Labor Management Relations

Overview

“…offers experience across labor law matters such as contract negotiation and unfair labor practice disputes.”

Chambers USA

Despite the decline of unions in the United States, labor relations remain critical for owners and management. Constructive labor relations provide you with a competitive advantage by avoiding the negative impact of labor- or union-related issues and conflicts. When there are clashes or disagreements between management and labor, we also have the advocates to protect the employer’s interests.

Blank Rome has successfully guided hundreds of employers through labor and organizing issues. We counsel across a wide range of industries on preventative employment law strategies and the development of positive employment relations policies.

How We Can Help

  • developing and implementing employment policies and practices that minimize the likelihood of employees seeking third-party representation
  • advising during union organizing efforts and representation before the National Labor Relations Board ("NLRB") and state labor boards when confronted with organizing issues
  • developing labor relations strategies when the client wants to use its own personnel as the lead advocate or bargaining spokesperson
  • collective bargaining and acting as chief spokesperson
  • selecting arbitrators
  • defending the company in unfair labor practice proceedings before the NLRB and state labor boards 
  • counseling on injunction matters involving labor disputes, enjoining mass picketing, and preparing for work stoppages
  • administering collective bargaining agreements and representation in arbitration hearings involving contract interpretation, employee discharge, and/or suspension cases

What Sets Us Apart

  • We have negotiated contracts covering as few as two workers and those covering more than 10,000. In many cases these collective bargaining agreements include complex health and welfare and benefit issues and we call upon our employee benefit attorneys for assistance in this area.
  • Ranked Tier 1 in 2020 U.S. News & World Report–Best Lawyers® (Woodward/White, Inc.) nationally and Philadelphia for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law. Also ranked nationally for Employment Law – Management and Litigation - Labor & Employment, and regionally for Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Employment Law – Management, and Litigation - Labor & Employment.
  • 2019 Chambers USA: ranked Blank Rome for labor and employment in Pennsylvania. Editors write that Blank Rome’s Labor and Employment practice:
    • “Maintains a strong profile for its handling of complex trade secrets and restrictive covenant disputes. Also offers experience across labor law matters such as contract negotiation and unfair labor practice disputes. Fields notable expertise in public and private sector employee benefits matters and executive compensation issues.”
    • “‘They can think two to three steps ahead, and while they are excellent regarding the meat and potatoes of the day-to-day law and legal framework, they are even better at thinking practically and logically as to how situations and scenarios will likely resolve.’”

    • “‘The team is very engaged. They communicate well and have years of working together, which enables efficiencies.’”
  • We invest in long-term relationships and create client service teams to ensure effective and efficient delivery of legal services.
  • We have vast experience with many of the specialized labor arbitrators who routinely appear on lists from the American Arbitration Association ("AAA"), the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service ("FMCS") and JAMS.
  • We place an emphasis on preventive measures to preempt problems before they arise.
  • We provide value-added services to our clients, including in-house training programs, CLE programs, legal briefings, and newsletters.
  • Our lawyers view themselves as your business partners and work to understand your operational needs so that we can negotiate effectively on your behalf.

Experience

  • Won NLRB election at major bakery.
  • Defeated multiple union organizing drives for international cable manufacturer.
  • Negotiated statewide contracts covering thousands of employees for a state government.
  • Successfully advised purchaser in major oil refinery acquisition to avoid successor union liability.
  • Represented a privately held company in national negotiations involving collective bargaining agreements and labor disputes. 
  • Represent national retail mall owner in defense of unfair labor practice charges involving limits on third-party picketing.
  • Represent local governments with police, fire, technical and general service employee negotiations, contract interpretation and disciplinary proceedings.