Union Prevention and Negotiation in WA

Helping employers maintain control of their businesses

Unionization is a major concern that companies face, especially those with large workforces or who rely upon employees with unique skills. But unions have numerous protections under federal law and the conduct of employers during union campaigns is subject to intense scrutiny. If your employees are considering unionization or have recently certified a union, it is crucial that you contact an experienced employment attorney in Bellingham immediately. The law firm of Adelstein, Sharpe & Serka LLP has been helping employers deal with unionization for more than 38 years. Our attorneys can help you understand your rights and obligations during union elections and can help you effectively negotiate should the union receive certification.

Employer conduct during union elections

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) closely regulates employers’ conduct once a union campaign has begun. Many of these requirements are fairly clear, such as prohibitions against threats or retaliation against employees or the union proponents and leaders among their ranks. But some are more unexpected. For instance, giving employees pay raises or other benefits during a union campaign can be prohibited as an unfair labor practice under some circumstances. This concept — known in employment law circles as “the fist inside the velvet glove” — essentially assumes that benefits conferred during a union campaign are an attempt to improperly influence union elections and are a veiled threat, reminding employees that the employer can both give and take away.

This is just one example of the challenges that employers can face during a union campaign. When employers attempt to navigate this process without an experienced attorney, even seemingly innocent actions can have substantial consequences. But our attorneys work with employers to help them avoid legal pitfalls during union campaigns while still effectively presenting their cases to the workforce.

Effective and knowledgeable union negotiators in Bellingham, WA

Once a union becomes certified, the law obliges the employer to negotiate in good faith to establish a collective bargaining agreement. Failing to meet good faith requirements or other negotiation missteps can have severe consequences for employers, including charges of unfair labor practices, strikes, work stoppages and litigation. As experienced employment attorneys, we have the experience necessary to walk the delicate line in union negotiations while still fighting hard to protect your company’s management rights.

Experienced attorneys for union campaigns and negotiation

The attorneys of Adelstein, Sharpe & Serka LLP have represented numerous employers throughout Washington State during union campaigns and negotiations. From our offices in Bellingham, WA, we serve clients throughout Whatcom, Island, Skagit and San Juan counties and British Columbia, providing an alternative to the expensive and impersonal Seattle firms. Contact us today online or by calling 360.671.6565 to schedule a consultation.