On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Unite Here Local 355 v. Mulhall. This case will decide (hopefully) whether labor unions can legally circumnavigate the secret-ballot election procedures of the National Labor Relations Act by reaching agreements with employers to recognize labor unions upon a presentation of recognition cards signed by a majority of employees.
My favorite exchange from the oral argument illustrates my concern over the coercive nature of card-check recognition:
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Well, will you … concede that [card check agreements are] more coercive than a secret ballot? … The union organizer comes up to you and says, well, here’s a card. You can check I want to join the union, or two, I don’t want a union. Which will it be? And there’s a bunch of your fellow workers gathered around as you fill out the card.
JUSTICE SCALIA: And he’s a big guy.
Here’s what some of my fellow bloggers had to say in the wake of the Mulhall oral argument:
- Mulhall Oral Argument — from Workplace Prof Blog
- SCOTUS hears “the most significant labor case in a generation.” — from Phil Miles’ Lawffice Space
- CATO’s Trevor Burrus on the “Niggling Problem” in Mulhall — from On Labor
- Supreme Court Hears Argument on Legality of Neutrality Agreements — from Labor Relations Today
Written by Jon Hyman, a partner in the Labor & Employment group of Kohrman Jackson & Krantz. For more information, contact Hyman at (216) 736-7226 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow Hyman on Twitter at @jonhyman.