623
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
1 collections
    0
    shares
       
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      The new union avoidance internationalism

      research-article
      Bookmark

            Abstract

            Since the 1950s, large management-side law firms have helped corporations in the USA resist union organising campaigns. Their sophisticated techniques and aggressive tactics have made it extraordinarily difficult for unions to organise in the private sector. Over the past decade, several large law firms that specialise in union avoidance have internationalised their operations, opening offices in Latin America, Europe and Asia, forming international alliances and using global standards to attack labour organisation and undermine labour rights. This article analyses the global union avoidance activities of the two largest management-side labour law firms in the USA: Littler Mendelson and Ogletree Deakins.

            Content

            Author and article information

            Journal
            10.2307/j50010512
            workorgalaboglob
            Work Organisation, Labour & Globalisation
            Pluto Journals
            1745-641X
            1745-6428
            1 January 2019
            : 13
            : 2 ( doiID: 10.13169/workorgalaboglob.13.issue-2 )
            : 57-77
            Article
            workorgalaboglob.13.2.0057
            10.13169/workorgalaboglob.13.2.0057
            39c7fd3f-cdd8-4a07-abd5-bd4fb7ad2ad3
            © John Logan, 2019

            All content is freely available without charge to users or their institutions. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission of the publisher or the author. Articles published in the journal are distributed under a http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

            Custom metadata
            eng

            Sociology,Labor law,Political science,Labor & Demographic economics,Political economics
            international standards,union avoidance,labour law,global framework agreements,multinational corporations

            REFERENCES

            1. Bell, R. (2017) ‘Four decades in, Ogletree Deakins is no. 2 in its field’, Upstate Business Journal, June 29. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://upstatebusinessjournal.com/four-decades-ogletree-deakins-no-2-field/.

            2. Bronfenbrenner, K. (2009) ‘No holds barred: the intensification of employer opposition to organizing,‘ Economic Policy Institute, May 20. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.epi.org/publication/bp235/

            3. Brookes, M. (2019) The New Political of Transnational Labor: Why Some Alliances Succeed. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

            4. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019) ‘Union members survey,‘ January 19. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm.

            5. Cain, A. (2018) ‘Ikea accused of anti-union tactics’, Business Insider, October 3. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.businessinsider.com/ikea-accused-of-anti-union-tactics-2018-10.

            6. Canales, K. (2019) ‘Google contract workers in Pittsburgh are unionizing’, Business Insider, August 31.

            7. Compa, L. (2013) ‘Free speech and freedom of association: finding the balance’, International Trade Union Confederation. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1270&context=intl.

            8. Daily Journal (2013) ‘Soft law in Bangladesh,‘ August 2. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.callawyer.com/articles/271887-soft-law-in-bangladesh.

            9. Daily Labor Report (1998) ‘Unions making inroads representing retail workers not traditionally in unions’, September 8.

            10. Daily Labor Report (2001) ‘Workers at Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tenn. overwhelmingly reject UAW representation’, October 5.

            11. Daily Labor Report (2013) ‘Employers misinterpret ILO ruling as basis for anti-union speech, labor expert argues’, July 16.

            12. Daily Labor Report (2014) ‘Innovative union organizing methods called critical to reversal of membership decline’, June 3.

            13. Daily Labor Report (2015a) ‘Congresswomen tell Merkel of T-Mobile harassment policy concerns’, November 24.

            14. Daily Labor Report (2015b) ‘Nissan rejects state department offer to mediate over UAW antiunion complaint’, February 3.

