Union workers and employers often face unique labor law issues with regard to collective bargaining agreements (CBA), negotiations relating to a CBA, the collective organization of union workers if a CBA fails to go through, and administrative proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board.
Here at Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval, LLP, our Houston labor lawyers have advocated for both employers and union workers in a variety of disputes. As such, we have a deep understanding of how to effectively navigate the administrative processes associated with union and labor disputes, and are well-equipped to achieve favorable results for our clients in a range of circumstances.
State Labor Protections
The rights of union workers are protected to a significant degree in Texas, as it is a right-to-work state. Pursuant to the Texas Labor Code, an employee cannot be subject to adverse employment consequences as a consequence of their membership (or non-membership) in a union. Workers are protected from various threats, acts of coercion, and intimidation by their employers, and are entitled to organize regardless of whether a CBA has been signed and executed with the employer.
The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) prohibits employers from interfering with, restraining, coercing, or retaliating against employees who are exercising their rights pursuant to the Act. Similarly, union workers may not have their right to organize and work together to improve the conditions of their employment interfered with by the labor organization with which they are associated.
Good Faith Bargaining
Collective bargaining agreements help bring disparate parties to the table to discuss issues relating to wages, hours, leave, benefits, safety, and more — eventually reaching a compromise that is satisfactory for all involved. The failure of an employer and union workers to agree and execute a CBA is not necessarily destructive to long-term goodwill, but often gives rise to serious disputes that will be litigated through administrative processes before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Over the course of CBA negotiations, each party has a duty to bargain in good faith. Whether the CBA was bargained for in good faith is a determination that depends on the totality of the circumstances. The NLRB will assess the circumstances and determine whether each party actively participated in negotiations and whether each party held an actual, sincere intention to reach an agreement. Reasonable efforts must have been exerted to find common ground.
At Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval, LLP, our Houston labor lawyers have comprehensive labor and employment law experience with a diverse range of clients: individual entrepreneurs, small businesses, large Fortune 500 companies, employees, employers, and union-associated workers. The collective experience of our labor lawyers informs our representation in disputes between union workers and employers, helping us negotiate effective compromises and provide cost-effective guidance as we move through administrative and litigation processes.
We recognize that our clients have unique objectives and budget constraints. Here at Berg Plummer Johnson & Raval, LLP, we partner with clients to develop customized fee arrangements that are tailored to their particular goals and budget, thus minimizing the cost uncertainty typical of legal representation in sophisticated matters.