Newspaper Guild v. Hearst Corp., ___F.3d___ 2d Cir. May 17, 2011, is an important decision. As most readers will recognize, unions depend upon union dues to operate. But what happens when a CBA expires? Does a dues checkoff provision remain valid? According to the Second Circuit, it depends. Interestingly, the 2d Circuit rejected the notion that a dues checkoff provision was a type of accurred or vest benefit. Instead, the court focused on the language of the dues check off provision in the CBA. If it can be read as still applying during the contractual hiatus, then the matter is subject to arbitration. An arbitrator would ultimately have to determine if the CBA was in fact violated by the suspension of dues check off.
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