Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Inc. v. NLRB, No. 14-1226 (D.C. Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
When Oak Harbor stopped making contributions to four health benefit and pension trusts, the Union filed unfair labor practice charges. The Board properly concluded that the Union waived its statutory rights to receive and bargain over continued contributions to three of the trusts, because the subscription agreements for those trusts "clearly and unmistakably" authorized Oak Harbor to cease trust contributions upon expiration of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) after five days' notice; the Board properly concluded that considering the Union's additional evidence would not have changed its analysis or outcome; there is no merit to the Union's view that a ministerial subscription agreement cannot constitute a valid waiver; the Board reasonably concluded that, at most, there was speculation based on an asserted usual practice to have a subscription agreement that one existed for the fourth trust, but no evidence specific to that trust; the Board properly found there was no evidence that a "mutual mistake" prevented the Union from challenging the cessation of contributions to the fourth trust; and, as to the unilateral act of imposing its medical plan on employees after the strike ended, in some cases economic exigency may justify an employer's unilateral change, but this case was not one of them. Accordingly, the DC Circuit denied the petitions for review and granted the Board's cross-application to enforce its order.