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Labor Management Relations

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Partnering with you in dealing with organized labor.

Organized labor presents unique and difficult challenges in any workplace. Union organizing efforts, the collective bargaining process, and labor-related litigation can significantly impact your reputation, operations, productivity, and budgets. Your business needs a trusted and experienced advisor, a strong negotiator at the bargaining table, and a skilled litigator when labor disputes reach the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the courts, or an arbitrator.

HOW WE HELP

Labor management relations is in our DNA. Since Seyfarth was founded in 1945, employers have trusted us with their high-stakes collective bargaining, litigation, and advisory needs. We have even expanded our practice to Australia, bringing our keen understanding of labor relations to the international stage. We are dedicated to representing employers and championing the interests of management in their relationships with organized labor.  

Our services encompass the entire range of labor relations matters, including: representation/decertification elections; collective bargaining; interest arbitration; unfair labor practice litigation, injunction proceedings, and other labor litigation; grievance-handling and labor arbitration; strikes and lockouts; consumer boycotts; corporate campaigns; and advice and strategic planning on other labor relations matters.

Collective Bargaining. Whether a first contract or renewing an existing labor agreement, contract negotiations present both challenges and opportunities. Employers regularly turn to us for help with strategic issues, obtaining operational changes, understanding and maximizing employer leverage, developing a negotiation strategy and proposals, and dealing with bargaining-related litigation when it arises.

Our collective bargaining representation includes serving as lead negotiator at the bargaining table as well as advising employers who conduct their own negotiations.

Employers involved in collective bargaining must be ready for a potential labor dispute, and we have extensive experience representing employers in strikes, lockouts, picketing, or other labor disputes. During pre-bargaining preparations, we assist employers in the creation of plans that meet their needs in the event of a labor dispute. And if there is a disruption, we are at our clients’ side to provide lawful and effective responses to different union tactics in real time as they occur.

Union Organizing. Much is at stake when a union is trying to organize an employer’s workforce. In these times of high stakes and even higher stress, employers turn to us for strategic advice and representation.

We train our clients in the nuances of labor law so they can articulate their views on unions while staying within the bounds of the law. We also advise employers seeking to make important and sometimes difficult operational decisions while union organizing is underway, and we represent our clients before the NLRB and the National Mediation Board (NMB) in matters involving union representation.

We also have one of the most extensive practices in the US defending against corporate campaigns, neutrality and card-check demands, consumer boycott activity, and other innovative union pressure tactics. Just as important, even before there are signs of organizing activity, we advise on creating a positive employee experience that may make your business less of a target for union organizing.

Arbitration and Other Litigation. We are leaders when it comes to representing management in all types of labor litigation, whether before an arbitrator, a court, or a government agency. Our arbitration experience spans the full spectrum of issues that can arise in the union setting, whether they involve contract interpretation, discipline, or interest disputes.

We also have tried and argued labor relations cases before the US Supreme Court, federal and state courts throughout the country, the NLRB, the NMB, and state labor boards.

THE SEYFARTH EXPERIENCE

We leverage our in-depth knowledge of the law, the major unions, and the relevant federal agencies to provide the highest quality counsel and representation to employers ranging from Fortune 500 firms to middle-market businesses to privately held ventures.

Through us, our clients have a seat at the table as important labor decisions are being made on the hill—whether we are submitting influential comments to the Department of Labor and NLRB in connection with rulemaking, handling the lead case on joint employer issues before the DC Circuit, or representing the US Chamber of Commerce in the Supreme Court, we are involved at the ground level.

Our team includes a former member of the NLRB, the former executive secretary of the NLRB, and multiple other attorneys who have previously served as lawyers for the agency.