What happens if a company coming out of bankruptcy asks a judge for a recusal? Can they desove a contract made with the union

our company is in Chpt. 11 and will be emerging in june/july. They have made all non union and salary people to take wage and benifit cuts. The company now want the union workers to do the same. Out of 20,000 employees on of the unions of about 300 have voted it down and the company said they will file papers in court for a recuse. Does this mean they will be able to desolve our contract and take away all our benifits and lower our wages even more then they said they would? Has thereever been a case like this in NY where this has happened?

Asked on May 23, 2009 under Business Law, New York


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Your union rep would be able to help you with that information because this is a finite area of law.  In terms of union benefits, union benefits are done through contracts/collective bargaining agreements.

1. First, read your collective bargaining agreement.  As a union member, you are entitled to a copy.

2. Second, most union benefits include free consultation or low cost consultation with attorneys.  Try that through your union.

3. Third, speak to your union rep about what is happening -- and the laws in your state covering such circumstances.

4. Fourth, contact the New York Dept of Labor (http://www.labor.state.ny.us/) and review the following as well:

           a. A bankruptcy judge in Vallejo, California ruled a city could void existing union contracts.  Talk to your lawyer about this case of first impression called In re City of Vallejo, (E.D. CA. March 13, 2009). The reason cited was public workers don't have the same protections as private company workers.  So this actually may provide you some hope.

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