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UNION-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS

Effective union-management relations can create a competitive advantage for an employer. Thompson Coburn works with our clients to develop strategic and fair approaches to managing relationships with employees and unions.

Our union-management relations practice includes the representation of employers regarding unfair labor practice proceedings, grievance/arbitration matters and strike injunction cases. We represent employers before the National Labor Relations Board, state labor relations agencies and the federal courts. We also negotiate collective bargaining agreements for many clients. The firm’s experience includes matters arising under the National Labor Relations Act, the Railway Labor Act and other labor statutes.

Our partners are recognized for handling union elections and other union matters throughout the United States. Our successful approach to avoiding unions does not rely on anti-union sentiment, but rather on the fair and consistent treatment of all employees.

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Collective Bargaining/Grievance Handling/Strike Injunctions

Negotiated numerous collective bargaining agreements for a major paper distribution company throughout the United States and Canada.

Successfully defended discharge arbitrations for this paper distribution company in Pennsylvania and Nevada, as well as a Southern Illinois steel company.

Won contract interpretation arbitration cases for a variety of clients on issues such as work assignments and vacation policies.

Successfully defended lawsuits alleging bad faith actions by a major railroad involving its maintenance of way workers in Spring 2007 and 2008.

Overturned an adverse arbitration award issued against a railroad involving severance pay for employees who were hired by the company to whom their work had been outsourced.

Union Avoidance

Defeated Teamsters Local 570 election petition at a warehouse-distribution facility in Baltimore.

Defeated an IBEW attempt to organize an 800-employee unit at a chemical plant in Pensacola, Fla.

Defeated Machinists’ election petition to organize a 700-person unit at a manufacturer of computer wafers in St. Peters, Mo.

Obtained decertification of the Teamsters at a warehouse-distribution facility in Seattle.

Decertified the Teamsters at a national water company facility in East Chicago, Ind.

Defeated Longshore and Warehouse Union’s election petition regarding 500 farm workers at a seed company’s genetic farms in Hawaii.

Defeated Steelworkers Union’s election petitions to represent hourly workers at oil refining facilities in Hartford and Granite City, Ill.

Decertified United Food and Commercial Workers from an international agricultural company’s oil packaging facility in Fort Worth, Tex.

Defeated three Teamsters Union organizing petitions in Arkansas, each involving voting units greater than 1,000 employees.

Defeated the Teamsters Union’s petition to organize warehouse employees and drivers at a facility in central California.

Obtained decertification against the Teamsters Union at a San Diego transportation company.

§13(c) Experience

The firm advises the City of Colorado Springs on a broad range of §13(c) issues related to the City’s provision of transit services through contractor arrangements. Our representation involves direct interaction with the DOL and assistance regarding matters in litigation.

We have assisted the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority (DART) on a broad range of §13(c) issues, including the development of the various arrangements certified by DOL for DART. We currently represent the transit authority in an arbitration at DOL initiated on behalf of approximately 450 claimants.

We represented the New York City Department of Transportation in significant §13(c) disputes, pension and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issues as well as litigation relating to service transitions and §13(c) issues.

In response to a decision by the DOL, which found that certain employees were entitled to protective benefits pursuant to a §13(c) agreement, the firm’s attorneys filed an action on behalf of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority against the Department and the individual employees seeking declaratory judgment and permanent injunctive relief. The suit challenged the administrative and adjudicative process used by the Department in reaching its decision and specifically challenged the Department’s failure to follow established §13(c) precedent by failing to require the employees to show that they suffered any compensable adverse impact which would entitle them to §13(c) protective benefits. The suit was successfully settled and resulted in the Department’s withdrawal of its decision.

Transit employees who were adversely affected by service reductions and the closing of a bus facility filed §13(c) claims against the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. In their claims, the employees maintained that the Authority's entire system was "federalized" by virtue of the Authority's receipt of federal capital and operating assistance. The employees also argued that the Authority's expenditures on its rail system resulted in service cuts to its bus system. Thompson Coburn’s mass transportation attorneys represented the Authority in the arbitration proceedings that resulted from the §13(c) claims. Extensive arbitration hearings were held before an arbitrator, who found in favor of the Authority.

Publications

Missouri to join Right to Work ranks: Is the fight over or just warming up?

