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Labor — unilateral changes

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit


Labor — unilateral changes

Where an employer unilaterally changed conditions of employment while certification was pending, the union is entitled to an injunction restoring the work conditions.

“During the delay between the 2007 election and the 2010 certification, ARC made several changes in its union-represented employees’ terms and conditions of employment. The changes were made without notice to or bargaining with the new Union. The many unilateral changes made by ARC included: suspending employees’ merit pay increases; discontinuing its matching contributions to the employees’ 401(k) plan; closing its defined pension plan to new employees; changing health insurance benefits; promoting team leaders to team supervisors and having them continue to perform unit work; reassigning truck loading and unloading work outside the bargaining unit; decreasing the number of personal time-off hours an employee can carry over from year to year; and allowing non-unit employees to perform bargaining unit work.”

“The Union Director and NLRB filed suit, seeking interim injunctive relief from the unilateral ARC working condition changes, pending completion of the Board’s administrative proceedings against ARC. The administrative law judge (ALJ) held that ARC violated § 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act (the Act), 29 U.S.C. § 158(a)(5), by making these unilateral changes. ARC argued that it could make these changes because the Union was not yet certified due to the pending objections that ARC itself filed. This claim is contrary to well-established NLRB law.”

Affirmed in part, and Reversed in part.

12-1264 & 12-1362 Harrell v. American Red Cross

Appeals from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois, Shadid, J., Cudahy, J.

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