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Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining

中國經濟管理大學10个月前 (07-31)講座會議652

Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining


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Lecture Outline:


The Labor Movement

Why Do Workers Organize?

What Do Unions Want?

The AFL-CIO and the SEIU

Unions and the Law

Period of Strong Encouragement

Period of Modified Encouragement

Unfair Union Labor Practices

The Union Drive and Election

Step 1. Initial Contact

Step 2. Obtaining Authorization Cards

Step 3. Hold a Hearing

Step 4. The Campaign

Step 5. The Election

How to Lose an NLRB Election

Evidence-Based HR

The Supervisor’s Role

Decertification Elections: Ousting the Union

The Collective Bargaining Process

What Is Collective Bargaining?

What Is Good Faith?

The Negotiating Team

Costing the Contract

Bargaining Items

Building Negotiating Skills

Bargaining Hints

Impasses, Mediation, and Strikes

Improving Productivity through HRIS

The Contract Agreement

Dealing with Disputes and Grievances

Sources of Grievances

The Grievance Procedure

Guidelines for Handling Grievances

The Union Movement Today and Tomorrow

Card Check and Other New Union Tactics

Cooperative Clause

In Brief:  


This chapter gives a brief history of the labor movement, outlines the basics of labor law, and reviews the procedures of labor elections, collective bargaining, and contract administration.  The chapter also takes a close look at union tactics in recent years.


Interesting Issues:  


Union membership has declined in the past few decades.  However, unions are trying to organize women and minorities, temporary and contingent workers, and those in jobs not traditionally unionized.  With increasing aggressiveness, unions are targeting multinational companies to unionize workers around the world. 


Learning Objectives:


1. Give a brief history of the American labor movement.

2. Discuss the main features of at least three major pieces of labor legislation.

3. Present examples of what to expect during the union drive and election.

4. Illustrate with examples of bargaining that is not in good faith.

5. Develop a grievance procedure.

6. Describe a strategy for cooperative labor relations.


Annotated Outline:


I. The Labor Movement - Unions have changed dramatically since their creation. About 11.9% of the people in this country are unionized. Unions, in many cases, are perceived in a negative light, but this is a poor assumption to make. Most unions are in the public sector as compared to the private sector.

A. Why Do Workers Organize? -  The urge to unionize often seems to boil down to the belief on the part of workers that it is only through unity that they can get their fair share of the pie. It is sometimes the result of workers trying to protect themselves from management’s whims.  Union workers tend to receive significantly more pay, holidays, sick leave, unpaid leave, insurance plan benefits, long-term disability benefits, and various other benefits than do nonunion workers. Unions seem to have reduced the impact of downsizings and wage cuts in most industries, in part because union employees are not entirely “at will.”

B. What Do Unions Want? - Unions have two sets of aims − one for union security and one for improved wages, hours, working conditions, and benefits for their members.  

1. Union Security – The five types of union security are closed shop, union shop, agency shop, preferential shop, and maintenance of membership arrangement.

2. Improved Wages, Hours, and Benefits – The typical labor agreement also gives the union a role in other HR activities, including recruiting, selecting, compensating, promoting, training, and discharging employees.

C. The AFL-CIO and the SEIU - The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is a voluntary federation of about 100 national and international labor unions in the United States.  The AFL and CIO merged in 1955.  The three layers of structure in the AFL-CIO are the local union (a single chapter in a national union), the national union, and the national federation. Changes have occurred recently. Four big unions have withdrawn from the AFL-CIO and have established the Change to Win Coalition. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is one of them. They are the fastest growing federation with more than 2 million members.

II. Unions and the Law - There were no special labor laws until about 1930, so employers were virtually unrestrained in their behavior toward unions. Since the Great Depression, in response to changing public attitudes, values, and economic conditions, labor law has gone through three clear changes: from strong encouragement of unions, to modified encouragement coupled with regulation, and finally, to detailed regulation of internal union affairs.  

A. Period of Strong Encouragement: The Norris-LaGuardia Act (1932) and the National Labor Relations or Wagner Act (1935) – The Norris-LaGuardia Act guaranteed to each employee the right to bargain collectively free from interference, restraint, or coercion, but it did little to restrain employers from fighting labor organizations. The National Labor Relations (Wagner) Act of 1935 (1) banned certain unfair labor practices; (2) provided for secret-ballot elections and majority rule for determining whether a firm’s employees were to unionize; and (3) created the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for enforcing these two provisions.

1. Unfair Employer Labor Practices – As deemed by the Wagner Act, a) it is unfair for employers to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in exercising their legally sanctioned right of self-organization; b) it is unfair for company representatives to dominate or interfere with either the formation or the administration of labor unions; c) companies are prohibited from discriminating in any way against employees for their legal union activities; d) employers are forbidden to discharge or discriminate against employees simply because the latter file unfair practice charges against the company; and e) it is unfair for employers to refuse to bargain collectively with their employees’ duly chosen representatives.

