Advocates for Labor and Progressive Institutions

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Courts throw out lawsuits contesting the legality of longstanding union-time agreements

March 31, 2020

The United States District Courts for the Northern District of Mississippi and the Western District of Virginia threw out claims that longstanding union-time provisions in collective-bargaining agreements violate Section 302 of the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947.

Union-time provisions—which have been a feature of collective bargaining for decades—permit union members to devote part or all of their working hours to representing their co-workers without loss of pay or benefits. The Volvo Group of North America, LLC, brought a pair of lawsuits claiming that union-time provisions in contracts that it had negotiated with locals of the International Union of United Automobile Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (“UAW”) were illegal. Both Courts dismissed that claim, reasoning that that they lacked jurisdiction over a hypothetical dispute concerning the legality of contract provisions of a kind under which Volvo had operated for nearly 40 years. Bredhoff & Kaiser represented the UAW and its locals in both cases. Volvo Grp. N. Am., LLC v. UAW, Civil No. 3:19CV119-NBB-RP, 2020 WL 1467751 (N.D. Miss. Mar. 26, 2020);