Accretion petitions filed with the NLRB allow unions to add employees to an existing bargaining unit without a representation election. This helps preserve industrial stability by allowing adjustments in bargaining units when new jobs are created, without requiring an adversarial election.
This has historically been applied narrowly because it infringes on an employee’s right to freely choose union representation. Therefore, accretion requires the balancing of several factors, including interchange and contact among employees, degree of functional integration, geographic proximity, similarity of working conditions, similarity of employee skills and functions, supervision, and collective-bargaining history.
Accretion generally requires employee interchange. Employers may defeat accretion by intentionally avoiding interchange between the employees it seeks to keep outside the scope of the collective bargaining agreement and the bargaining unit employees.
Matt Austin owns Austin Legal, LLC, a boutique law firm based in Ohio that limits its representation to employers dealing with labor, employment, and OSHA matters. You can reach Matt by calling him at (614) 843-3041 or emailing him at Matt@MattAustinLaborLaw.com.