Labor Law -- 2017

Volkswagen Group of Am., Inc. v. United Auto Workers, Local 42   (D.C. Circuit)

Application of Specialty Healthcare to maintenance employee union micro unit

On February 2, 2017, the NAM filed an amicus brief supporting Volkswagen in its dispute against the United Auto Workers (UAW). The UAW brought a complaint against Volkswagen for refusing to bargain with a group of maintenance employees at the automaker's Tennessee plant. The main issue is the application of the Specialty Healthcare case, which was decided in 2011 and overturned 70 years of precedent, and which established a new standard for determining the composition of a proposed bargaining unit. Volkswagen opposed the creation of a micro-bargaining unit exclusively for the maintenance employees. It argued that the bargaining unit should include all the employees in the plant because the plant is a highly integrated manufacturing operation in which all the employees work in concert to produce a finished product.

On December 15, 2017, the NLRB reinstated the traditional community-of-interest standard in a case called PCC Structurals, Inc., overturning Specialty Healthcare. Consequently, the court remanded this case to the NLRB for reconsideration in light of the PCC Structurals decision.

For more information, see the National Labor Relations Board case here.

Related Documents:
NAM amicus brief  (February 2, 2017)


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