Friday, September 16, 2022

WIRTW #642: the “get off our backs” edition

Can you please get off our backs? By "our," I mean management-side labor lawyers. 

Let me explain.

I just finished listening to the latest episode of the 43-15 Podcast discussing the first group of Petco employees to attempt to organize into a labor union. The hosts were all over the "union busting lawyer" Petco hired to represent it and challenge the employees' organizing. His major sin: "Counseling many companies on labor strategy, union avoidance, and responding to union backed corporate campaigns." Heavens to Betsy, a lawyer doing … wait for it … his job.

Like any other attorney, management-side labor lawyers have a job to do and an ethical obligation to represent their clients zealously. Union organizing and recognition is a decided in an election, in which a majority of employees need to choose to unionize. What are employers supposed to do, roll over and let the union walk in unimpeded? As their lawyers we are simply playing our roll in this process. That's all. Is it adversarial? Sure. Does it sometimes get heated? Of course. But management is entitled to be represented just as do the employees seeking to unionize.

Don't hate the player, hate the game. That's all I'm saying.

Here's what I read and listened to this past week that I think you should be reading and listening to, too.