NLRB changes course, recognizes Contract-Bar Doctrine

On his first day in office, President Biden took swift action to restore the National Labor Relations Board into a group who supports workers and puts them on a level playing field.

President Biden’s decision to fire NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb was felt immediately, as the NLRB changed course and to side with workers in an April ruling. United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Assistant General Counsel Amanda Jaret joined the AWF Union Podcast to discuss this and the Contract-Bar Doctrine.

Restoring a worker-friendly NLRB

One of President Biden’s first actions as president was firing Trump-appointed NLRB General Counsel Peter Robb. The move was wise, as the NLRB almost immediately changed course on a number of issues.

However, some raised concerns with the process of firing Robb, saying it may have been illegal. Jaret said the NLRB has confirmed they would not take up any case against the decision and expects President Biden’s nominee to skate through confirmation.

Honoring the Contract-Bar Doctrine

Jaret later discussed a case in which a poultry company sought to decertify the union. Under President Trump the NLRB allowed the company to hold the union votes and not count them, despite a contract being in effect. She said this went against the Contract-Bar Doctrine.

The company went all-in trying to decertify the union. They held captive audience meetings and took other action to convince workers the union was not good.

Jaret said the NLRB reversed course and reaffirmed its commitment to the Contract-Bar Doctrine. The company most likely would have been able to continue its anti-worker action had President Biden not fired Peter Robb.


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