Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

The full case caption appears at the end of this opinion.

Posner, Circuit Judge. When a union wins anelection to be the exclusive bargainingrepresentative of a group of workers, theemployer becomes duty-bound to bargain in goodfaith with the union. 29 U.S.C. sec. 158(a)(5).The aim of the bargaining process is to negotiatea collective bargaining agreement that willdefine the terms and conditions of employment ofthe represented workers during the term of theagreement. There is no duty to agree, however,and if the parties deadlock (reach “impasse,” inthe jargon of labor law), the employer is free tooperate his business as he did before bargainingbegan, and therefore he may alter the terms andconditions of the workers’ employment. E.g.,Litton Financial Printing Div. v. NLRB, 501 U.S.190, 198 (1991); Lapham-Hickey Steel Corp., 904F.2d 1180, 1185 (7th Cir. 1990). He can also dothis if the union takes steps to delay or avoidbargaining or if the alteration is necessary toavoid serious hardship to the employer. E.g.,Vincent Industrial Plastics, Inc. v. NLRB, 209F.3d 727, 734 (D.C. Cir. 2000); Visiting NurseServices of Western Mass., Inc. v. NLRB, 177 F.3d52, 57-58 (1st Cir. 1999). But if there is nodeadlock, no foot-dragging by the union, and noexigency requiring an immediate change in theterms or conditions of employment to stave offdisaster, the employer may not make such a changeunilaterally. Litton Financial Printing Div. v.NLRB, supra, 501 U.S. at 198. This is animportant rule. The overriding goal of federallabor law is labor peace, and is promoted whenthe parties to a labor dispute avoid a test ofstrength involving a strike or a lockout bynegotiating a collective bargaining agreement,which will standardly include a no-strike clause,thus assuring labor peace during the term of theagreement (usually three years) and setting thestage for future renewals of the agreement.Anything that interferes with the negotiationprocess and makes reaching agreement less likelyinterferes with this goal.

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.

More From ALM

Premium Subscription

With this subscription you will receive unlimited access to high quality, online, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry. This is perfect for attorneys licensed in multiple jurisdictions or for attorneys that have fulfilled their CLE requirement but need to access resourceful information for their practice areas.
View Now

Team Accounts

Our Team Account subscription service is for legal teams of four or more attorneys. Each attorney is granted unlimited access to high quality, on-demand premium content from well-respected faculty in the legal industry along with administrative access to easily manage CLE for the entire team.
View Now

Bundle Subscriptions

Gain access to some of the most knowledgeable and experienced attorneys with our 2 bundle options! Our Compliance bundles are curated by CLE Counselors and include current legal topics and challenges within the industry. Our second option allows you to build your bundle and strategically select the content that pertains to your needs. Both options are priced the same.
View Now

Pennsylvania Legal Awards (PALA) 2023

June 14, 2023
Philadelphia, PA

The Legal Intelligencer honors lawyers leaving a mark on the legal community in Pennsylvania with their dedication to law.

Learn More

Consulting Top Consultants 2023

June 15, 2023
New York, NY

Consulting Magazine identifies consultants that have the biggest impact on their clients, firms and the profession.

Learn More

Southeastern Legal Awards (SLA) 2023

June 22, 2023
Atlanta, GA

The Daily Report is honoring those attorneys and judges who have made a remarkable difference in the legal profession.

Learn More


Farber, Brocks & Zane, LLP is seeking to add legal talent to its active and growing insurance coverage practice group. For our Garden Ci...

Apply Now ›

Litigation Associate - New York

4-6 Years Minimum Experience with General Liability defense, Property Damage, Labor Law defense. Must be admitted in NY and NJ. Trial experi...

Apply Now ›

Insurance Defense Associate Workers Compensation New York

Downtown AV-rated insurance defense law firm seeks an associate with 2 to 8 years of Workers Compensation insurance defense experience. Req...

Apply Now ›



SCHIRMER LAW LLC Celebrating 7 years of Excellent Service

View Announcement ›



Pond Lehocky Giordano LLP would like to announce that....

View Announcement ›



HARTMANN DOHERTY ROSA BERMAN & BULBULIA LLC's Matrimonial & Family Practice Warmly Welcomes the Honorable Peter J. Melchionne (Ret.) to Lead its New Family Law Dispute Resolution Team.

View Announcement ›