David S.Birnbaum


Chicago + 1.3122694005

David Birnbaum represents employers in complex labor and employment matters. His practice focuses on collective bargaining, arbitration, litigation, strikes, picketing disputes, corporate campaigns, and representation proceedings arising under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the Railway Labor Act (RLA). David has obtained outstanding results on behalf of leading employers in high-profile matters resulting in recent recognition as a "Client Service All-Star" (BTI Consulting Group), a "Next Generation Lawyer" (The Legal 500), and one of the "Most Powerful Employment Attorneys" in the United States (Lawdragon/HR Executive). His traditional labor practice spans employers in the automotive, construction, health care, hospitality, manufacturing, media, mining, oil and gas, private equity, railroad, retail, telecommunications, and transportation industries.

David has extensive experience representing clients in connection with labor and employment aspects of restructurings, bankruptcies, and mergers and acquisitions. He also has significant experience with a wide range of employment litigation and regularly counsels employers in all areas of labor and employment law. Clients with whom David has worked include Advocate Health Care, Continental Automotive, CSXT, HCA, Kraft Heinz Company, National Railway Labor Conference, Saputo, Sutter Health, Verizon, Wal-Mart, WMATA, and Wabtec.

David is the regional co-chair of the American Bar Association Committee on Practice and Procedure Under the NLRA. He coauthored the PLI Labor Management Law Answer Book and serves as an editor to the leading treatises The Developing Labor Law, How to Take a Case Before the NLRB, and The Railway Labor Act.


  • City of Detroit's chapter 9 plan of adjustment confirmedJones Day served as lead restructuring counsel to the City of Detroit in connection with its chapter 9 bankruptcy case filed in July 2013 and its ongoing restructuring efforts.
  • Kraft Heinz prevails in arbitration with UFCW regarding significant plant closure medical benefitsJones Day prevailed on behalf of Kraft Heinz Foods Company in a significant arbitration involving a grievance filed by UFCW, Local 538 seeking plant closure retiree medical benefits.
  • Kraft Heinz successfully negotiates with Teamsters Local 952Jones Day represented the Kraft Heinz Foods Company in successful negotiations with Teamsters Local 952 for a collective bargaining agreement covering over 300 bargaining unit employees at the Company's Fullerton, California facility.
  • Kraft Heinz successfully negotiates with UFCW, Local 431Jones Day represented the Kraft Heinz Foods Company in successful negotiations with UFCW, Local 431 for a collective bargaining agreement covering approximately 350 bargaining unit employees at the Company's Muscatine, Iowa facility.
  • Alpha Natural Resources plan confirmed by U.S. Bankruptcy CourtOn July 12, 2016, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia entered an order confirming the Second Amended Joint Plan of Reorganization of Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. and 148 of its debtor affiliates, less than one year after Alpha, one of the largest coal companies in the United States, entered chapter 11 with liabilities of approximately $7.1 billion amidst the most challenging economic environment for coal producers in decades.
  • Veolia sells U.S. solid waste business to Highstar Capital's portfolio company Star Atlantic Waste for $1.9 billionJones Day advised Veolia Environnement in the $1.9 billion sale of its U.S. solid waste business to Star Atlantic Waste Holdings LP, a portfolio company of Highstar Capital.
  • Newell Brands acquires Jarden Corporation for $16 billionJones Day advised Newell Brands Inc. in connection with its acquisition of Jarden Corporation in a cash and stock transaction valued at $60 per share, or approximately $16 billion in equity value.
  • Shiloh Industries negotiates successor collective bargaining agreement with iron workers' unionJones Day represented Shiloh Industries, Inc. in connection with successful collective bargaining negotiations with the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, Local 508.
  • Chicago Public Media negotiates first contract with SAG-AFTRA covering content creation professionalsJones Day negotiated Chicago Public Media, Inc.'s ("CPM") first contract with the SAG-AFTRA union covering its content creation professionals.
  • Continental Automotive Systems reaches successful negotiation with International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers AFL-CIO, Local No. 10Jones Day represented Continental Automotive Systems U.S., Inc., at the bargaining table, in connection with successful negotiations with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers AFL-CIO, Local No. 10 for a five year agreement governing terms and conditions of employment at the Company's Newport News, Virginia facility.
  • Saputo acquires dairy and non-dairy extended shelf-life producer Morningstar Foods from Dean Foods Company for $1.45 billionJones Day advised Saputo, Inc. in its acquisition of Morningstar Foods, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dean Foods Company, for $1.45 billion.
  • Continental Tire obtains favorable outcome in arbitrations involving USWJones Day prevailed on behalf of Continental Tire North America, Inc. ("CTNA") in two significant arbitrations involving plant closure benefits.
  • Viking Range defeats Whirlpool in its attempt for injunctive relief to prohibit former exec from working at VikingJones Day represented Viking Range Corporation and successfully defeated attempts by Whirlpool to obtain preliminary injunctive relief prohibiting a former Whirlpool executive from working at Viking Range Corporation.
  • American Steamship negotiates with American Maritime OfficersJones Day represents American Steamship Company ("ASC"), a subsidiary of GATX Corporation, in connection with on-going collective bargaining for a successor collective bargaining agreement with the American Maritime Officers ("AMO").
  • Continental Automotive Systems obtains ruling to have putative class action case regarding retiree medical benefits transferredOn March 7, 2011, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled in favor of Jones Day client Continental Automotive Systems U.S., Inc. ("CAS"), transferring the case to federal court in Alabama in the interest of justice and for the convenience of parties and witnesses.
  • Verizon Communications defends against appeal of summary judgment and obtains full victoryAfter Jones Day client, Verizon Communications, Inc. ("Verizon"), won a summary judgment deferring to an arbitrator's decision on procedural matters, the plaintiff Union appealed.
  • Continental Tire obtains preliminary approval in settlement in ERISA class actionJones Day represented Continental Tire North America in a class action under ERISA and Sec. 301 of the Labor-Management Relations Act filed by retirees and the United Steelworkers of America challenging Continental's modification of its retiree medical plan for retirees at its unionized plants.
  • Century Aluminum acquires Sebree aluminum smelter from Rio Tinto AlcanJones Day advised Century Aluminum Company in the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of the Sebree aluminum smelter in Kentucky from a subsidiary of Rio Tinto Alcan, Inc.
  • Continental Tire successfully defends against unfair labor practice chargesOn behalf of Continental Tire North America, Jones Day successfully defended the employer against unfair labor practice charges alleging that the company acted unlawfully by implementing layoffs, failing to provide information during negotiations, removing equipment, and declaring impasse and implementing terms of its last, best and final offer.
  • Lennox International sells Service Experts business to American CapitalJones Day advised Lennox International Inc., a provider of climate control solutions for heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration markets around the world, in the sale of its Service Experts business to American Capital, Ltd.
  • Speaking Engagements