Texas overtime ruling directly affects California employers

U.S. Department of Labor issues final rule updating overtime regulations

National Labor Relations Board tosses more than 30 years of precedent in joint employer inquiry – other agencies to follow?

NLRB wishes employers a not-so-happy new year - Issues new election rules and overrules register guard

Time crunch: OSHA shortens reporting deadlines for workplace injuries

What does the Noel Canning decision mean for you?

Fifth Circuit overturns NLRB decision on class and collective action waivers

Illinois employers face decision as appellate court limits offer of at-will employment as consideration for competition restrictions

NLRB posting requirement struck down by court; federal contractors still on the hook

President Obama's NLRB recess appointments ruled unconstitutional by federal appeals court

Federal district court rules NLRB too “quick” in voting

NLRB posting requirement upheld by court

NLRB mandates posting notice of employee rights

Blog Posts

NLRB issues two key decisions affecting higher ed

TCLE

Traffic Ahead: California Employment Law Update

Caught in the Middle: NLRB Organizing Issues

News

Art Silbergeld named one of the top employment lawyers in California

25 Thompson Coburn attorneys recognized in 2016 Chambers USA

Employment litigator Arthur Silbergeld joins Thompson Coburn in Los Angeles

27 Thompson Coburn attorneys recognized in 2015 Chambers USA

Congratulations to our 15 St. Louis ‘Lawyers of the Year’

112 Thompson Coburn attorneys featured in 2015 Best Lawyers list

Cliff Godiner, Chuck Poplstein named to 2014 ‘Most Powerful Employment Attorneys’ list

29 Thompson Coburn attorneys recognized in 2014 Chambers USA

Detroit’s bankruptcy: What’s it got to do with St. Louis?

David Warfield writes article on Detroit bankruptcy for St. Louis Business Journal

Four partners named 2013 Up & Coming attorneys

Cliff Godiner, Chuck Poplstein named to ‘Most Powerful Employment Attorneys’ list

St. Louis judge backs Thompson Coburn-designed firefighter pension overhaul

Cliff Godiner, Hope Abramov to dissect a modern labor dispute at SHRM annual conference

Thompson Coburn wins union election, decertifies longtime union facility

19 Thompson Coburn partners named 2013 St. Louis Lawyers of the Year

Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6496

A partner in the Labor and Employment practice area, Hope's extensive labor and employment practice is bolstered by her experiences as an in-house attorney for more than ...

A partner in the Labor and Employment practice area, Hope's extensive labor...

Hope Abramov
Partner
Washington, D.C.
202 585 6928

Over the past 30 years, Tony has been a legal advisor to many of the nation's largest transit systems.

Over the past 30 years, Tony has been a legal advisor to many of the nation...

Tony Anderson
Partner
Chicago
312 580 2218

Mike represents management clients in a wide variety of labor and employment matters and related litigation.

Mike represents management clients in a wide variety of labor and employmen...

Mike Duffee
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6433

Cliff is a nationally recognized labor and employment attorney who advises executives and HR leaders on all aspects of employment litigation and labor disputes.

Cliff is a nationally recognized labor and employment attorney who advises ...

Cliff Godiner
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6095

Chuck is a creative and highly efficient employment litigator and advisor to private and public sector employers across a wide spectrum of industries.

Chuck is a creative and highly efficient employment litigator and advisor t...

Chuck Poplstein
Associate
St. Louis
314 552 6577

Cody represents employers in various aspects of employment litigation and labor law.

Cody represents employers in various aspects of employment litigation and l...

Cody Reinberg
Partner
St. Louis
314 552 6432

Tim provides practical, in-depth counsel to management during two of the most critical junctures in the employer-employee relationship: union organizing and employee term...

Tim provides practical, in-depth counsel to management during two of the mo...

Tim Sarsfield
Partner
Los Angeles
310 282 9412

Art represents employers in high-stakes employment litigation and labor relations matters.

Art represents employers in high-stakes employment litigation and labor rel...

Art Silbergeld
Partner
Washington, D.C.
202 585 6924

Jane serves as counsel to transit agencies across the country on a range of issues from funding to project development to procurement.

Jane serves as counsel to transit agencies across the country on a range of...

Jane Sutter Starke
Partner
Washington, D.C.
202 585 6925

Kent is Chair of the firm's Public Transit group.

Kent is Chair of the firm's Public Transit group.

Kent Woodman