Traditional Labor

Troutman Sanders’ labor attorneys have been counseling clients on labor management relations issues for decades. While technological advancements, global competition, and lack of worker trust have caused the number of unionized workers to decrease in recent years, certain industries, such as healthcare, hospitality, automotive and utilities, continue to have a high concentration of unionized employees. Unlike many other full-service law firms, our labor relations practice remains an active aspect of our overall labor and employment services.

For clients wishing to avoid a unionized workplace, we represent management in union elections, defeating union organization attempts and winning decertification elections across the country. We also conduct supervisory training in union avoidance techniques.

For our unionized clients, we have significant experience with all issues that arise in the labor-management relations process. We serve as chief labor counsel to various unionized clients, leading negotiations in collective bargaining, defending unfair labor practice charges, and providing counseling and strategy advice throughout the grievance process. We defend management in charges resulting from violations of the National Labor Relations Act as well as in arbitration proceedings.

In addition, we have a deep history of working with unionized companies on collective bargaining agreement disputes, strike preparation, and union negotiations in a wide range of industries, including energy, packaging and broadcasting. We are familiar with the tactics employed by union leadership and organizers and have successfully decertified bargaining units at clients’ plants or other facilities. Our experience with traditional labor laws and proven results with labor-management relations distinguishes us from other full-service law firms.

  • We represented Sea Ray Boats, a division of Brunswick Industries, in defending an organizational attempt by the Teamsters Union. The Teamsters attempted a company-wide campaign with votes at the Knoxville and Tellico plants in Tennessee, and the Merritt Island, Sykes Creek and Palm Coast plants in Florida. The organizational attempt was unsuccessful. We also represented Boston Whaler in a similar organizational attempt in Smyrna Beach, Florida. The attempt failed.
  • We successfully represented Lund Boats in a representation campaign against the Machinists Union.
  • We assisted management in defeating the Teamsters Union organizing campaign at a medical products company in New Tazewell, Tennessee.
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Rankings & Recognition

  • U.S. News & World ReportBest Law Firms: Labor Law – Management – National (2015-2016) – Tier 2
  • U.S. News & World Report – Best Law Firms: Labor Law – Management – Atlanta (2015-2016) – Tier 1
  • U.S. News & World Report – Best Law Firms: Labor Law – Management – Richmond (2015-2016) – Tier 1


Practice Highlights