2. From 1935 to 1947 – Union membership increased quickly after passage of the Wagner Act in 1935, but the tide had begun to turn by the mid-1940s.

B. Period of Modified Encouragement Coupled with Regulation:  The Taft-Hartley Act (1947) – The law amended the Wagner Act with provisions aimed at limiting unions in four ways: (1) by prohibiting unfair union labor practices, (2) by enumerating the rights of employees as union members, (3) by enumerating the rights of employers, and (4) by allowing the President of the United States to temporarily bar national emergency strikes.

C. Unfair Union Labor Practices - According to the Taft-Hartley Act, a) unions cannot restrain or coerce employees from exercising their guaranteed bargaining rights; b) unions cannot cause an employer to discriminate in any way against an employee in order to encourage or discourage his/her membership in a union; c) unions cannot refuse to bargain in good faith with the employer about wages, hours, and other employment conditions (certain strikes and boycotts are also unfair union labor practices); and d) unions cannot engage in featherbedding.

1. Rights of Employees – The Taft-Hartley Act protects employees from their unions.

2. Rights of Employers – The Taft-Hartley Act explicitly gives employers full freedom to express their views concerning union organization. The only major restraint is that employers must avoid threats, promises, coercion, and direct interference with workers who are trying to reach a decision.  The employer (1) cannot meet with employees on company time within 24 hours of an election or (2) suggest to employees that they vote against the union while they are at home or in the employer’s office, although he/she can do so while in their work area or where they normally gather.

3. National Emergency Strikes – The Taft-Hartley Act allows the U.S. President to intervene in national emergency strikes.  The President may appoint a board of inquiry and, based on its report, apply for an injunction restraining the strike for 60 days.  If the parties don’t reach a settlement during that time, the President can have the injunction extended for another 20 days, during which time employees take a secret ballot to ascertain their willingness to accept the employer’s last offer.

4. Period of Detailed Regulation of Internal Union Affairs: The Landrum-Griffin Act (1959) (officially, the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act), an amendment to the Wagner Act, is aimed at protecting union members from possible wrongdoing on the part of their unions.  This law provides a bill of rights for union members; lays out rules regarding union elections; regulates the kind of person who can serve as a union officer; greatly expands the list of unlawful employer actions; and requires reports from unions and employers, covering such practices as the use of labor relations consultants.

III. The Union Drive and Election

A. Step 1. Initial Contact – The union determines the employees’ interest in organizing, and an organizing committee is established.  The initiative for the first contact between the employees and the union may come from the employees, from a union already representing other employees of the firm, or from a union representing workers elsewhere.  Once an employer becomes a target, a union official usually assigns a representative to assess employee interest.  He/she identifies employees who would make a good organizing committee, and educates them on the benefits of forming a union, the law and procedures involved in forming a local union, and the issues management is likely to raise during a campaign.  The union must follow certain rules when it starts contacting employees.

1. Labor relations consultants are outside advisors (such as law firms, researchers, psychologists, labor relations specialists, or public relations firms) used by both management and unions to provide advice and related services to assist in the winning of elections.  

2. Union salting is an organizing tactic by which full-time undercover union organizers are hired by unwitting employers.  A U.S. Supreme Court decision held the practice to be legal. Critics claim that “salts” interfere with business operations and harass employees.

B. Step 2. Obtaining Authorization Cards - This step is necessary for the union to petition the NLRB for the right to hold an election.  Thirty percent of the eligible employees in an appropriate bargaining unit must sign authorization cards before the union can petition the NLRB for an election. During this stage, both union and management typically use various forms of propaganda.  However, neither side can threaten, bribe, or coerce employees, and an employer may not make promises that benefit employees or make unilateral changes in terms and conditions of employment.

C. Step 3. Hold a Hearing - One of three things can occur once the union collects the authorization cards: 1) no hearing is needed if the employer chooses not to contest union recognition and a consent election is held immediately; 2) if the employer chooses not to contest the union’s right to an election, and/or scope of the bargaining unit, and/or which employees are eligible to vote in the election, no hearing is needed and the parties can stipulate an election; or 3) if an employer does wish to contest the union’s right, it can insist on a hearing to determine those issues.  An employer’s decision about whether to insist on a hearing is a strategic one based on the facts of each case and whether it feels it needs additional time to develop a campaign to try to persuade a majority of its employees not to elect a union to represent them.  The hearing addresses several issues.  If the results of the hearing are favorable for the union, the NLRB will order holding an election, issue a Notice of Election to that effect, and send NLRB form 707.