    • May 22, 2017
      Union Organizing, Union Relations Under a "New" NLRB, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration 2017 Chicago Regional Roundtable
    • July 20, 2015
      Collective Action Alternative Campaign Panel Association of Labor Relations Agencies, Advocates Day
    • March 15, 2015
      Lions and Tigers and Wildcats, Oh My! – Employees and Employers Redefined, ABA Section of Labor & Employment, Committee on Practice and Procedure Under the NLRA, 2015 Midwinter Meeting
    • January 28, 2015
      Labor & Employment Law in the U.S.
    • December 17, 2014
      Employment Law in the Digital Age; Chicago Bar Association Labor & Employment Committee
    • October 8, 2014
      2014 Labor & Employment Law Discussion Group
    • March 1, 2014
      Moderator, The New Board: Recent Developments and What’s Next? And What Would An Ideal World Look Like? Academic, Union & Employer Perspectives, Midwinter Meeting, ABA Committee on Practice and Procedure Before the National Labor Relations Board
    • December 13, 2012
      Social Media in the Workplace: What Employers Need to Know, Three Rivers Safety Center
    • March 30, 2011
      Employee Relations Strategies and Operations Leadership
    • March 15, 2011
      Employee Relations Strategies for Supervisors and Operations Leadership
    • February 3, 2011
      The Family & Medical Leave Act: Best Practices For Complying With Legal Requirements and Avoiding Abuse
    • April 15, 2010
      Union-Free Fundamentals: What Every Supervisor Needs to Know About Union Organizing
    • October 13, 2009
      Union-Free Fundamentals: What Every Supervisor Needs to Know About Union Organizing
    • September 29, 2008
      Employment Law Primer: Physicians as Employers/ Employees, American College of Legal Medicine 2008 Mid-Year Educational Conference