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Michael Duffee


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Mike represents management clients in a wide variety of labor and employment matters and related litigation.

He has specific experience handling matters particular to clients in the construction industry, including picketing, secondary boycotts, fringe benefit claims, pension withdrawal liability, jurisdictional disputes, prevailing wage problems, occupational safety and health matters, and other related issues. Over the years, he has worked with several multi-employer associations and also serves as management counsel to several Taft-Hartley employee benefit funds. Mike has extensive experience in collective bargaining negotiations with many different unions, and has bargained to completion hundreds of contracts in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, construction, health care and transportation.

Mike also advises many clients in the public sector as well, including park districts, municipalities, housing authorities and other governmental employers. Since 1991, Mike has represented the City of Chicago in its negotiations with trade, clerical and technical employees, where he has successfully negotiated work rule and healthcare plan changes that saved the City in excess of $200 million. In 2008, he represented the State of Illinois in its state-wide contract negotiations with AFSCME Council 31, covering over 36,000 State employees, being the first outside labor counsel hired by the State to negotiate its labor agreements. Since 2011, he has represented the Chicago Transit Authority in its various trade union negotiations with over a dozen different unions.

Negotiated the first project labor agreement between a major metropolitan transit agency, the city and a trades council.

Represented employer group in the privatization of a major municipal airport, and negotiated agreements with over a dozen trade unions which represented the airport's existing municipal workforce.

Completed multi-employer negotiations for several moving industry clients in the Chicago area, and reached agreement on the first area wide Teamster contract for this industry in over 25 years.

Negotiated collective bargaining agreement for Chinese-owned commuter rail car manufacturing facility, the first such plant built in Chicago in over 100 years.

Represented Chicago based general contracting firm in negotiations for contract covering trend setting modular construction plant.

Thompson Coburn Publications

Coming July 1: What Chicago employers need to know about the new paid sick leave, minimum wage and fair workweek rules

What you need to know about the City of Chicago Fair Workweek ordinance

Illinois’s newly enacted ‘Workplace Transparency Act’ responds to the #MeToo movement

A victory for attorney-client confidentiality: DOL takes formal steps to rescind controversial persuader regulation

Missouri to join Right to Work ranks: Is the fight over or just warming up?


Workplace Privacy

Caught in the Middle: NLRB Organizing Issues

Buzz, Cookies, Targeting: A Business Guide to Rapidly Expanding Data Privacy Laws


"What You Need to Know About the 'City of Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance'"
August 2019

Illinois Prevailing Wage Seminar;
Downers Grove, IL, October 2017

"Surviving the Avalanche: The New Rules on Union Organizing and Their Consequences";
Thompson Coburn HR Seminar, March 2015

"They Call 'Em Like They See 'Em: What's New with the Umpires at the NLRB";
Thompson Coburn HR Seminar, March 2014

Collective Bargaining in the Construction Industry Seminar;
Contractors' Association of Will & Gruny Counties, April 2013

"Buzz, Cookies, Targeting: A Business Guide to Rapidly Expanding Data Privacy Laws";
Thompson Coburn TCLE Webinar, May 2012

"Workplace Privacy Issues";
Association of Corporate Counsel, Chicago Chapter, October 2011

"Banners, Rats, Street Theater & Related Secondary Boycott Issues";
Hot Topics in Contemporary Labor Relations Law, IIT Kent College of Law and NLRB Region 13, March 2011

Labor and Employment Law Update Breakfast Briefing;
Chicago, IL, October 2010

Contributing Editor, The Developing Labor Law, BNA, 3rd Ed. 1992