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Union Negotiations

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My husband's shop just voted to become part of a union. They are in the process of negotiating their first contract. The company just sent out a notice that they need to lay off one person from his shop.

He is the one who convinced the shop to unionize, and the company knows this. Before they even voted, they threatened his job.

Two other guys in the shop have volunteered to take the lay off. The company says that legally they can't allow either of these guys to take the lay off.

The company says the layoff is for financial reasons, but the work list is longer than it has ever been, and they aren't laying off any production employees (even thought production is down).

His work record is excellent, he has plant seniority (although not department seniority... which is their stance), he is trained in more union jobs than anyone else in the shop and he makes less money than either of the two guys who want to take the lay off (eliminating the financial reasons for choosing him).

Is there anything legal that can be done about this?

Can they lay people off during negotiations?



Based on what you wrote (and the apparent thorough investigation you have done), it seems that the employer is terminating that employee in retaliation for organizing the union. That is a violation of federal law.

So the bottom line is that your friend needs to consult with an employment attorney that specializes in public/union matters. You can find one at attorneypages.com.

Further, he needs to file a grievance with the union steward. Make sure that he follows carefully all the steps and timelines in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for grievances. This is vital and if not done can potentially foreclose any future remedies.

Mark B. Replogle

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