November 10th, 2014
Employer unfair labor practices (ULPs) are violations of worker and union rights under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and similar public sector collective bargaining laws. For many unions, they are a familiar experience.
Some, however, have discovered that a ULP can be a gift in disguise, providing a defense against the most dangerous employer weapons. A union that plays its cards right can use ULPs to help win contract campaigns, strikes, and other confrontations.
THREE HEAVY BLOWS
Risks are always present during union struggles. But the following scenarios are particularly threatening:
- After a few bargaining sessions, the employer announces that negotiations “have reached impasse” and that it will be carrying out its final offer with substantial cuts to wages, benefits, and other conditions of employment.
- The union goes on strike. Within days or weeks, the employer hires permanent replacements for striking workers...