Employment Law and Labor Relations

complete the following case questions/hypothetical scenarios for up to 5 points each (25 points total):
A. Glassco manufactures bottles and jars for the food processing industry. Most of the employees work on production lines tending molding machines that extrude the containers. Glassco also employs some skilled glassblowers, who create crystal decanters. The glassblowers are skilled artisans who work in a separate area of the plant and fashion the decanters using molten glass and rudimentary hand tools. Because of their specialized skills, glassblowers have a higher pay scale that the production workers. All Glassco employees are represented by the International Molders Union in a single bargaining unit. The glassblowers feel their interests are not being represented adequately by the union because there are only a handful of glassblowers, compared to more than 100 production workers. The glassblowers file a petition with the NLRB to form their own union, the Glass Artisans Guild. What factors will the NLRB consider in making its decision as to whether this work group should have its own unit? How should the NLRB decide the case? Explain.
B. St. Margaret Mercy Hospital maintained a written policy prohibiting solicitation and distribution in all patient care areas, including hallways adjacent to patients’ rooms and other areas frequented by patients. The policy specifically permitted these activities in non-work areas and during non-work time, and solicitations for charitable donations, collections for birthday gifts, and sales of items such as Girl Scout cookies and Avon products commonly occurred at the nurses’ stations. During a union organizing campaign, a nurse was disciplined after she approached another nurse seated at the nurses’ station in the intensive care unit to see if she wanted to sign a union authorization card. The hospital cited proximity to patients and the potential to upset patients as grounds for the disciplinary action. Has the hospital violated the NLRA? Explain.
C. An employer installed hidden video cameras in an area where employees often took breaks. Although the facility was unionized, the company did not give the union notice of the cameras being installed. As a result of the monitoring, the company discovered widespread misconduct among the employees, including illegal drug use in the break area. The employees whose misconduct had been recorded were terminated. The union challenged the terminations, arguing that the company had been required to provide the union with notice and an opportunity to bargain about the installation of the hidden cameras. The company countered that telling the union about the cameras would have eliminated their effectiveness and that the misconduct would not have been discovered. Which party has the better argument? Why?
D. During bargaining over a new contract, the company made proposals for smaller wage increases, discontinuation of employer 401(k) contributions, and elimination of company-provided meals. When the union represenative asked whether the company could not afford the union’s request for increased wages and benefits, the general manager responded that “things are tough” and that “No, I can’t. I’d go broke.” The union requested to see financial records, but the general manager refused and stated in a letter that “at no time have I ever told you that we cannot afford your proposals.” During another bargaining session, the general manager responded to a union question about whether business was really as bad as she was suggesting by stating “Have you seen sales lately?” A union request for corroborating financial information again was rejected. Has this employer committed an unfair labor practice? Explain.
E. During a union organizing campaign, two employees eating lunch in the dining room asked other employees whether they would like to sign cards indicating their support for the union. An HR manager also was eating lunch and observed the encounter. She approached the employees and said “I would like to make sure that you have all of the facts before you sign that card.” She went on to explain that the cards were “legal and binding” and that they would have to pay union dues if the union won an election. She also stated that there was no guarantee that the union would be able to obtain improvements in health benefits. The entire conversation lasted about eight minutes. In a second incident in the dining room, an employee was signing a union authorization card and a different HR manager came up and said that the employee “shouldn’t be signing things that she wasn’t sure about because what she was signing was something like a contract” and that the organizer was “probably promising something that [the union] wasn’t going to be able to give her.” Did the employiquer violate the NLRA? Explain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>