On February 2, 2017, the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision and order in the case of T-Mobile USA and CWA. In this case, T-Mobile, following substantial proof that the members of a collective bargaining unit no longer maintained majority support for representation by the CWA, pursued the strategy of continuing to honor the collective bargaining agreement but refused to negotiate over a successor agreement unless and until the representation issue was resolved.
A frequent question to lawyers who practice traditional labor law focuses on the recognition and bargaining obligations of employers who become successors to a business. When an employer merges with or acquires another business whose employees in a particular collective bargaining unit are represented by a union, certain obligations arise. If an employer qualifies as a successor in a situation in which it takes over the unionized business of another employer, the acquiring employer succeeds to the collective bargaining obligations of the former employer.
On December 12, 2014, NLRB announced the adoption of a final rule applying changes to the procedures for union representation cases. The new rule, labeled by some as the “quickie election” rule, will expedite the initial representation election process.