            15. Daily Labor Report (2016) ‘Littler Mendelson becomes an American law firm in Paris’, October 17.

            16. Daily Labor Report (2017a) ‘Work flows: law firm news’, May 10.

            17. Daily Labor Report (2017b) ‘Big law attorneys think twice about Trump labor gig’, May 30.

            18. Daily Labor Report (2018a) ‘Littler, Seyfarth battle for powerhouse labor lobbyist’, January 4.

            19. Daily Labor Report (2018b) ‘Punching in: state of labor’, January 29.

            20. Daily Labor Report (2018c) ‘Law firms show their clients they know their business’, February 28 2018.

            21. Daily Labor Report (2018d) ‘Labor board accuses tech startup of unfair labor practices’, August 30.

            22. Daily Labor Report (2018e) ‘Software startup accused of union-busting will pay ex-employees’, November 13.

            23. D'Innocenzio, A. (2013) ‘Groups divided on Bangladesh safety overhauls’, Claims Journal, May 20. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.claimsjournal.com/news/international/2013/05/20/229230.htm.

            24. Daniel, K. (2010) ‘Fred Suggs bio’, Greenville Business Magazine, August. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://mydigitalpublication.com/article/Fred+Suggs/454966/0/article.html.

            25. Davidson, J. (2013) ‘Walmart's worker-safety plan draws ire of labor activists’, Time, July 11. Accessed September 1, 2019 from http://world.time.com/2013/07/11/wal-marts-smokescreen-worker-safety-plan-draws-ire/.

            26. Donaghey, J. & J. Reinecke (2018) ‘When industrial democracy meeting social responsibility – a comparison of the Bangladesh Accord and Alliance as Responses to the Rana Plaza Disaster’, British Journal of Industrial Relations, 56 (1): 14-32.

            27. Dowling, D. (2017) ‘How to align an international labor strategy for overseas unions, works councils and other workers representatives’, Littler, September. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://s3.amazonaws.com/documents.jdsupra.com/0d5fdc2e-10a9-4dbe-b379-c416b499d0bf.pdf.

            28. Eidelson, J. (2017) ‘Judge tells T-Mobile to disband company-controlled worker group’, Bloomberg, April 4. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-04-04/judge-tells-t-mobile-to-dissolve-company-controlled-worker-group.

            29. Elk, M. (2017) 'Nissan Attacked for 'One of Nastiest Campaigns” in Modern US History.' The Guardian, August 1. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/01/nissan-mississippi-union-vote.

            30. Federalist Society (2013) ‘Harold Coxson bio’, May 5. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://fedsoc.org/contributors/harold-coxson.

            31. Fichter M. & D. Stevis (2013) ‘Global framework agreements in a union-hostile environment: the case of the USA’, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Accessed from www.business-humanrights.org/sites/default/files/media/gfa_-_usa_implementation-_study.pdf.

            32. Fisher Phillips (2019) ‘International employment.‘ Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.fisherphillips.com/services-international-employment.

            33. Gay, M. (2017) ‘Ogletree hits 40 year mark, looks to the future’, Greenville Business Magazine, June 20. Accessed September 1, 2019 from http://www.greenvillebusinessmag.com/2017/05/01/155224/ogletree-deakins-hits-40-year-mark-looks-to-the-future.

            34. Global Legal Group (2018) ‘The international comparative legal guide to employment and labor law’, 11-12. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.hoganlovells.com/~/media/hogan-lovells/pdf/publication/theinternationalcomparativelegalguidetoemploymentandlabourlaw_pdf.

            35. Graff, D. (2018) ‘A tale of two futures: the fate of the dollar general economy’, LABOR Online, March 19. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.lawcha.org/2018/03/19/a-tale-of-two-futures-the-fate-of-the-dollar-general-economy/.

            36. Harris, J. (2014) ‘Captive audience meetings: a backgrounder’, On Labor, April 2. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://onlabor.org/captive-audience-meetings-a-backgrounder/.

            37. Hobbs, M. (2019) ‘Strong demand fuels growth for big four labor and employment firms’, LAW.COM Daily Report, April 11. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.law.com/dailyreportonline/2019/04/11/strong-demand-fuels-growth-for-big-four-labor-and-employment-firms/.

