Industrial or Labor Relations

labor relations and collective bargainingOrganizations are made up of powerful and divergent sub-groups, each with its own legitimate loyalties, set of objectives and leaders. Most often, the two central parties are the management and unions/employees. In a perfect world, these groups which comprise the workforce should work as a team, a partnership, on a single lane highway to mutual productivity, prosperity, and success. But the world is far from perfect. Management and labor are frequently at odds. While it does not have to be this way, it often is the reality. Conflicts arise as a result of these traditionally opposing forces. When it comes time to evaluate and modify an organization’s terms and conditions of employment, it is critical that management and labor seek reliable and expert counsel. To this end, the labor lawyers at Gilbert Law Group provide daily counsel regarding workplace policies, procedures, Employee Handbooks, and the myriad issues which arise in the workplace.

In a union setting, collective bargaining is a method of negotiations between employers and employees that seeks to achieve an agreement by which to administer working conditions, compensation, and benefits. The collective agreements reached by these negotiations usually set out wage rates and scales, working hours, training, health, welfare and retirement benefits, seniority, qualifications, overtime, and grievance mechanisms. They may even define management and employee rights to participate in workplace or company affairs.

Section 8(d) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) specifies that “to bargain collectively” is the “mutual obligation of the employer and the representative of the employees to meet at reasonable times and confer in good faith with respect to wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment.” But what does it mean to bargain in “good faith?” What conduct does this obligation prohibit, and what behavior does it require, in order to fulfill the statutory mandate and promote cooperation between the parties, while still allowing recourse to economic weapons that may ultimately decide the dispute?

Accordingly, the function of management may either be to implement and control, or persuade and coordinate. Unions which are recognized or certified are considered to be the exclusive representative of employees. As experts in labor relations and negotiations, Gilbert Law Group excels at meeting the needs and goals of its clients in all aspects of labor-related and employment matters.

In industrial or labor relations, conflict is natural and inevitable. It can be addressed by collective bargaining. Collective bargaining is not necessarily a bad thing. If managed properly, collective bargaining could manifest growth and positive change.

Gilbert Law Group is unique insofar as we have decades of experience involving a diverse clientele in a myriad number of cases and disputes involving every conceivable labor and employment law matter. We pride ourselves in resolving disputes quickly, amicably, and as cost-effectively as possible. Unfortunately, a quick resolution is not always feasible. In those situations, clients rely on our successful track record spanning decades in the various forums the law provides to adjudicate labor or employment-related disputes. We have vast experience in federal and state courts, at both the trial and appellate levels, as well as at such government agencies as the NLRB, EEOC, PERB, and NYS Division of Human Rights. Whether the claim involves private sector, not-for-profit, or public sector/governmental employers, trade or multi-employer associations, and unions, we have been there – providing knowledgeable, aggressive, and effective representation for our clients.

Our firm’s history, spanning 35 years, lends itself well to handling any workplace situation which may present itself. We have handled or supervised comprehensive collective bargaining negotiations for a wide array of clients. Negotiations often involve unions, large multi-employer associations, municipalities, and other public institutions. Our decades of experience is an advantage that distinguishes our firm from others. We understand the nuances, intricacies, positions, and competing interests that are in play during negotiations. As a result, our labor attorneys have developed unique labor relations strategies to advance our clients’ position, achieving workable solutions to oftentimes thorny labor-management issues.
Labor Law Services:

  • Collective Bargaining
  • Daily Labor Relations Counseling
  • Contract Interpretation and Administration
  • Wage and Hour Claims
  • Unfair Labor Practices
  • Department of Labor Audits, Investigations, and Hearings
  • ERISA (including compensation and benefits counseling)
  • NLRB and other Agency Proceedings
  • Pension and Health and Welfare Funds Administration
  • Union Governance and Compliance
  • Arbitration and Mediation
  • Litigation of Labor Disputes
  • Administrative Proceedings
  • Daily Advice and Counsel
  • Whistleblowing
  • Lobbying
  • Union Organizing
  • Union Elections
  • Civil Rights Matters

CONTACT Gilbert Law Group today: 631.630.0100.