Union Representatives as Corporate Directors: The Challenge to the Adversarial Model of Labor Relations

This Article addresses these questions first by discussing the predominant philosophical approach adopted by unions in their dealings with management, and then describing several ways in which the labor laws reflect this traditional model of employment relations by showing, first, that the influence of unions has been limited to circumscribed categories of business decisions. The Article next examines decisions made by the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) and the courts that have carefully sought to separate employer from employee, assuming their interests to be inherently antagonistic. Then follows an evaluation of the NLRB’s treatment of deviations from the traditional model of labor-management relations, with special emphasis given those circumstances under which union officials will be permitted to assume an active, participatory function in the entire spectrum of business decisions. Finally, the Article concludes by considering the implications, particularly for the individual member-employee, of a broader role for labor in corporate governance.