What Constitutes Class Action in Union Grievance?

Class actions are rather interesting for students of law, and anyone else that might be interested in the legal system in general. They point out general inequities and wrong-doing on a large scale, and some of the most exciting lawsuits revolve around class action. There is something of the underdog myth at work here, where the average worker goes up against the big corporation and sometimes wins. This underdog myth can become even more marked when it comes to play in the field of unions. So what, exactly, constitutes class action in a union grievance?

Class actions are distinguished from other general wrong-doings because of their scale. In a class action, a large group of people have had an injustice done to them, and they have decided to take it up with the wrong-doers in a legal forum. These cases appeal to the general population because there are usually real people involved, actively fighting a system that is usually known for ignoring the people. It’s a pretty classic tale, and the cinemas are filled with these kinds of stories. When there is a verdict on the side of those filing the class action, there is a sense that the verdict speaks for everyone. When it’s lost, there’s still a sense of justice being served, fighting the law and the law wins.

In unions generally, when an individual feels that there is a rule that has been broken, such as overtime without pay, they can file a grievance. Grievances have a very particular code in unions, and they go through a very specific process, and usually very quickly.

Oftentimes, when more than one individual feels wronged, the grievance process can take care of the problems quickly and efficiently. However, when there seems to be larger battle at hand, and something the union might see as a more difficult fight, and there are enough individuals who have suffered under the same discrepancy, they can take it the level of class action. When this happens, it becomes more serious, and there is a decision to put it at the level of us vs. them, rather than trying to settle it in a more inconspicuous way.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010 at 2:51 pm and is filed under Class Action Information, Legal. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

 

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