Legal Question in Employment Law in Pennsylvania

our union ratified a cba on 5-1-10, it included a wage freeze for 1 year and the reason given by the company was the recession. however on 1-30-11 the company posted an ad on the internet as well as a local newspaper seeking employees within an "industry insulated from economic swings" is this bad faith bargaining?

Asked on 3/19/11, 10:19 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Will Whitman Whitman, LLC

From the facts you presented, it does not sound like bad faith bargaining to me. It's pretty hard to argue with the recession as an underlying cause of companies' seeking to reduce costs, including labor costs. If the company later decides it needs to hire, part of the hiring process is the need to convince good potential employees that the company will be around for a little while at least. It's at least conceivable that the industry is relatively insulated from economic swings, but still felt the need to freeze wages for a year in 2010. If at the time of the bargaining, the company was clearly more profitable than ever, and simply lying about any real desire to cut costs, then using the recession as a reason for freezing wages would be disingenuous at best and misrepresentation/fraud and potentially bad faith bargaining at worst, but you have not indicated any of that. I hope this helps.

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Answered on 3/19/11, 11:04 am

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