Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

NLRB Recently Reaffirms DFR Standards


Local 471, 359 NLRB No. 166 (2013) is being brought to your attention not because it breaks any new ground, but because it is a recent decision which summarizes applicable case law. As the Board stated:

The Board has held that a union’s breach of its duty of
fair representation violates Section 8(b)(1)(A). Miranda
Fuel Co., 140 NLRB 181, 184–185 (1962), enf. denied
326 F.2d 172 (2d Cir. 1963). A breach occurs when a
union’s conduct toward a bargaining unit member is “arbitrary,
discriminatory, or in bad faith.” Vaca v. Sipes,
386 U.S. 171, 190 (1967). In collective bargaining, a
union’s actions are arbitrary “only if, in light of the factual
and legal landscape at the time of the union’s actions,
the union’s behavior is so far outside a ‘wide range
of reasonableness’ as to be irrational.” Air Line Pilots
Assn. v. O’Neill, 499 U.S. 65, 67 (1991) (quoting Ford
Motor Co. v. Huffman, 345 U.S. 330, 338 (1953)).
The broad deference granted to a union’s actions in
negotiations comes from an understanding that, as the
exclusive representative of bargaining unit employees
under Section 9(a) of the Act, a union is frequently required
to balance competing interests of the employees it
represents. Ford Motor Co. v. Huffman, supra, 345 U.S.
at 337–339. The negotiation of seniority provisions often
gives rise to claims that the union failed in its responsibility
toward some segment of its constituents. . . .

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

NLRB | Permalink


There's a typo in the citation. It should be 359 NLRB No. 166, not 259...

Posted by: Andrew | Jan 9, 2014 8:10:49 AM

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