Despite the legal obstacles described above, workers and trade unions have found ways in many sectors across the country to extend their bargaining relationships with employers to multiple sites and, in some cases, to multiple employers. Several approaches are described below. It is an unfair labour practice if one of the parties refuses to negotiate with the other party through collective agreements, but the parties are not obliged to reach an agreement or make concessions. A union-negotiated collective agreement offers you far greater benefits than the Employment Contracts Act After decades of organizing and fighting, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) reached a national collective agreement with AT&T that allowed the union to bargain for 500,000 telecommunications employees. But the subsequent deregulation and dispersal of “Ma Bell” into eight regional businesses (“Baby Bells”) in the 1980s destroyed the national agreement on an employer, and non-union companies quickly took advantage of deregulation to create businesses and undermine standards. CWA must now negotiate with AT&T for 11 individual and geographically distributed bargaining units: six for traditional fixed service workers, four for mobile wireless service workers, and one for DSL customer service. CWA also negotiates separately with the other regional bell companies that have become Verizon and CenturyLink. Today, the union represents about 100,000 employees at AT&T across the country and another 50,000 on the remains of the regional bells. All telecommunications companies compete with non-union cables for the same broadband market, which continues to undermine bargaining power.22 Contrary to the NLRA`s bias for single-company bargaining units, the Railway Labour Act, which governs union representation in the rail and aviation industry, provides that bargaining units are national and employer entities. Workers who wish to obtain trade union representation under the Railway Labour Act demand national unity of all employer workers in their category or vehicle, such as aircraft mechanics, cabin crew, baggage handler or after-sales service personnel.

This allows each union in the railway and aviation industry – once it has won the right to bargain collectively for the group through an election – to negotiate with a single national employer at the national level. Perhaps the best-known example of model negotiations is the United Auto Workers and General Motors, Ford and Fiat-Chrysler unions. Collective agreements, negotiated through negotiation with the three automakers, not only set wages and benefits for tens of thousands of autoworkers, but they also impact non-unionized automakers trying to keep their wages competitive with their unionized colleagues25 According to the UAW`s approach to standard bargaining, the union negotiates with the three auto companies, then chooses a Bargaining Objective to set the standard. . . .