            38. Human Rights Watch (2000) ‘Unfair advantage: workers’ freedom of association in the United States under international human rights standards'. New York City. Accessed from https://www.hrw.org/reports/2000/uslabor/.

            39. International Labour Organization (1987) ‘Committee on freedom of Association, Definitive Report – Report No 253, November 1987. Case No 1401 (United States) – Complaint date: 16-MAR-87, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) and the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)‘. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=1000:50002:0::NO:50002:P50002_COMPLAINT_TEXT_ID:2901572.

            40. International Labour Organization (2010) ‘Committee on Freedom of Association, Complaint against the United States, Case No 683, Report No. 357‘, June.

            41. International Labour Organization (2019) ‘Up-to-date Conventions and Protocols not ratified by United States’. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:11210:0::NO::P11210_COUNTRY_ID:102871.

            42. International Organization of Employers (2011) ‘A response by the International Organization of Employers to the Human Rights Watch Report – A Strange Case: Violations of Workers’ Freedom of Association in the United States by European Multinationals', A Special Edition of the International Review of Labor and Social Policy. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.business-humanrights.org/sites/default/files/media/documents/ioe_hrw_response_may_2011.pdf.

            43. Jackson Lewis (2011) ‘Global preventive strategies for the cross-border workplace.‘ Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.jacksonlewis.com/media/pnc/0/media.1230.pdf

            44. Jackson Lewis (2017) ‘union kNOw’, September. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.jacksonlewis.com/publication/union-know-september-2017.

            45. Jackson Lewis (2018) ‘L&E Global Annual Review, 2017-2018.‘ Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.jacksonlewis.com/sites/default/files/assets/L%26E%20Global%202017-2018%20Annual%20Review.pdf.

            46. Jacoby, S. (1991) ‘American exceptionalism revisited: the importance of management’, in S. Jacoby (ed.), Masters to Managers: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on American Employers. New York City: Columbia University Press: 173-200.

            47. Kelley, M. (2017) ‘What behavioral psychology has got to do with union avoidance: reflections of a labor lawyer’, Ogletree Deakins Insights, October 19. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://ogletree.com/insights/2017-10-19/what-behavioral-psychology-has-to-do-with-union-avoidance-reflections-from-a-labor-lawyer/.

            48. Kochan, T. (2018) ‘It's time to close the “voice gap” in America's workforce’, MIT Management, April 5. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://mitsloan.mit.edu/ideas-made-to-matter/its-time-to-close-voice-gap-americas-workforce.

            49. Law360 (2018) ‘How 3 employment law firms are pulling ahead of the pack’ April 15. Accessed September 1, 2019 from www.law360.com/articles/1032424/corrected-how-3-employment-firms-are-pulling-ahead-of-the-pack.

            50. Law360 (2019) ‘Employment firms find stability in changing workplace law’, May 13. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.law360.com/articles/1159303/employment-firms-find-stability-in-changing-workplace-law.

            51. Littler Mendelson (2009) ‘EFCA: contrary to international law?‘ Littler News Analysis, March 7. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.littler.com/publication-press/publication/efca-contrary-international-law.

            52. Littler Mendelson (2011) ‘The 2011 global employer: highlights of Littler's fourth annual global employer institute’, The Littler Global Report. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/the-littler-report-the-2011-global-empl-95500/.

            53. Littler Mendelson (2012) ‘John Kloosterman appointed to International Labor Organization's Committee on Application of Standards’, April 26. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.littler.com/publication-press/press/john-kloosterman-appointed-international-labour-organization's-committee.

            54. Littler Mendelson (2014) ‘Labor law update’, October 15, 2014. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://slideplayer.com/slide/6206656/.

            55. Littler Mendelson (2019a) ‘History’. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.littler.com/history.

            56. Littler Mendelson (2019b) ‘Practice areas: retail’. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.littler.com/practice-areas/retail.

            57. Littler Mendelson (2019c) ‘International practice group’. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.littler.com/files/ms.../international_practice_group_brochure_english.pdf.

