Fighting For
Employee And Union Rights
Fighting For
Employee And Union Rights

What to know about bad faith bargaining

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Labor Law

When you are part of a workforce aiming to secure better wages, benefits or working conditions, understanding the ins and outs of labor negotiations is crucial. These discussions can be a tug-of-war between what employees need and what employers offer.

But what happens when one side isn’t playing fair? This can be the case when businesses bargain in bad faith.

Recognizing the red flags

Bad faith bargaining can often be subtle, but spotting the signs is key to keeping negotiations on track. Some of the red flags to look out for can include:

  • Refusing to meet or deliberate within a reasonable time frame
  • Making demands that are impossible to meet, aiming to stall the process
  • Changing positions without a clear reason or notice
  • Withholding information that’s necessary for fruitful negotiation
  • Failing to consider the union’s proposals seriously

These maneuvers are telltale signs that the other party may not be fully committed to reaching an agreement.

Why would a party negotiate in bad faith?

There is no room for deceit and dishonesty during labor negotiations, but it can happen. Typically, parties bargain in bad faith as a strategy to undermine the union’s position or to wear down the patience of the workers, hoping they’ll settle for less.

These tactics can throw a wrench into the works, leading to prolonged negotiations, heightened tensions and a breakdown of trust. When workers feel their rights are being ignored, it can lead to strikes or legal action, escalating the conflict and causing disruptions that affect everyone involved.

Steering clear of negotiation pitfalls

Bad faith bargaining is an obstacle that can significantly impede the progress of labor negotiations. Recognizing these underhanded tactics is the first step in ensuring that the negotiation process remains productive and fair. When both employers and employees engage with integrity, they lay the groundwork for agreements that uphold workers’ rights and contribute to a positive and collaborative work environment.