes of Labor Relations Radio, go here.
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