            58. Littler Mendelson (2019d) ‘Johan Lubbe bio.‘ Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.littler.com/people/johan-lubbe.

            59. Logan, J. (2002) ‘Consultants, lawyers and the union free movement in the United States since the 1970s’, Industrial Relations Journal, 33 (3): 197-214.

            60. Logan, J. (2006a) ‘The union avoidance industry in the United States’, British Journal of Industrial Relations, 44 (4): 651-675.

            61. Logan, J. (2006b) ‘Lifting the veil on anti-union activities: employer and consultant reporting under the LMRDA, 1959-2001‘, Advance in Industrial and Labor Relations, 15 (2006): 295-332.

            62. Logan, J. (2008) ‘US anti-union consultants: a threat to the rights of British workers?‘ Trades Union Congress. London.

            63. Logan, J. (2009) ‘Lowering the bar or setting the standard? Deutsche Telekom's labor practices in the United States’, American Rights at Work, November. Accessed September 1, 2019 from http://www.weexpectbetter.org/IMG/pdf/loweringthebar_lowres.pdf.

            64. March, R. (2015) ‘New rules spurs uptick in union activity’, Greater Phoenix in Business, August 15. Accessed September 1, 2019 from http://inbusinessphx.com/in-business/new-labor-rules-spur-uptick-in-union-activity#.XVWw7S3Myik.

            65. Marculewicz, S. (2009) ‘Elimination of the secret ballot union election and compulsory arbitration under the Employee Free Choice Act – a violation of fundamental principles of international labor law’, International Organization of Employer. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.uscib.org/docs/090317_marculewicz_article.pdf.

            66. Marculewicz, S. (2012) ‘Addressing human rights is more than having a policy’, Littler, January 17. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.littler.com/publication-press/publication/addressing-human-rights-more-having-policy.

            67. Marculewicz, S. (2015) ‘Employer free speech under international law’, A Special Presentation Before the International Organization of Employers Global Industrial Relations Network. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://slideplayer.com/slide/10386855/.

            68. Marculewicz, S. (2016) ‘The US NCP and developments on extraterritoriality’. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.slideserve.com/sean-fox/stefan-marculewicz.

            69. Marculewicz, S. (2018) ‘Testimony before the House Committee on Education and Labor, US Congress’, April 26. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://edworkforce.house.gov/uploadedfiles/testimony_marculewicz_4.26.18.pdf.

            70. Marculewicz, S. & B. Wilton (2010) ‘Employer freedom of opinion and expression within the context of union organizing: a fresh perspective from the ILO’, Littler ASAP – A Timely Analysis of Legal Developments, November. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.littler.com/files/press/pdf/2010_11_International_EmployerFreedom_WithinUnionOrganizing_ILO.pdf.

            71. McCallum, J. (2013) Global Unions, Local Power: The New Spirit of Transnational Labor Organizing. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

            72. Minchin, T. (2005) ‘Organizing a labor law violator: The J.P. Stevens campaign and the struggle to unionize the US south, 1963-1983‘, International Review of Social History, 50 (1): 30-51.

            73. Mullin, K. & J. Bolesta (2019) ‘NLRB limits union access rights to “public spaces” of employers’, Sheppard Mullin: Labor and Employment Law Blog, June 17. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.laboremploymentlawblog.com/2019/06/articles/national-labor-relations-board/union-access-rights-public-spaces/.

            74. Noble, K. (1986) ‘Law firms called anti-union’, New York Times, October 23. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.nytimes.com/1986/10/23/us/law-firms-called-anti-union.html.

            75. Ogletree Deakins (2016) ‘Time flies when you're having fun: NLRB further reduces time employers have to educate employees during union campaigns’, Labor Law Insights, February 10. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://ogletree.com/insights/2016-02-10/time-flies-when-youre-having-fun-nlrb-further-reduces-time-employers-have-to-educate-employees-during-union-campaigns/.

