A unilateral change to a mandatory bargaining topic before the outcome is generally an unfair labour practice, although workers may view the change as beneficial. According to the Supreme Court, unilateral amendments minimize the influence of collective bargaining by giving workers the impression that a union is not necessary to reach an agreement with the employer. For example, in NLRB v. Katz, 369 U.S. 736, 82 P. Ct. 1107, 8 L Ed. 2d 230 (1962), the employer unilaterally changed its sick leave policy and increased its rates of pay without first negotiating with the union. The Court found that the unilateral change of the employer undermined the union`s bargaining ability on sick leave, wages and other conditions of employment. Sections 8(a) (5) and 8 (b) (3) of the LNRA define the absence of collective bargaining as an unfair labour practice (29 U.S.C.A.
158, [b]). The aggrieved party may submit a fee for unfair labour practices to the NNRB, which has the power to prevent or stop the practice of unfair labour practices. Collective bargaining allows workers and employers to voluntarily agree on a wide range of issues. Nevertheless, it is limited to some extent by federal and regional laws. A collective agreement cannot be entered into by contract, which is prohibited by law. For example, a union and an employer may use unconventional negotiations to deprive workers of the rights they would otherwise enjoy under laws such as civil rights laws (Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Co., 415 U.S. 36, 94 P.
Ct. 1011, 39 L Ed. 2d 147 ). Nor can collective bargaining be used to waive the rights or obligations that the laws impose on each party. For example, an employer cannot negotiate with collective agreements to lower safety standards that it must meet under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (29 U.S.C.A. Moreover, the collective agreement is not purely voluntary. The inability of one party to reach an agreement allows the other party to resort to certain legal tactics, such as strikes and lockouts, to exert economic pressure and to reach an agreement. Moreover, unlike trade agreements governed by national law, the collective agreement is almost exclusively governed by federal labour law, which determines issues that require collective bargaining, the date and nature of negotiations, and the consequences of non-negotiation or compliance with a collective agreement.
Mandatory Bargaining Issues Although the parties do not have to negotiate on all possible issues, they must negotiate in good faith binding bargaining issues, including wages, hours and other “conditions of employment” (29 U.S.C.A. As these mandatory issues are very broad, the courts have tried over the years to establish standards to determine whether a particular topic of negotiation is mandatory. In general, the terms of employment cover only issues that “govern one aspect of the relationship between the employer and the workers” (Allied Chemical – Alkali Workers of America v. Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co., 404 U.S. 157, 92 p. Ct. 383, 30 L. Ed. 2d 341 ). “The collective agreement refers to a written or written agreement between an employer and a union that sets out the terms of employment or provisions relating to the rates of pay, working time or other working conditions of the workers.” The NNRA regulates labour relations only for companies involved in intergovernmental trade; it therefore does not protect the interests of collective agreements of all categories of workers.
Several categories of employers are located outside the NRL, including those working for the U.S. government and its companies, states and their political divisions, railroads and airlines.