As our astute readers know, the National Labor Relations Board recently overturned decades of precedent (and an advantageous bargaining tactic for employers) when it concluded that companies cannot automatically cease deducting union dues upon contract expiration. However, in 1995, companies could stop automatically deducting dues once a contract expired. One company did just that, and the union reacted by filing an unfair labor practice charge alleging that the company acted unilaterally without first bargaining with the union.

This case is both frustrating and refreshing. It is frustrating to see a company involved in 20 years of litigation based on a single decision it made that followed the law that was in place at the time it was made. It is also frustrating to see the great lengths the current NLRB will go to in order to change the law to favor unions. However, it is refreshing to see that the Board considered the unique circumstances of the case and declined to order its usual make-whole remedy.