7041 Koll Center Parkway, Suite 240, Pleasanton, CA 94566
Garcia & Gurney, ALC Garcia & Gurney, ALC
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A Unionized Workforce: Then and Now

A Unionized Workforce: Then and Now

When labor unions were first created, their purpose was to protect a labor force that was being overworked and often underpaid due to the overbearing demands of employers. Much has changed, however, since these unions were first created and many argue that they are no longer needed in the same capacity as before. Unionized labor is still a big issue in California and employers need to be cautious when entering into new collective bargaining agreements. If an employer does not fully understand the potential impact of mistakes in such agreements, it may open itself to serious liability later in the employment relationship.

Collective Bargaining Agreement: Crucial Points

Agreements between an employer and a labor union governing the rules that apply to its employees are typically called collective bargaining agreements. These contracts are legally binding and lay out the terms and conditions that apply to employees who are subjected to the agreement. These employees are called “bargaining unit employees” and cannot engage in direct employment negotiations with an employer as that falls within the direct responsibilities placed on the representative union.  Some standard provisions that are included in a collective bargaining agreement include terms outlining the rules that apply to wages, management rights, employee health and safety, overtime, work hours, and even the rules that apply to grievance procedures. Such agreements also typically require that the parties engage in mandatory arbitration under certain circumstances rather than bring their grievances to court.

Potential Liability

Errors made by an employer in the negotiation phase when entering into a collective bargaining agreement can lead to serious consequences later on in the employment relationship. For example, a poorly crafted provision could provide an employee with the ability to strike or accuse an employer of abusive practices in a court of law rather than in a mandatory arbitration proceeding. Without a skillfully crafted agreement, an employer’s relationship with its employees may be unbalanced, leading to costly strikes or labor issues. Another complication that employers may face in the future is that many employees in unionized workplaces have discovered that modern unions no longer fully represent their interests in the way that they once did. 

One group of California teachers has recently taken their dissatisfaction to the Supreme Court.  According to reports of the lawsuit, teachers have taken issue with the political motivations behind the Union that was supposed to represent their interests over all others. Questions that will likely need to be answered by the Court include what exactly is the role of a Union and whether the collective bargaining agreements it enters into on behalf of the thousands of employees actually benefit those employees rather than the Union itself. 

Representation

If your company has employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, make sure you have your interests fully protected. The professionals at Garcia & Gurney can guide your leaders through the negotiation process and ensure that your company is represented by experienced attorneys.

When labor unions were first created, their purpose was to protect a labor force that was being overworked and often underpaid due to the overbearing demands of employers. Much has changed, however, since these unions were first created and many argue that they are no longer needed in the same capacity as before. Unionized labor is still a big issue in California and employers need to be cautious when entering into new collective bargaining agreements. If an employer does not fully understand the potential impact of mistakes in such agreements, it may open itself to serious liability later in the employment relationship.

Collective Bargaining Agreement: Crucial Points

Agreements between an employer and a labor union governing the rules that apply to its employees are typically called collective bargaining agreements. These contracts are legally binding and lay out the terms and conditions that apply to employees who are subjected to the agreement. These employees are called “bargaining unit employees” and cannot engage in direct employment negotiations with an employer as that falls within the direct responsibilities placed on the representative union.  Some standard provisions that are included in a collective bargaining agreement include terms outlining the rules that apply to wages, management rights, employee health and safety, overtime, work hours, and even the rules that apply to grievance procedures. Such agreements also typically require that the parties engage in mandatory arbitration under certain circumstances rather than bring their grievances to court.

Potential Liability

Errors made by an employer in the negotiation phase when entering into a collective bargaining agreement can lead to serious consequences later on in the employment relationship. For example, a poorly crafted provision could provide an employee with the ability to strike or accuse an employer of abusive practices in a court of law rather than in a mandatory arbitration proceeding. Without a skillfully crafted agreement, an employer’s relationship with its employees may be unbalanced, leading to costly strikes or labor issues. Another complication that employers may face in the future is that many employees in unionized workplaces have discovered that modern unions no longer fully represent their interests in the way that they once did. 

One group of California teachers has recently taken their dissatisfaction to the Supreme Court.  According to reports of the lawsuit, teachers have taken issue with the political motivations behind the Union that was supposed to represent their interests over all others. Questions that will likely need to be answered by the Court include what exactly is the role of a Union and whether the collective bargaining agreements it enters into on behalf of the thousands of employees actually benefit those employees rather than the Union itself. 

Representation

If your company has employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement, make sure you have your interests fully protected. The professionals at Garcia & Gurney can guide your leaders through the negotiation process and ensure that your company is represented by experienced attorneys.

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Garcia & Gurney, ALC
7041 Koll Center Parkway, Suite 240
Pleasanton, CA, 94566 USA
925-468-0400