• U.S.

LABOR: Week of Decisions

2 minute read

The National Labor Relations Board last week issued a handful of precedent-setting decisions. Among them:

¶ A union must honor an arbitration clause in a contract. The A.F.L. Teamsters Union refused to obey such a clause in a contract with W. L. Mead, Inc. of Boston, went on strike anyway. The company fired the strikers, and the board upheld it.

¶ The NLRB ruled that it did not have the power to force a labor union, when it is an employer, to use fair labor practices. In Portland. Ore., when the Teamsters Union discovered that its 23 office workers wanted to join an A.F.L. Office Employees Union, it fired five, threatened the rest. NLRB decided that a union, as a nonprofit organization, is not under NLRB jurisdiction.

¶ A union cannot legally send investigators to make “on-the-spot” examinations of job classifications. When a union tried to do this at a Westinghouse plant, the company refused to allow the investigators to enter, was upheld by the board.

¶ A company cannot insist on a contract guaranteeing a prestrike secret ballot of all workers, union and nonunion. The Borg-Warner division in Wooster, Ohio tried to write such a contract with the U.A.W.-C.I.O.. but the board ruled the clause illegal because a vote by union and nonunion workers would dilute the union’s bargaining powers and rights.

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