D. Step 4. The Campaign - During this stage, the union and the employer appeal to employees for their votes, but neither side can threaten, bribe, or coerce employees.

E. Step 5. The Election - A secret ballot election is held within 30 to 60 days after the NLRB issues its Decision and Direction of Election.  The NLRB provides the ballots, voting booth, and ballot box, and counts the votes and certifies the results of the election.  The union becomes the employees’ representative if it wins the election by a majority of the votes cast.

F. How to Lose an NLRB Election - The four sure ways to lose an election are:  

1. Asleep at the switch

2. Appointing a committee

3. Concentrating on money and benefits

4. Delegating too much to division 

G. Evidence-Based HR - What to Expect the Union to Do to Win the Election – Research suggests that pursuing a “rank and file strategy” is the best way for unions to win elections. 

H. The Supervisor’s Role - Supervisors are the first line of defense when it comes to the unionizing effort.  Supervisors need some special training because they can discover the early signs of union activity or they can inadvertently take actions that hurt their employers’ union-related efforts.  Supervisors must be knowledgeable about what they can and can’t do to legally hamper organizing activities.

1. Some TIPS: The Supervisor’s Role in the Unionizing Effort – One company helps its supervisors remember what they may and may not do with respect to unionization with the acronyms TIPS and FORE. For example, the manager should remember TIPS for what he or she may not do:  threaten, interrogate, promise, or spy.  To remember what to do to discourage unionization, the supervisor may remember FORE:  facts, opinion, rules, and experience.

I. Decertification Elections: Ousting the Union - The same law that grants employees the right to unionize also gives them a way to legally terminate their union’s right to represent them, which is known as decertification.  Decertification campaigns don’t differ much from certification campaigns. 

IV. The Collective Bargaining Process

A. What Is Collective Bargaining? - According to the National Labor Relations Act, collective bargaining “is the performance of the mutual obligation of the employer and the representatives of the employees to meet at reasonable times and confer in good faith with respect to wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment, or the negotiation of an agreement, or any question arising thereunder, and the execution of a written contract incorporating any agreement reached if requested by either party, but such obligation does not compel either party to agree to a proposal or require the making of a concession.” 

B. What Is Good Faith? - In collective bargaining, good faith means that both parties communicate and negotiate, that proposals are matched with counterproposals, and that both parties make every reasonable effort to arrive at an agreement.

C. The Negotiating Team - Both union and management send a negotiating team to the bargaining table. It is vital that the team understand the impact, particularly the financial impact, of the things they either propose or accept in negotiations.

D. Costing the Contract - Collative bargaining experts emphasize the need to cost the union’s demands carefully – Know how it will impact you financially. 

E. Bargaining Items - Labor law sets out categories of items that are subject to bargaining: mandatory, voluntary, and illegal items.  Mandatory items are items that a party must bargain over if they are introduced by the other party.  Voluntary (permissible) items are neither mandatory nor illegal; they become a part of the negotiations only through the joint agreement of both management and union.  Illegal items are forbidden by law. 

F. Building Negotiating Skills - Hammering out a satisfactory labor agreement requires negotiating skills. Experienced negotiators use leverage, desire, time, competition, information, credibility, and judgment to improve their bargaining positions. Leverage means factors that help or hinder the negotiator.

G. Bargaining Hints - Be sure you have set clear objectives for every bargaining item, and you understand on what grounds the objectives are established; do not hurry; when in doubt, caucus with your associates; be well prepared with firm data supporting your position; always strive to keep some flexibility in your position; don’t just concern yourself with what the other party says and does – find out why; respect the importance of face saving for the other party; constantly be alert to the real intentions of the other party with respect not only to goals but also priorities; be a good listener; build a reputation for being fair but firm; learn to control your emotions – don’t panic; be sure as you make each bargaining move that you know its relationship to all other moves; measure each move against your objectives; pay close attention to the wording of every clause negotiated; remember that collective bargaining negotiations are, by their nature, part of a compromise process; try to understand people and their personalities; and consider the impact of present negotiations on those in future years.

H. Impasses, Mediation, and Strikes

1. Third Party Involvement – Three types of third-party interventions are used to overcome an impasse: mediation, fact-finding, and arbitration. With mediation a neutral third party tries to assist the principals in reaching agreement.  A fact finder is a neutral party who studies the issues in a dispute and makes a public recommendation of what a reasonable settlement ought to be. Arbitration (binding or unbinding) can guarantee a solution to an impasse because the arbitrator often has the power to determine and dictate the settlement terms. Various public and professional agencies make mediators and arbitrators available. 

