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Category Archives: Unions

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Support H.B. 874: Eliminate Crimes Code Loophole For Union Harassment

Posted in Unions

I write to urge you to support House Bill 874.  Pennsylvania’s criminal code currently declares harassment, stalking, and deadly threats to be protected activities when perpetrated by a party engaged in a labor dispute. House Bill 874 . No one, management or labor, should be allowed to lawfully harass, stalk, threaten violence or make bomb… Continue Reading

How An Obscure Ruling Involving the SEC Impacts Construction Contractors

Posted in Unions

Recently, a colleague at lunch asked me if I was familiar with a case involving the constitutionality of Securities and Exchange Commission administrative law judge proceedings.  (Both the CATO Institute and the Wall Street Journal have covered the case.)  What appears to be an obscure constitutional case that lawyers talk about at lunch, could actual… Continue Reading

Letter of Assent Does Not Bind Contractor to Future CBA

Posted in Unions

We recently obtained a dismissal of a complaint brought by the Philadelphia Carpenter’s Union against a contractor that sought to obtain an audit of that contractor’s books and records for the purpose of determining an alleged ERISA liability owed to the Carpenters under a collective bargaining agreement.  A copy of the opinion can be found… Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Convention Center Strikes Potential Death Blow Against Illegal Union Tactics

Posted in Unions

In recent years – and as chronicled on this blog – businesses and prosecutors have slowly chipped away  at the belligerent tactics Philadelphia labor unions have for years employed to achieve their objective of monopolizing work for their members (and ultimately enriching fat cat union bosses).   The first blow came when an apartment developer dared… Continue Reading

Ambush Election Rules Apply to Decertification Elections As Well

Posted in Unions

Employers concerned about the NLRB’s new “ambush” election rules have rightfully protested that the new procedures make it easier and faster for unions to hold an election certifying the union as the exclusive bargaining representative of employees.  On April 14, 2015, the day the new rules became effective, The Wall Street Journal’s Opinion page asked – probably… Continue Reading

$650,000 Jury Award Against Sheet Metal Workers Union Affirmed

Posted in Secondary Boycotts, Unions

As I have blogged about before, one of the most powerful weapons contractors and owners have in combating illegal secondary activity by unions is Section 303 of the Labor Management Relations Act.  Section 303 authorizes a party to bring in action in federal court for monetary damages against a labor union who has caused harm… Continue Reading

Why the Ironworkers Conviction is Monumental

Posted in Unions

Yesterday’s guilty verdict is the trial of former Ironworkers’ Union President, Joe Dougherty, is a monumental decision with far reaching ramifications.  First, there is no longer any question that union bosses enjoy no immunity from federal racketeering and extortion laws.  Second, the decision clears the way for contractors to employ what has been called the… Continue Reading

Does My Collective Bargaining Agreement Prevent Me From Opening a Non-Union Company?

Posted in Unions

In short, no.  However, that short answer is not so simple and does not mean you can run and opening a non-union company.  Almost all construction industry collective bargaining agreement contain clauses that attempt to prevent a signatory firm from operating a non-union firm.  These clauses are commonly known as anti-dual shop or double-breasting clauses. … Continue Reading

5 Construction Law Trends to Watch in 2015

Posted in Construction Labor Law, Government Contracts, Infrastructure Construction, Mechanics Liens, Public Contracts, Public Private Partnerships (P3), Unions

As we enter the New Year, here is a look at 5 areas that will be a hot bed of legal activity for contractors and their attorneys. 1.   Aggressive Union Activity. Decreasing membership and market share, will cause Big Labor to ramp up efforts to “persuade” public and private owners to use an all… Continue Reading

Double Breasted Firms Sometimes Pay a Huge Price

Posted in Unions

An article on the website Real Estate Weekly entitled “Construction unions going after alter-ego contractors as profits shrink” recently grabbed my attention.  The article recounts the  familiar tale of a union shop contractor that was forced to pay $6 million for violating its collective bargaining agreement with a Carpenters Local. The Carpenters accused a New… Continue Reading

Why It Took So Long to Indict the Ironworkers

Posted in Picketing, Unions

News of the indictment of 10 members of the Ironworkers Union, left many wondering “What took them so long?”  As any developer or merit shop contractor will tell you, the actions that the Ironworkers are alleged to have engaged in are not solely the purview of the Ironworkers.  Indeed threats, violence, and property destruction are… Continue Reading

FAQ’s Regarding “Double Breasted” Construction Companies

Posted in Construction Labor Law, Unions

The terms “double breasted” or “dual shop” contractor refers two construction firms often sharing common ownership one of which is a signatory to a collective bargain agreement (the union firm) and the other that is not (the open shop firm).  Here are some frequently asked questions I have received in counseling clients who either already… Continue Reading