Labor Relations and Union Avoidance

Labor Relations and Union Avoidance

Taft’s Labor Relations and Union Avoidance practice has decades of experience representing public and private employers, both large and small, in the important relationship between management and unions. Whether facing a union organizing campaign, bargaining for a new labor agreement or trying to remain competitive under the terms of an existing contract, management’s approach must be considered at every step. And because all employers are increasingly expected to accomplish more with less, innovative solutions are often necessary. We provide thoughtful, creative advice in collective bargaining, union avoidance, NLRB cases, strike and lockout activities, grievance arbitration, labor litigation and all other aspects of traditional labor law.

Taft’s labor attorneys have also kept pace with the evolving tactics that unions have come to favor in seeking new members. Corporate campaigns and top down unionization initiatives have become common. These tactics require carefully tailored responses, and our attorneys have helped develop comprehensive programs to address the aggressive, nontraditional approaches that some unions now take.

Labor relations in the public sector can pose other difficulties for employers. The focus on serving the general public, as opposed to the private sector’s profit-driven management style, can significantly alter an employer’s priorities when faced with a union organization campaign or with collective bargaining. Further, the long-term budget forecasting models often used in the private sector may be incompatible with a budgeting system controlled by a legislature or other third party, creating unique challenges when trying to forecast future revenues in connection with bargaining decisions. Taft’s labor and employment attorneys have a long history of representing cities, counties, villages, school boards, universities and other public institutions in successfully managing the unique challenges and dynamics of a public sector bargaining relationship.

Taft's long history representing employers with unionized work forces includes substantial representation with benefits issues unique to an employer's union relationship, including potential withdrawal liability, MEPPA liability issues and other matters relating to rules required of Taft-Hartley plans. Our attorneys have experience both in lawsuits and in arbitration where these issues are litigated.

Taft’s Labor attorneys are recognized in publications such as Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Business Lawyers, and Indiana, Illinois and Ohio Super Lawyers. These accolades follow upon the legacy that began with the Labor department’s founder, J. Mack Swigert, who worked with the late Senator Robert A. Taft to level the playing field for employers with the Taft-Hartley amendments to the National Labor Relations Act.

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