SHRM Files Brief Asking Supreme Court to Interpret Labor-Management Relations Act

May 26, 2009

SHRM Files Brief Asking Supreme Court to Interpret Labor-Management Relations Act

Alexandria, Va. - On Friday, May 22, 2009, SHRM and the National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center (NFIB) submitted a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the case Adcock v. Freightliner LLC. SHRM and NFIB believe that Supreme Court review of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s interpretation of section 302 of the Labor-Management Relations Act (LMRA) is necessary to ensure fairness in union organizing campaigns.

In Adcock, Freightliner LLC and the United Auto Workers (UAW) signed agreements establishing ground rules for organizing five plants in North Carolina. Freightliner agreed to require employees to attend union meetings during work time at the workplace. The UAW agreed that if recognized as the exclusive bargaining representative, they would not seek severance pay for layoffs or plant closures and would split increases in benefit costs between the company and the workers, in addition to various other guarantees.

Section 302 of the LMRA is designed to prevent corruption of the collective bargaining process by preventing employers from bribing the union and preventing union extortion of employers. In Adcock, the Fourth Circuit ruled that Freightliner and UAW’s actions did not violate section 302.

SHRM and NFIB believe that section 302 does prohibit the activity engaged in by Freightliner and UAW. Supreme Court interpretation will ensure that every federal circuit applies the same set of rules to union organizing campaigns.

To read SHRM’s brief, click HERE.


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