Issues GC-19-01 Putting Unions Under the Gun
Union Built PC reported the NLRB’s intention of going after Labor Unions for not representing their members via Memorandum GC-18-09 in our October Newsletter. It seems that they (NLRB) have decided to reinforce this memo with a subsequent memo GC-19-01 issued October 24. 2018.
As relates to GC-19-01, it’s now officially public that under the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) General Counsel Peter B. Robb, unions may face greater scrutiny and a higher burden in defending against claims that they violated the duty of fair representation (Section 8(b)(1)(A)) if they represent them arbitrarily, indiscriminately, or in bad faith.
Memorandum GC 19-01, published October 24, 2018, clarifies the “mere negligence” defense to duty of fair representation claims. While a union’s mere negligence is not a violation, Memorandum GC 19-01 provides examples of conduct that could exceed mere negligence:
1. Little or no investigation in connection with a discharge grievance
2. Willfully misinforming or keeping a grievant uninformed of a grievance after committing to pursue arbitration
3. Failing to provide information relating to a bargaining unit member’s grievance
5. Failing to communicate decisions related to a grievance or to respond to inquiries for information or documents by the grievant, a failure which cannot be cured by communication with post-filing
GC 19-01 also clarifies that in cases where the union claims mere negligence based on having lost track, misplaced, or otherwise forgotten about a grievance, (regardless of whether the union committed to pursue it), the union should be required to “show the existence of established, reasonable procedures or systems in place to track grievances, without which, their defense should ordinarily fail.”
If your Union does not have an up to date and adequate Grievance and Arbitration Tracking System in place, NOW would be a good time to investigate obtaining one. It is a worthwhile investment to protect your Union.
Director of Operations
Union Built PC