Glossary of Union Terms:
- AGENT; BARGAINING AGENT
- A person acting for an employer or a union; a labor organization that is the exclusive representative of all employees in a bargaining unit, both union and non-union members.
- BARGAINING UNIT
- A grouping of employees that a union represents or seeks to represent and that is "appropriate" (criteria include being a community of interest, not including supervisors) for collective bargaining purposes.
- CHECK-CARD NEUTRALITY, CARD-CHECK
- Provision that an employer will recognize a union without an election if the majority of workers sign a petition or authorization cards indicating their support of the union.
- COLLECTIVE BARGAINING; COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT (CBA)
- A method of mutually determining wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment through negotiations between representatives of the employer and the union. The results of the bargaining are set forth in a collective bargaining agreement, or CBA.
- GOOD-FAITH BARGAINING
- The duty to approach negotiations with a sincere resolve to reach a collective bargaining agreement. This includes sending properly authorized representatives to bargaining sessions and meeting at reasonable times and places and as frequently as may be necessary to avoid major delays.
- Derogatory term for a union activist.
- GRIEVANCE, GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
- A formal complaint usually lodged by an employee or the union alleging a misinterpretation or improper application of one or more terms in a collective bargaining contract. The method for dealing with grievances is through a grievance procedure negotiated in the union contract. If a grievance cannot be settled at the supervisory level, it can be appealed to higher levels of management, and finally to arbitration if so provided.
- LABOR ORGAINZATION
- Any organization employees representation committee, in which employees participate and which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances, labor disputes, wages, rates of pay, hours of employment, or conditions of work.
- LANDRUM-GRIFFIN ACT
- Passed by the U.S. Congress in 1959 and officially known as the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, it resulted from improper relationships between management leadership and labor leadership. The act provided for the regulation of internal union affairs, including the regulation and control of union funds; it also restricted certain external union activities and authorized states to process cases that fall outside the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board.
- The attempt by an impartial third party to bring the parties in a dispute together and assist them in reaching settlement. The mediator, however, has no power to force or award a settlement but works instead to persuade the parties to reach agreement.
- MOHAWK VALLEY FORMULA
- This is basically the union-busting template still in use today. Thought to have been used first by the by the Remington Rand corporation in Ilion, New York during a strike in 1936-1937, the plan includes discrediting union leaders, frightening the public with the threat of violence, using local police and vigilantes to intimidate strikers, forming puppet associations of "loyal employees" to influence debate, fortifying workplaces, employing large numbers of replacement workers, and threatening to close the plant if work is not resumed.
- NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT (NLRA)/WAGNER ACT
- A 1935 United States federal law that limits how employers may react to private-sector workers who work to organize unions, engage in collective bargaining and take part in other activities in support of their demands. The key principles are encouraging collective bargaining, protecting workers' exercise of freedom of association, self-organization, and designation of representatives of their own choosing for the purpose of negotiating the terms and conditions of their employment.
- NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD (NLRB); NLRB ELECTION
- The NLRB is an independent agency of the United States government charged with conducting elections for labor union representation and with investigating and remedying unfair labor practices.
- A form of protest in which people congregate outside a place of work or location where an event is taking place to draw attention to a cause (sometimes called an informational picket) or dissuade others from going in.
- PROHIBITED PRACTICES
- The NLRA established things employers may not do related to union organizing:
- "RIGHT TO WORK"
- Refers to laws in some states that allow non-union employees to work at unionized workplaces without joining the union or paying regular union dues. These employees sometimes, but not always, have to pay unions for the portion of dues spent representing them, such as pursuing grievances on their behalf.
- Union representative of a group of fellow employees who carries out duties of the union within the workplace. The steward is usually either elected by other union members or appointed by higher union officials.
- A work stoppage used as a last resort when labor and management cannot reach an agreement.
- The Taft-Hartley Act (also known as the Labor-Management Relations Act) was passed over then-President Truman's veto in 1947. The act limited employees' ability to unionize by putting additional requirements on them for doing so and forbidding certain kinds of support from other unions. It also forbade unions from contributing to political campaigns and enabled the U.S. Attorney General to prevent strikes if they believed one "imperiled the national health or safety."
- TWENTY-FOUR HOUR RULE
- Employers and unions are prohibited from making election speeches on company time to massed assemblies of employees within 24 hours before the scheduled time for conducting an election.
- UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES (ULPS)
- A violation of any of the provisions of the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute. The most common employer ULP violations are in the categories of "duty to bargain" (usually failure to give the union notice of proposed changes in conditions of employment and/or engage in certain types of bargaining), Weingarten ULPs (see below) and failure to provide information
- Interfere, restrain, or coerce employees against union or collective activity Dominate the union Discriminate against employees who take part in union or collective activities Retaliate against employees who file unfair-labor-practice charges or cooperate with the NLRB Refuse to bargain in good faith with union representatives
Labor Law Codes