Legal Question in Business Law in New York

If there is a labor union that currently represents the majority of super stores, such as Walmart, Target, K-Mart, etc. and they continue to target more and more of the same types of corporations( super Stores ), they already own the majority of the population of super stores. can a company file an antitrust law suit against them due to them not allowing fair competition for other labor unions hoping to represent employees of super stores?

Asked on 9/27/13, 12:26 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

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This is a very complicated question for a law guru post. Your best first step is to file a complaint with the Department of Justice (http://www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.html).

Monopolies are not against the law in and of themselves, but can be illegal if the monopoly acts in a predatory manner, creates unnecessary barriers to entry for competitors, or other means of unfair competition. A Labor Union is usually formed by a vote of the employees and even then individual employees may join at their option. It would be very difficult to prove antitrust activity led to the vote. However, it has always been odd to me that there aren't multiple union options available to new employees at any unionized company so I don't think the question is without merit.

Typically, the best long-term actions for an employer to prevent or get rid of a union is to offer better terms to non-union employees than what the Union was able to negotiate, i.e. the union contract grants 10 days of vacation whereas the company offers 14 days of vacation to all other employees, offer an ombudsman service to investigate staff complaints that is more efficient than the union's grievance process, offer bonuses to non-union employees based on performance whereas the union doles out bonus money based on seniority.

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9/27/13, 9:33 pm
kevin connolly Kevin J. Connolly
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The antitrust angle was used in the old days to break unions. The National Labor Relations Act makes it clear that human labor is not an article of commerce and unions are now exempt from the anti-trust laws.

Your question is completely meritless as any law student who has taken labor law or antitrust law could tell you. Jason is frankly clueless about labor relations and antitrust law both.

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9/28/13, 6:16 pm
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There are numerous cases and academic articles discussing when a union fails to qualify for the Antitrust exemption - for one example see http://nationallaborpolicy.org/litigation/. There are also numerous actions a union may take in violation of the NLRA Unfair Labor Practices such as interfering, restraining, or coercing, employees to join a different union than their own, see 29 USC 158(B).

Thank you for your assistance Mr. Connolly.

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10/05/13, 8:53 pm

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