Collective Bargaining

The Collective Bargaining Process

Collective bargaining is the process of negotiation between one or more employers and a union representing employees, in an attempt to reach agreement on a a collective bargaining contract to govern the wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment for the employees in the bargaining unit represented by the union.

Under the National Labor Relations Act, an employer and a union representing its employees must both bargain in good faith. Good faith bargaining is a somewhat elusive and vague concept that has been defined by the NLRB and courts in great detail over the years.

Good-faith negotiation requires reasonable efforts to reach agreement, but ultimately there is no obligation to enter into a contract if the parties are unable to agree despite such efforts.

Succeeding in the Collective Bargaining Process

Many elements contribute to a company’s success in collective bargaining negotiations, including:

  • Carefully preparing proposals for a collective bargaining agreement
  • Thoughtfully reviewing union contract proposals and crafting appropriate counter-proposals
  • Assessing the potential impact of a strike or other union action and preparing to respond to it
  • Complying with the duty to bargain in good faith throughout the collective bargaining process

How We Can Help

The attorneys of Harris Dowell Fisher & Harris, L.C., have many years of experience in all aspects of the collective bargaining process and have bargained with numerous unions in a wide variety of industries.

We frequently assist clients in preparing and planning for bargaining and possible union action. We also directly represent clients at bargaining sessions, and if necessary help them respond to union action.

Contact us to discuss how we may best assist you in this regard.

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