Dean Transportation case moves to U.S. Appeals Court

MIDLAND — A case that may set a precedent regarding the successorship doctrine is headed for the U.S. Court of Appeals. In 2005, the Grand Rapids Public Schools contracted with Dean Transportation to provide transportation services to the district, but questions remained as to whether the union that represented the transportation employees would remain with the employees if they transferred to the new company.

The dispute landed in federal appellate court following a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board that Dean must bargain with the Grand Rapids Educational Support Personnel Association — the public-sector union that previously represented the district’s transportation workers — without a vote by the new Dean employees. The NLRB based its ruling on a doctrine meant to prevent unions from being circumvented by corporate shell games.

The Mackinac Center is one of five parties that filed a joint friend of the court brief in the case. It can be read by visiting