On March 16, 2023, an arbitrator awarded a solid victory to UFCW, Local 1445 in a case regarding an employee whose transfer to a career-advancing position was unfairly and inappropriately scuttled by her supervisor. The case was argued for the Union by Pyle Rome attorney Al Gordon O'Connell.
Employers know that arbitrators are reluctant to reinstate union employees found to have committed theft, and that is why employers frequently accuse employees of "theft" or fraud" to intimidate unions from challenging the discipline. UNITE HERE Local 26 and Attorney Hykel were not easily intimidated.
A fundamental component of union collective bargaining agreements is a requirement that all discipline be supported by "just cause." As shown by the UNITE HERE Local 26's recent arbitration victory over, just cause includes a requirement that discipline be consistent across employees. Consistency is necessary to ensure that employers do not pick favorites or unfairly target employees even when the discipline is largely the same.
On May 3, 2023, the Commonwealth Employee Relations Board issued a ruling upholding the state regulation that allows unions to block elections -- including decertification elections -- when the employer has committed significant unfair labor practices that might impact the outcome of the election. This case of first impression was successfully argued by Pyle Rome attorney Alex Robertson on behalf of UFCW, Local 1459.
The right of labor unions to have a voice in the working conditions extends to secret monitoring of public employee performance, according to a new decision of the Massachusetts Appeals Court. This decision vindicates an unfair labor practice filed by Attorney Ian O. Russell on behalf of SEIU Local 509.
As with any employees represented by a Union, Boston Police superior officers negotiated various paid leave benefits, such as sick leave, vacation leave and personal leave. The Boston Police Commissioner routinely forces police officers to work when not scheduled, cancels scheduled days off, and attempts to limit their use of paid leave. The schedule of police officers can be subject to the whims of the Police Commissioner, without regard for the need or desire of police officers for adequate time to relax, rest or recreate.
On April 11, 2022, a neutral arbitrator ruled in favor of SEIU, Local 509 and Pyle Rome attorney Ian Russell in a long-simmering dispute relating to the step placement of state workers who are promoted from one position with an educational requirement to another position with a higher educational requirement.
On April 6, 2022, NLRB Regional Director Laura Sacks issued a ruling clearing the way for a union election among all eligible employees in the Salem, Mass., dispensary of I.N.S.A., Inc. This is the latest in a long string of wins by Pyle Rome attorney Alex Robertson on behalf of cannabis workers across the state as they flex their organizing muscles.
As hotels and universities reopen in the wake of the COVID pandemic, UNITE HERE Local 26 has been battling against unilateral changes that employers are blaming on the pandemic. Pyle Rome partner Jim Hykel recently won two significant arbitration decisions pushing back against these changes.
In a case involving the Town of Scituate, the Commonwealth Employment Relations Board has affirmed that public employers must bargain about the decisions involving the safety of fire fighters. It is the first such ruling by the CERB in decades. Attorney Patrick Bryant represented the Scituate fire local during the hearing.