The ramifications of contractual disputes

In today's global economy, the ramifications of contract disagreements between unions and companies have the potential of negatively affecting not only the reputation of a business but also the business' customer base. Contractual disputes with union employees can arise for various reasons such as better pay, job security, better health benefits and more. Nevertheless, not expeditiously reaching agreement can prevent a business from doing business.

Louisiana residents may find it interesting to learn that after announcing a work stoppage due to failed union contract negotiations earlier in October of this year, a local of the International Longshoremen's Association in Baltimore, Maryland agreed to a 90-day extension of their master contract. The extension ended the work stoppage and union workers resumed work. As a result of the failed contract negotiations, unloading of car shipments had come to a halt.

The union workers at Baltimore's port unload automobiles shipped by BMW, Fiat, Mercedes-Benz, and Mazda. Labor contract disputes have the potential of stopping all work that can potentially harm business relationships and eventually impact the economy.

In any important contract discussions and negotiations, it is in the best interest of the business to have an experienced business law attorney or law firm on one's side to ensure that one is not getting the short end of the stick. An experienced attorney can assist in drafting unambiguous contract language that will protect the business' rights minimize the chances of a dispute. It is essential to consider the implications of not reaching an agreement in a timely fashion, and also have an idea what one is willing to offer, accept and compromise on.

Source: Bloomberg, "Baltimore Port Fully Reopens on Contract-Extension Deal," Caroline Chen, October 18, 2013

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