Traditional Labor |
After a long and steady decline, the labor movement is alive and well in America, enjoying greater success in organizing new employees and winning National Labor Relations Board elections. In 2008 alone, union membership grew by almost a half million—the largest increase since the government began keeping records in 1983. Now, with the Obama administration in power, the labor movement has advocates in the highest offices in the land. If more labor-friendly legislation is passed, such as the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), unions will be stronger than ever.
Developing and maintaining productive employee relations is more important than ever. Employers who do not currently have a union presence will need to take action if they wish to preserve that status. Addressing issues that arise during a union campaign can present unique challenges to preserving both employee morale and an employer's economic sustainability.
For those employers with established union relationships, the challenge is to establish or maintain positive working relationships with union representatives where possible while at the same time retaining management's ability to operate the business and be financially successful—an outcome that is critical for both the employer and the workforce.
Perkins Coie's Labor & Employment lawyers have a unique wealth of experience born from decades of representing employers of all sizes who have union issues, from organizing campaigns to negotiating labor agreements to responding to strikes and picketing. We have been at the bargaining table for some of the largest union employers in the United States. Not only have we directly negotiated collective bargaining agreements, we have also worked closely with management to develop strike contingency plans, effectively manage strike activities and defend unfair labor practice proceedings and related litigation before the National Labor Relations Board and in state and federal court. We routinely provide cost-effective representation in arbitrations under collective bargaining agreements, relying upon our substantial courtroom experience to achieve favorable outcomes for our clients.