Labor-Management Relations

Whether advising non-unionized employers on strategies to remain union-free or assisting employers with a unionized workforce in negotiations, labor arbitrations and defending unfair labor practice charges, our nationally recognized labor attorneys are ready to help.

This includes matters relating to:

  • Breach of Collective Bargaining Agreements
  • Campaign Management
  • Collective Bargaining Negotiations
  • Corporate Campaigns
  • Grievances Under Union Contracts 
  • Labor Litigation
  • Managing Existing Union Relationships
  • Strikes and Boycotts
  • Unfair Labor Practice Charges
  • Union Avoidance
  • Union Decertification

Whether or not your workforce is unionized, a key to a successful business strategy is building and maintaining a positive work environment. At times, this can be challenging. Conflicts between labor and management can cripple a company. That’s why McGuireWoods encourages clients to adopt proactive approaches to labor relations.

Union Avoidance

The best way to avoid unionization is to develop and maintain an atmosphere of positive employee relations. Working together, we help clients create and implement training programs so supervisors and managers have the tools to communicate legally and effectively with employees about the company’s pro-employee and pro-company position and the clear benefits of a non-union environment.

By engaging in both horizontal and vertical communication, we empower clients to identify pre-petition activity at an early stage when countermeasures can be most effective. This allows clients to identify potential problems and address employee concerns before they become issues around which employees might organize. In our experience, a well-educated corporate management team and a satisfied, communicative workforce is the most effective way to remain union-free.

Campaign Management

Sometimes representation campaigns are unavoidable. Our experienced campaign team has managed more than 500 campaigns in virtually every state, against nearly every union and within a vast array of industries and settings. As your partner, we will roll up our sleeves, work the issues, walk the floors and develop creative strategies that have made winners in the past out of apparently “hopeless” situations.

We know what it takes to win campaigns, and we’ve won where the number of eligible votes numbered from ten to hundreds, and even thousands. No two campaigns are alike. Clients don’t get “cookie cutter” campaigns from us. We design each campaign to address the unique issues at a particular location and for the specific union involved. We’re also not faint of heart. We help clients do all that is legally permissible to help their employees remain union-free.

Managing Existing Union Relationships

For companies with multiple union sites or a mixture of union and non-union facilities, we assist in strategically managing those relationships so clients can focus on business objectives and opportunities. Any attorney can negotiate or administer a collective bargaining agreement or defend a grievance through arbitration. However, our traditional labor attorneys work with clients to reduce the number of collective bargaining agreements; identify and eliminate bad contract clauses; and protect against the spread of unionization to the non-unionized segments of the organization.

Strikes, Boycotts and Corporate Campaigns

A strike is never a desired outcome, but a company’s ability to prepare for and withstand a strike, boycott or corporate campaign is a crucial element of all comprehensive labor relations strategies. We have the experience and fortitude to craft aggressive contingent workforce and production plans, secure injunctive relief, and facilitate internal and external communication to our clients’ advantage. We stand shoulder to shoulder with clients to not only endure, but overcome these contentious labor disputes.

Labor Litigation

Our traditional labor attorneys, including a former National Labor Relations Board attorney, bring a wide range of trial experience and perspectives to labor litigation, including Board pre-election hearings, post-election challenges and objections, unfair labor practice charges, unit clarification petitions and unit deauthorization procedures.