Most neutrality agreements continue and contain other provisions, including an employer agreement to voluntarily recognize the union as a workers` representative as soon as a majority of workers have signed union authorization cards or a petition to support the union as a representative, said Mark Kisicki, an attorney at Ogletree Deakins in Phoenix. Many also contain the types of provisions identified in the LNRB general counsel`s memo, he noted. Employers are often pressured into neutrality agreements through union positions, threats or extensive “corporate campaigns”. Some employers are pressured to enter into neutrality agreements by other companies that act at the request of union officials. A neutrality agreement itself may require an employer to insert the neutrality agreement into other undertakings to which it is bound. After reviewing the appeal, General Counsel partially agreed with the Fund and concluded that the Office of General Counsel believed that parts of the charge were based on the law and that a complaint should be filed so that General Counsel could finally ask the Council to establish that such neutrality agreements were contrary to the law. In his letter partially supporting the Fund`s request for review, General Counsel found that the employer had, in his view, breached the law by concluding and maintaining a neutrality agreement with the Union, given that the Union`s neutrality agreement granted much more than “ministerial assistance” during the Union`s organisational campaign. For the same reasons, General Counsel found that the union had broken the law by adopting such assistance from the employer. As a result, the matter was referred to the Regional Director for Region 19 for further work. In the absence of a settlement, the Regional Director would have to file a complaint against the employer and the union, claiming that the employer had provided unlawful assistance and accepted the union, and would likely seek an order to order the employer to withdraw recognition of the Union, unless the union was confirmed by secret ballot to the board of directors.
While the hearing is underway before a UNDCA administrative judge who will be required to follow the Council`s existing precedents, it can be expected that General Counsel will eventually try to get the five-member Washington board to look into the issue and adopt a new standard to determine whether a neutrality agreement is legal or goes too far. Often, neutrality agreements require the employer to publish a communication or letter announcing the neutrality agreement itself. . . .