Every year many employers and employees file charges related to unfair labor practices which are provided for in the national labor relations act. The United States labor laws categorize unfair labor practices as the actions employers or labor unions engage in which break the Wagner act or other labor laws.
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The Wagner statute and other labor laws create rights and obligations which bind employers and employees to follow the labor laws. When the employer interferes with the rights of the employee or the employee interferes with the rights of the employer or either the employer or employee fails to perform their obligation as agreed, the wounded party has the right to press an unfair labor practice charge.
The national labor relations act broadly categorizes unfair labor practices into three groups. First are the unfair labor practices which result from acts employers, secondly are the unfair labor practices which result from acts of labor organization and lastly are the unfair labor practices which result from the combined activity of employers and labor unions.
The national labor relations act or the Wagner act forms the basic labor relations law. The statute was passed in 1935 to govern the relationship between employers and employees. The act asserts the rights of the employees to form labor unions and bargain collectively. The act also established the national labor relations board and charged it with the responsibility to rule on unfair labor practices and oversee labor unions elections. The act identified and prohibited five unfair labor practices by employers.
The national labor relations act prohibits interference with the efforts of employees to organize. Before 1935 labor unions did not enjoy protection from the law. The employers distracted the activities of labor unions and discouraged employees from joining them. The law now prohibits employers from interfering with the rights of employers to form, belong, organize or support labor unions. The statute ensures that employees have a choice on whether to join a trade union or not. Any interference from the employer constitutes an unfair labor practice and employee can file charges.
The statute outlaws the formation or domination of labor unions by employers. Interfering with the creation or running of a labor union by an employer contravenes the national labor relations act. Any assistance offered to the labor union in order to manipulate its management is prohibited. The employees can file an unfair labor practices charge if the employer interferes with the running of their labor union.
The act prohibits an employer from discriminately hiring or firing an employee based on his links to a labor union. Employers usually use different tactics to deter employees from participating in labor unions. These may include threatening employees with firing or depriving employees of their benefits. When an employer engages in these activities in order to deter an employee from exercising his right to participate in any union activities he is in violation of the national labor relations act.
The national labor relations act also makes it illegal to discriminate or fire any employee because he or she has filed an unfair labor practice charges or testified in a case involving unfair labor practices. The statute also requires that an employer should bargain collectively with the agents selected by the employees. Refusal to bargain with the employee’s representative constitutes a contravention of the act. The employee can file a charge of unfair labor practice if the employer refuses to bargain with their representative. The act encourages joint bargaining which promotes peaceful labor relations.