Monopoly Bargaining Strips Union Nonmembers of ‘Valuable . . . Rights’

Stan Greer, Program Director for the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, reviews Supreme Court decisions which have acknowledged union nonmembers are denied valuable rights
under monopoly bargaining contracts.

For more than 70 years, federal courts have concocted an array of excuses to avoid finding  as unconstitutional federal and state statutes that force employers to recognize a single union as the monopoly-bargaining agent of all their front-line employees, including employees who choose not to join the union, on matters concerning pay, benefits, and work rules.

Courts have refused to overturn laws that prohibit an employer and a union nonmember from negotiating with one another with regard to workplace issues without Big Labor interference, even if both of the potential negotiating partners are willing.  But courts have never been so brazen as to claim directly that bans on individual negotiations are instituted for the benefit of employees who don’t want a union.