Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Watcha Gonna Do?": Labor Lawyers Behaving Badly

FightingHere's an embarrassing-for-the-profession tale about two labor lawyers - one management-side, one union-side - going at it (though it appears mostly the management side lawyer doing most of the violence) during negotiations for a new contract between bakery workers and their company.  Apparently, the scuffle involved of all things providing needed information for pension proposals.

The Labor Law Blog reports from an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

"Negotiations on a contract for Schwebel's Bakery workers turned testy last week when a partner from the management firm of Duvin Cahn & Hutton allegedly attacked a labor attorney from behind, choking and punching him until he brought the lawyer to the floor." The employer's lawyer claims that the union's lawyer provoked him. The union has filed a ULP charge alleging that "Schwebel's representatives approved the assault by standing and watching the attack."

As the Labor Law Blog points out, it really doesn't matter whether the company's representatives approved the attack, since unfair labor practices can be brought against any agent of an employer who interferes with the exercise of union members' collective bargaining rights, and their lawyer is certainly an agent.

I hope the ALJ/NLRB throws the book at 'em.  And as we all know, there are some truly terrifying remedies avaialble for ULPs under the NLRA.  Perhaps, they'll hit the attacking management side lawyer with one of those cease and desist orders. 

That will show him.



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Or maybe (shudder!) they'll force the management attorney to read a Board notice aloud. That'll teach 'em.

I honestly can't imagine any of the Philly management-side lawyers I ever sat across the table from doing anything like this. Though I must admit I can imagine one or two of the union-side lawyers (none of my former colleagues, of course) throwing a punch.

Posted by: Eric M. Fink | May 30, 2006 12:53:08 PM

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