Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman Labor Laws and Union

2 Parts T/F 1 Part Essay

Part A –

  • True or False:Companies which would like to avoid unionization can hire only employees who pledge to refrain from union membership.
  • True or False:The worker must be part of the designated bargaining unit in order to vote in the election.
  • The underlying principle for the NLRB’s determination of an appropriate bargaining unit is that only employees who have ________ can be appropriately grouped in that unit.
    • the same number of years of total work experience
    • similar wages, hours, and working conditions
    • similar cultural and regional backgrounds
    • the same educational background
    • the same supervisor
  • True or False:If the bargaining unit has 100 people and 75 sign authorization cards, under the existing law, the election is waived and the union automatically wins.
  • True or False:If the bargaining unit has 100 people, at least 50 need to sign authorization cards in order for an NLRB-sponsored secret-ballot election to be conducted.
  • True or False:Given the most recent NLRB ruling, employees who have access to the company email system are restricted from using it for union organizing.
  • True or False:Neither labor nor management can be certain if a specific action will constitute an unfair labor practice under Section 8 because the politically-appointed NLRB changes its opinion.
  • True or False:If the bargaining unit has 100 people and 80 of them vote in a secret-ballot election, at least 41 must select the union in order for it to win.
  • Which of the following statements is TRUE of certification of a union by the NLRB using a secret-ballot election?
  • True or False: The certified union has exclusive bargaining rights and responsibilities for only those employees within the bargaining unit who join the union.

  • Once a union is certified by the NLRB, its status is binding on the employer for at least two years, during which time the employer must bargain with it.
  • It is mandatory for a certified union to undergo a recertification election every two years.
  • If a certified union fails to reach its first contract within two months of bargaining, it is penalized under the NLRA.
  • The NLRB will not entertain a rival certification petition for a bargaining unit represented by a certified union within the first year.

Part B- Case Analysis

For 3 years Jack Sandeen has worked for Crate Builders, an industrial plant that manufactures and sells high-tech packing containers in an employment-at-will state within the eastern United States.When he was hired, he believed he would receive training that would enable him to move from the factory floor into the supervisor’s role.The company experienced a downturn in revenue, however; and, along with 50 hourly workers, several managerial positions were eliminated.During restructuring, the boss’s son, Darrell Shelton, was appointed head of Jack’s department.There has been friction between Darrell and the rest of the staff.They don’t like the new scheduling and work quotas he has implemented.When Jack complained to Darrell that the required quota was too high, in front of the other workers, Darrell snidely reminded him that he was the supervisor, times were tough, and more people could be let go.

That evening, Jack went with a few of the guys to the local pub.A union organizer was at the bar and overheard the group complaining about Darrell.The organizer told them about their right to representation.He gave them his business card along with a few brochures to take home.The next week, Darrell found one of the brochures on the floor by the locked company bulletin board.The staff saw him crumple it and spike it into the trash can.He turned and glared at Jack.“You think you’re so smart.We’re watching you.We know about your little chat.”He bit back more words then walked into his office and slammed the door.

Several weeks later, Jack was called into the Human Resource Management office.He was informed that his production numbers were low and they needed to cut more staff so he was being let go.Jack asked to see the statistics for the department, but HR said that was proprietary information.When he asked who else was being fired, HR told him that was also private information.The guys at the bar told Jack later that they could not find anyone else who was terminated when he was.

  • True or False:The comment “We know about your little chat” would help management in a Wright Line test.
  • True or False:If Jack’s production numbers were higher than most, this data would support management in a Wright Line test.
  • True or False:Since this is an employment-at-will state and there is no union in place, management can legally terminate Jack without considering any Wright Line test results.
  • True or False:At work, Jack had a right to solicit other employees in his department to join the union as long as he did it during regular working hours and didn’t do it in front of customers.
  • True or False:The union would see the comment “We’re watching you” as an unfair labor practice under Section 8(a)1 of the NLRA.
  • True or False:Promoting Jack to supervisor in the last restructuring would have been a legal way to avoid his union participation.
  • True or False:The company can terminate a supervisor at any time for any reason if it does not have other policies or contracts that contradict that flexibility.
  • True or False:Terminating others who were not involved with the union at the same time Jack was let go would support the company’s position in an unfair labor practice charge.
  • True or False:Section 7 rights require the company to terminate those with less than the 3 years seniority Jack has before letting him go.
  • True or False:Darrell’s comments represent Budd’s concept of voice.

Part C – Case Analysis

The company operates about 700 convenience stores. A sales assistant at one of the company’s stores was murdered while on duty. The murder was widely publicized, and employees complained of inadequate security measures. As a result of the murder, 15 sales assistants telephoned the union requesting a union organization effort. The union sent representatives to 60 stores in the area where the murder had occurred and left union authorization cards. Two days later the company notified the union that an injunction had been issued during a prior union campaign prohibiting solicitation on company property.

The next workday, the company had a meeting with the store managers in the area and talked about the need to improve security. The company officials also discussed the union’s organization activities and reminded the managers of the “no solicitation” policy and stated that a union would not necessarily do the employees any good. Later that week, the company had an unprecedented meeting for all sales assistants. Approximately 200 sales assistants attended and were paid for their time. The company officials told the employees that they did not need a union and that the employees from the union could retrieve their authorization cards. The employees were asked to voice their complaints and the employees listed the following: getting less than 40 hours work per week; not having breaks; not being paid for overtime work; working alone at night; and poor lighting at the stores.

The next day the company sent a memo to all regional personnel directing that sales assistants should work a 40-hour workweek; canopy lights were installed at all the stores; a policy was adopted that no one would be required to work alone at night; and sales assistants began receiving wages for after-hours overtime work. The company posted “no solicitation” signs in all stores and directed that those signs be enforced; if the employees did not enforce the signs, they would lose their jobs. Later that month the company held further meetings with sales assistants, who again were paid for their time. They asked to select committee representatives to meet with management to discuss their complaints. Management officials left the room while the employees selected their representatives. The company made a list of the ten most frequently mentioned items from the employees’ recommended subjects for the committee to discuss.

Meanwhile, the union filed a representation petition with the NLRB seeking an election in a unit of all Summitt, Ohio sales assistants. The company president told the managers to tell the sales assistants that if they joined the union, the company would close those stores. The first meeting of the Employee Management Committee was held and the ten priority items were listed, granting employees a new vacation policy, improved health-care benefits, sick days, change in holiday hours for pay, recognition of seniority ranks, and improved security systems. Not long after that, the company sent an additional memo around announcing other improvements in life, major medical, and accident insurance plans, in addition to death and family benefits and a revised disciplinary appeal system.

The union wants to file a complaint with the NLRB.What “unfair labor practice” claim(s) could it make? For each one, what defense would the company give? Use the specific terms and concepts covered in this course to support your analysis. Please limit your response to a maximum of two and a half concisely written, double-spaced pages.

The basic outline for your answer will be:


Definition of an unfair labor practice


Unfair labor practice claim(s)

Union’s position for each

Company’s position for each

(Add as many rows as needed)



The chart is a tool to help you focus your thinking and to be sure that you provide both sides’ perspectives for each ULP.Your answer can be presented in it or via paragraphs.You are not required to incorporate the chart in your answer.Choose the method that explains your analysis clearly.

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