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Season 4, Episode 75

Getting to the negotiating table is just half the fight

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Joyce Goldstein

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Joining the America’s Work Force Union Podcast is Joyce Goldstein, Labor Attorney and General Counsel for the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers

Goldstein discussed the difficulties unions face once they get to the negotiating table for a first contract. She outlined some of the labor laws implemented once both sides begin negotiations. First, she discussed a labor law that requires both sides to meet and confer on negotiations at regular intervals. The second labor law she shared was the ability to decertify a unionization vote after one year of negotiations if no agreement was reached.

The requirement for both parties to meet and confer on negotiations does not require both parties to agree, Goldstein said. If one of the two negotiating parties wants to delay any agreement, legally, they could. As long as both parties continue their regular meetings and there’s no external interference, employers can use this to push back any contract agreements, she added.

Finally, Goldstein explained how a unionization vote can be decertified after one year of negotiations without agreement. This has regularly been seen after the previously mentioned delay tactic. The goal is to create a loss of will to continue negotiations, and once they’ve achieved their goal, they can decertify the unionization vote. This is why Goldstein believes in bringing an experienced labor negotiator into negotiations. Without one, earning a first contract becomes difficult.

Listen to the entire episode to learn more.

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America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.

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