News & Publications

Unions Swim Against the Tide as Pension Issues Surface

Insurance Advocate

Allen Roberts, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice in the New York office, wrote an article titled "Unions Swim Against the Tide as Pension Issues Surface."

Following is an excerpt:

With private sector union membership standing at 6.7 percent nationally in 2013, major sectors of the economy and geographic areas are not affected significantly by either current unionization or successful organizing efforts. But that does not mean that all employers are untouched—or untouchable—by bargaining demands or organizing campaigns that may paint corporate retirement programs and 401(k) plans unfavorably to multiemployer plans that unions negotiate. Especially if the current National Labor Relations Board moves forward with its initiatives to abbreviate severely the length of time from notice of an election petition to the date of employee voting, unorganized employers should be armed as early as possible with reliable information about "union" defined benefit pension plans for their own decision-making and to share with employees. Similarly, employers entering a new round of collective bargaining should prepare by learning the basics of contributions relative to benefit value and business risk.