An article written by Thomas S. Giotto — a shareholder in the Labor and Employment Section of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney's Pittsburgh office — was published in the August 7, 2009, edition of Law360. The article, titled "Collective Bargaining Agreements During Recession," discussed how costs from collective bargaining agreements (CBA) once negotiated in better economic times have become burdensome in today's global recession.

As Giotto explained, "Unionized companies in every business sector are eager to reduce these financial burdens including the requirements imposed by their CBAs. To this end, many unionized companies are seeking concessions from the unions that represent their employees. … Such employers should understand the legal aspects of concession bargaining and develop strategies to make such negotiations both fruitful and effective."

Giotto went on to discuss obligations of unions during mid-term bargaining, as well as strategies and tactics to take when attempting to negotiate concessions, including:

  • Off-the-record meetings.
  • Tactics to gain concessions.
  • Unilateral implementation due to a business emergency.
  • Bankruptcy.
Giotto concluded saying, "In light of today's tough economic times, unions may have less leverage to resist change. Employers may find that unions are willing to approach their membership and push for change to properly negotiated CBA concessions. … Employers should take this opportunity to meet with counsel and discuss these and other negotiating strategies to determine what works best for them. With careful planning and the implementation of proper bargaining strategies, companies can attain desirable results in CBA concession negotiations."