            76. Ogletree Deakins (2019a) ‘Cross-border practice’. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://ogletree.com/solutions/practice-areas/cross-border/.

            77. Ogletree Deakins (2019b) ‘International employment update’. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://clientservices.ogletreedeakins.info/rs/ct.aspx?ct=24F76B1BD1E00AEDC1D180ACD62B9219D8BE608EF8BD7DDD76C24E136BCAED2DEE585FADDED8178D701C687BE4485.

            78. Ogletree Deakins (2019c) ‘Traditional labor relations’. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://ogletree.com/solutions/practice-areas/traditional-labor-relations/.

            79. Ogletree Deakins (2019d) ‘Fred W. Suggs, Jr.‘ Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://ogletree.com/people/fred-w-suggs-jr/.

            80. Ogletree Deakins, (2019e) ‘Firm biography’. Accessed September 1, 2019 from http://nbacls.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/OgletreeDeakins.pdf.

            81. Ogletree Deakins (2019f) ‘Beltway Buzz – June 2019 #3.‘ Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/beltway-buzz-june-2019-3-71175/.

            82. Paulas, R. (2018) ‘A new kind of labor movement in Silicon Valley’, The Atlantic, September 4. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/09/tech-labor-movement/567808/.

            83. Reuters (2018) ‘Unions accuse IKEA of undermining workers’ rights in three markets', September 22. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ikea-unions/unions-accuse-ikea-of-undermining-workers-rights-in-three-markets-idUSKCN1M721G.

            84. Rubenstein, A. (2019) ‘3 employment boutiques rank among largest US firms’, Law360, March 24. Accessed September 1, 2019 from www.law360.com/articles/520679/3-employment-boutiques-rank-among-largest-us-firms.

            85. Salmons, S. (1981) ‘J.P. Stevens: one year after the truce’, New York Times, October 18. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.nytimes.com/1981/10/18/business/jp-stevens-one-year-after-the-truce.html.

            86. Schiffman, B. (1991) ‘Tougher tactics to keep unions out’, New York Times, March 3. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.nytimes.com/1991/03/03/business/tougher-tactics-to-keep-out-unions.html.

            87. Scholov, K. (2019) ‘How Amazon is fighting back against workers’ increasing attempts to unionize', CNBC News, July 22.

            88. Smoak, L. (2009) ‘Labor law changes: impact on engineering and construction’, 41st Annual Engineering and Construction Conference. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://slideplayer.com/slide/6991640/.

            89. Solidarity Center (2015) ‘Justice for all: A guide to workers’ rights in the global economy'. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.solidaritycenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Justice-for-All.2009.pdf.

            90. Starner, T. (2019) ‘Is California ready for AB5?‘ Human Resource Executive, August 26.

            91. Stuart, E. (2014) ‘Shame on who? Responding to union corporate campaigns’, Ogletree Deakins. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://ogletree.com/insights/2014-03-31/shame-on-who-responding-to-union-corporate-campaigns-protests-and-bannering.

            92. Sydow, J., M. Fitcher, M. Helfin, K. Sayim & D. Stevis (2014) ‘Implementation of global framework agreements: towards a multi-organizational practice perspective’, Transfer, 20 (4): 489-503.

            93. Thiessen, K. (1984) ‘Law students protest firms’, Harvard Crimson, October 8. Accessed September 1, 2019 from https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1994/10/8/law-students-protest-firms-pharvard-law/.

            94. Warner, K. (2013) ‘The decline of unionization in the United States: Lessons from Canada’, Labor Studies Journal, 38 (2): 110-138.

            95. Williams, J. (2018) ‘The year tech workers realized they were workers’, Wired, December 24.

            96. Wroblewski, A. (2018) ‘Employee activism is alive and well in tech: it stops short of organizing unions’, New York Times, July 7, 2019.

            Comments

            Comment on this article