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This decision represents a very good articulation of the collective bargaining process, of how it rests on the relationship built by the parties and cannot be defined by a single event or action.  The Board majority viewed the context of the bargaining between the parties in its totality instead of focusing intently on one incident.  If the Dissent’s position were accepted then no party could every cite to the other party’s behavior without risking a finding of “animus.”  Labor relations is a complex business where actions cause reaction.  In this case, the unions steadfastly refused to bargain over changes during the term of the contract which was their right, of course, but that kind of inflexibility means the employer was less likely to approach the unions when the change was something positive.  Had the tables been turned, and the employer acted in an inflexible manner, the unions would likely have pointed to that behavior in refusing to agree to something in the future.  “Animus” is not defined by a party not liking the outcome.

Read the source article at Labor Relations Update

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