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The following are authentic case decisions from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in determination of Unfair Labor Practice Charges.


Please review these cases to gain better understanding to how the processes of collective bargaining and unionization really works.

The union can…“promise wage increases and better benefits, even though they have no actual power to guarantee those things, because those promises are considered mere pre-election propaganda.”

-Shirlington Supermarker, Inc. (106 NLRB 666 – 1953)


The union can…”issue misleading campaign propaganda because the [federal law] does not think employees are naïve enough to believe all that they are told in the course of a union election campaign.”

-Shopping Kart Food Market, Inc. (228 NLRB 1311 – 1977)


The union can…”tell employees that if the union wins, they can make more money, even if that is not necessarily true, because employees generally understand that a union cannot automatically obtain benefits by winning an election, but must attempt to achieve them through the collective bargaining process."

-Wolfrich Corporate dba Thrifty Rent-A-Car (234 NLRB 525 – 1978)


“Under the law, an employer is not required even to continue in effect its existing benefits if a union wins.”

-Wagner Industrial Company


“There is, of course, no obligation on the part of an employer to contract to continue all existing benefits, nor is it unfair practice to offer reduced benefits.”

-Midwestern Instruments, Inc. (133 NLRB 1132 – 1961)


“…that in the give-in-take of bargaining the union might give up insurance, holidays, or vacation time to obtain dues check off from the Company.”

La-Z-Boy, (281 NLRB 338 – 1986)


“If a union tells you that what you have now is guaranteed, it is not telling you the truth.  The truth is that you can lose wages and benefits in collective bargaining.”

Ludwig Motor Corporation, 222 NLRB 635


“Voting in a union election will not result in automatic increases in wages and benefits; such things may or may not result from the bargaining process.”

 Custom Windows Extrusions, 314 NLRB 850 (1994)


“Union representation under the Act does not imply the right to a better deal.”

Tomco Communications


“After good faith negotiations, Empire employees lost [wages].”

Empire Terminal Warehouse Co., 151 NLRB 124


“Collective bargaining is potentially hazardous for employees, and as a result of negotiations, employees could wind up with less benefits after unionization than before.”

Coach & Equipment Sales, 228 NLRB 440


“A union cannot compel concessions in negotiations and a union cannot guarantee the retention of all present benefits because such benefits are subject to negotiations.”

Standard Precision, 3211 NLRB 33 (1993)


“The U.S. Government and the NLRB do not guarantee employees that the collective bargaining process starts with “where you presently are in wages, insurance, pension, profit sharing, and all other conditions of employment” and “that there is only one way to go and that is up.”  Nor did the Board give word to that effect.  Nor did the Government guarantee “that you will lose no benefits except those that you wish to change.”’

Bendix Corp. V. NLRB, 400 F2d 141 (6th Circuit, 1968)


 “’Present and/or future benefits may be discussed and may be traded in order to get a union shop or check-off clause’ . . . [That is] nothing more than an accurate description of one possible consequence of lawful collective bargaining . . . [It] inform(s) the employees as to the realities of the collective bargaining process.”

Ludwig Motor Corp., 222 NLRB 635  (Emphasis added)


“Employees understand that a union cannot obtain increased wages and benefits just by winning an election, but that benefits must be obtained, if at all, through collective bargaining.”

Burns International Security Services Inc. (256 NLRB 959)


“One possibility of the collective bargaining process is for employees to end up with lower wages and benefits.”

Standard Products, 281 NLRB 141 (1986)


“There is no requirement in the Act that an employer [agree] to all union demands, or after bargaining, [keep] all current benefits. Nor does the presence of a union prohibit an employer from moving its plant should economic conditions so dictate. Similarly, an employer may permanently replace economic strikers…All union promises of improved benefits are not attainable without prior Employer [approval].”

Oxford Pickles, 190 NLRB 109 (1971) (Emphasis Added)

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