Employers may be charged with unfair labor practices (ULP) if they attempt to deprive their workers of the right to form, join or assist a labor union; the right to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing; or the right to engage in “concerted activity” for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection. Specifically, section 8(a) of the National Labor Relations Act makes it unfair for the employer to prevent workers from exercising the above rights by:
- Interfering, restraining or coercing their workers;
- Dominating or seeking to control the union;
- Discriminating against workers for union activity;
- Discharging a worker who files a ULP or testifies to a ULP; or
- Refusing to bargain in good faith with a duly elected union.
Since the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947, labor organizations have been restricted in ways similar to employers. This amendment to the National Labor Relations Act makes it illegal for a union to:
- Coerce people to become union members;
- Use threats, intimidation or violence;
- Force an employer to punish a worker because he/she doesn't get along with the union;
- Charge excessive union dues; or
- Refuse to bargain in good faith with the employer.