Check the language of your collective bargaining agreement to double check on the authority here. Also, reach out to your union rep to discuss.
In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.
Why? is probably because it is cheaper for the company or better meets the needs they have. Why pay overtime and double time if you can hire extra help. Usually companies try not to take on extra staff as long as they can because there are some obligations and costs involved, but evidently the tipping point has arrived and they now want to expand. Unless it is part of your labor agreements that the business would not expand, I don't think the union would have any say in how the owners decide to grow.
Every legal matter is fact specific, and there are often nuances in every case. This is intended for comment only, and does not create an attorney client relationship.
I am a California attorney and cannot give legal advice in your state. My comments are information only, based on federal law and general legal principles. YOUR STATE MAY HAVE ITS OWN LAWS THAT OFFER SIMILAR OR GREATER PROTECTION. If I mention your state’s laws, it only means I did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant. You MUST check with an attorney licensed in your state to learn your rights.
Most likely, the union had nothing to do with this and it is merely communicating the employer's decision to arrange its staffing a different way. Generally, employers have the right to decide how many employees they need and for what shifts.
If this is a change in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA or contract), then it is possible the employer presented the union with compelling reasons to agree to the change. One such reason could be that the employer would have to layoff some employees otherwise. Most unions and most employees would agree that one full-time job is better than no job at all.
These are hard times for most working people. Many unions take the position that it is better to have more people working than it is to have fewer people working, and that if there is enough work for substantial overtime, there may be enough work for two employees instead of just one.
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