Union Contracts

Union Contracts

Unions have been an integral part in the development and maturation of the United States. They are what makes a successful country with a robust middle class possible. At Malamut & Associates, we recognize the difficulties that present when providing groups of workers with benefits. As the US exists in an increasingly competitive global economy, these difficulties multiply. Retaining a competent attorney can be invaluable for a union or employees goals. Contact Malamut & Associates today to schedule a free consultation in person at our Cherry Hill, NJ office. One of our skilled attorneys will be able to discuss your specific a labor or employment law issue. We look forward to meeting you.

Do I Need a Labor Law Attorney?

If you are a member of a union, the union could have an attorney you can consult with should you be concerned about the conditions of your employment. If you are not represented by a union, or believe your union representative is not doing enough, an experienced labor law attorney may be able to assist you with your labor law problem or need.

What is a Union Contract?

A union contract is a legal document made up of provisions and arrangements related to workers’ rights and benefits. Contracts are the result of negotiations between the union and the employer. Often they begin with the union’s initial overreaching proposal, followed by negotiations with the employer regarding specific items that affect the job. Disagreements and commonalities are pared down and expanded upon or reduced, resulting in a mutually agreeable document. These labor union contracts are multiyear, bilateral agreements between the labor union and an employer. The labor union contract codifies the terms and conditions by which employment for union members is handled, as well as the employer’s obligations and responsibilities to the employees. Union members will refer to their union contracts when they have questions about their wages, how much the company is paying for benefits, or what steps to take when they disagree with management’s decisions.

Basic Components of a Union Contract

Labor union contracts have many components. These include but are not limited to sections that detail agreements on wages, benefits, working schedules, seniority-based bidding for shifts, holiday schedules and employee grievances. Two clauses to which the parties often agree to early in the negotiation process pertains to management’s rights and union dues. The management rights clause maintains the right of the employer to operate a business at its discretion. The dues checkoff clause obligates the employer to deduct union dues directly from employees’ pay. The funds will then be remitted to the labor union at an agreed interval.

Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining is the term used to describe the negotiation process specifically used for labor union contracts. Sometimes, a labor union contract will be referred to as a Collective Bargain Agreement. Much like our favorite professional sports leagues, the negotiation process for labor union contracts involves two groups. Like the NFL Commissioner/team owners (management) and the NFLPA (employees/players) do every decade or so, two groups will negotiate a labor deal. You may recall seeing the two sides on television arguing the merits of their demands, concessions, and ongoing disagreements. Employers and unions operate in the same manner, just not featured on SportsCenter. One group represents the interests of union members and another represents management’s interests. The labor union committee generally consists of the union’s local president, a union business agent, a union steward, and the union’s counsel or attorney. The employer’s committee may consist of the human resources department leader or the company’s president, as well as a lawyer well versed in labor and employment law. Smaller businesses may rely more heavily on their legal counsel as their lead negotiator.

How Can We Help?
Contact Malamut & Associates today to schedule a consultation for us to discuss your specific situation.


We offer free consultations in person at our Cherry Hill, NJ office, or we can come to you. All personal injury cases are handled on a contingency basis, meaning that you will not pay any attorney fees at all unless we secure recovery compensation on your behalf. If we are not the appropriate firm to help you, we will offer counsel as to your best options. A representative of the firm can be reached at (856)424-1808, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We look forward to meeting you.