This is not really unusual. It is just that most of us are not unionized. Unions, i.e. collective bargaining groups of individuals are set up not only to get the most from the employer, but to protect their membership which includes restricting getting the benefits of union membership or competition for the jobs. It is not uncommon for there to be restrictions on time in grade, time as apprentice, etc. for hiring or promotion. The whole thing is outside of ordinary freedom to contract because of the abuses prior to unions in some industries and the depression. Basically there was a very valid reason for the original exceptions/legal rules that some times leads to rules now that don't make sense to many people. As is often the case, it is the responsibility of the legislature to change the laws, not the fault of the judges to make the poplular decision--it ain't their job to make law, just enforce it as currently written.
The Art of War