Labor Law -- 2016

In re Miller & Anderson   (NLRB)

Defining multi-employer bargaining units

On 09/18/2015, the NAM and coalition associations filed an amicus brief with the NLRB in In re Miller & Anderson. The union in the case filed a petition seeking to represent a “multi-employer" bargaining unit consisting of employees from Miller & Anderson, a mechanical contractor, and temporary employees provided to Miller & Anderson by the staffing company Tradesman International. In the Bush-era decision Oakwood Care Center, the Board held that multi-employer units are only appropriate where both employers consent to that arrangement. The employers did not do so in Miller & Anderson, so the petition was dismissed by the regional director. The union appealed to the Board, which granted review to reconsider the Oakwood decision.

The NAM’s brief argued that any bargaining unit seeking to include employees employed solely by one of the constituent entities that comprise the joint employer is, of necessity, a multi-employer unit. In a similar vein, any construction of the statutory bargaining obligation that imposes a duty to bargain with respect to a unit of jointly employed and singly employed employees constitutes, by definition, an obligation to bargain on a multi-employer basis. The Board recognized these fundamental realities and the statutory limits they impose in Oakwood.

On 7/11/2016, the NLRB decided that the union was not required to obtain consent from both employers. It stated that it would apply traditional community-of-interest factors to determine if such a joint union is appropriate. This ruling will make it easier for unions to organize workers in such joint-employer situations.

Related Documents:
NAM brief  (September 18, 2015)


© 2019 National Association of Manufacturers