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Collective Bargaining Agreement and Impasse

Collective Bargaining Agreement and Impasse

Why the Court Ruled Out the Impasse

According to Earle (1988), the impasse doctrine gives the NLRA the power to protect a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) process. An employer cannot be forced to implement the requirements of a legislative process if there is a stalemate during negotiation. However, when employees and employers are faced with a dreadlock such that further talks are futile, compelled agreements and the right to collective bargaining collide.

Various factors determine whether a valid impasse existed when the employer ceased the negotiation. They include the history of the negotiations, good faith expressed by all parties, the length of the bargaining process, the importance of the matters under review, and the parties’ understanding of the state of the negotiation process (Walsh, 2019). For the Whitesell corporation case, the company’s representative declared that the company was not willing to bargain beyond the CBA expiration date on the first bargaining session. Eight more bargaining sessions were left, which shows the negotiation had not reached an impasse. Also, Whitesell Corporation introduced a new merit-based compensation model to replace the current annual salary increment yet allocated little time to negotiate (Walsh, 2019). That shows the company was not negotiating in good faith.

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Evaluation of Case Facts

The Whitesell versus Union case clearly shows that all parties had not reached the rope’s end before Whitesell Corporation decided to call off the negotiation. One instance showing the company’s unwillingness to exhaust negotiation processes is introducing a new retirement plan. The corporation should have collaborated with union representatives to review the provisions in the new retirement plan against the union’s defined retirement contributions. Essentially, negotiation should be a collaborative process as averred by OSHA requirements (Fairfax, 2020). Another notable instance is the haste with which Whitesell Corporation rushes the negotiation process. Although hasty negotiations are allowed under exceptional circumstances, Whitesell fails to justify the need for a hurried negotiation process (Hogler & Kriksciun, 1984). The company fails to prove the existence of economic exigencies that would justify the haste.


Earle, P. G. (1988). The Impasse Doctrine. Chi.-Kent L. Rev.64, 407.

Fairfax, R. E. (2020). The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Impact on Employers: What Worked and Where to Go From Here. American Journal of Public Health110(5), 644-645.

Hogler, R. L., & Kriksciun, C. (1984). Impasse Resolution in Public Sector Collective Negotiations: A Proposed Procedure. Industrial Relations Law Journal6(4), 481-510.

Walsh, D. J. (2019). Employment Law for Human Resource Practice (6th ed.). Cengage.


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Unit 6 DB: NLRB v. Whiteshell Corp Case StudyUnit 6 DB: NLRB v. Whiteshell Corp Case Study
NLRB v. Whitesell Corp case study illustrates the difficulty of deciding whether an employer has done enough to meet its legal obligation to bargain in good faith. In this case, the court must decide whether Whitesell failed to bargain in good faith to impasse and bargain in good faith by failing to provide information requested by the Union while negotiating the new CBA. After reading this case study found in Chapter 13 of your textbook, address the following:

Collective Bargaining Agreement and Impasse

Collective Bargaining Agreement and Impasse

Why was it concluded that a valid impasse did not exist at the time that the employer ceased to negotiate?
Present an evaluation of the facts of this case based on your research of unions and collective bargaining.
Evidence is an integral part of academic writing and critical thinking. When crafting your responses, please be sure to use the textbook and resources, as well as any outside research you might conduct, to support your statements.
In response to your peers: Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your classmate(s) position related to the facts of the case. Defend your position with evidence from the case study and research.

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