2. Sources of third-party assistance come from various public and professional agencies. 

3. Strikes - There are four types of strikes: economic strike, unfair labor practice strike, wildcat strike, and sympathy strike.  An economic strike results from a failure to agree on the terms of a contract that involve wages, benefits, and conditions of employment.  Unfair labor practice strikes are called by unions to protest illegal conduct by the employer.  A wildcat strike is an unauthorized strike occurring during the term of a contract.  Picketing is one of the first activities occurring during a strike.

4. Strike Guidelines for Employees – Several guidelines are discussed that can minimize confusion during a strike. 

5. Other “weapons” - to break an impasse include corporate campaigns and lockouts.  A corporate campaign is an organized effort by the union that exerts pressure on the corporation by pressuring the company’s other unions, shareholders, directors, customers, creditors, and government agencies, often directly.  A lockout is a refusal by the employer to provide opportunities to work.

I. Improving Productivity through HRIS - Unions Go High-Tech – Unions are taking full advantage of email and the Internet to reach members and other union supporters quickly and easily.

J. The Contract Agreement may be 20-30 pages or longer, and the main sections cover these subjects: 1) management rights, 2) union security and automatic payroll dues deduction, 3) grievance procedures, 4) arbitration of grievances, 5) disciplinary procedures, 6) compensation rates, 7) hours of work and overtime, 8) benefits: vacations, holidays, insurance, pensions, 9) health and safety provisions, 10) employee security seniority provisions, and 11) contract expiration date. 

V. Dealing with Disputes and Grievances

A. Sources of Grievances – Employees may use just about any factor involving wages, hours, or conditions of employment as the basis of a grievance.

B. The Grievance Procedure – It is specified in most collective bargaining contracts, which specifies the various steps in the procedure, time limits, and specific rules.  Union grievance procedures differ from firm to firm.  

C. Guidelines for Handling Grievances – Do’s: As a manager, do investigate and handle each and every case as though it may eventually result in an arbitration hearing; talk with the employee about his/her grievance; require the union to identify specific contractual provisions allegedly violated; comply with the contractual time limits of the company for handling the grievance; visit the work area of the grievance; determine whether there were any witnesses; examine the grievant’s personnel record; fully examine prior grievance records; treat the union representative as your equal; hold your grievance discussions privately; and fully inform your own supervisor of grievance matters.  Don’ts: discuss the case with the union steward alone – the grievant should be there; make arrangements with individual employees that are inconsistent with the labor arrangement; hold back the remedy if the company is wrong; admit the binding effect of a past practice; relinquish to the union your rights as a manager; settle grievances on the basis of what is fair – stick to the labor agreement; bargain over items not covered by the contract; treat as subject to arbitration claims demanding the discipline or discharge of managers; give long written grievance answers; trade a grievance settlement for a grievance withdrawal; deny grievances on the premise that your “hands have been tied by management;” and do not agree to informal amendments in the contract.

VI. The Union Movement Today and Tomorrow

A. Card Check and Other New Union Tactics - Unions are becoming more aggressive, pressuring employers through class action lawsuits, and pushing Congress to pass legislation which would support a “card check” system. Instead of secret ballot elections, the union would win recognition when a majority of workers signed cards saying they want a union. Unions are also using class action lawsuits to pressure employers to unionize. It is becoming necessary for unions to go global. This recently happened to Wal-Mart stores in China. 

B. Cooperative Clauses - Parties commit to adhere to one or more of these cooperative themes (in descending order of frequency-of-mention in the agreements):

1. Intent to cooperate

2. A statement of commitment to cooperate

3. Committees to review mutual concerns that arise

4. Decisions on traditional issues

5. Guarantees of employment security

6. Commitments to high-performance practices

7. Decisions on strategic issues

8. Full cooperation


Improving Performance Questions: 


15-1: If supportive labor relations work so well for Costco, why do you think Wal-mart doesn’t use it too?


15-2: With government policies like this, how do you think French companies remain competitive with those, say, in the United States?


15-3: Write a 30-word guide that summarizes the essence of these do’s and don’ts.


Discussion Questions:


15-4: Why do employees join unions? What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a union member?


Workers join unions because they tend to believe that it is only through unity that they can get their fair share of the pie and also protect themselves from management’s whims.  Some of the advantages of being a union member are that they tend to receive significantly more pay, holidays, sick leave, unpaid leave, insurance plan benefits, long-term disability benefits, and various other benefits than do nonunion members.  One disadvantage of being a union member is that management may decide to terminate union jobs if management and the union can’t come to an agreement.


15-5: Discuss four sure ways to lose an NLRB election.


The four sure ways to lose an election are listed and described in the text:  1) asleep at the switch; 2) appointing a committee; 3) concentrating on money and benefits; and 4) delegating too much to divisions or branches.


15-6: Briefly illustrate how labor law has gone through a cycle of repression and encouragement.


Labor law has gone through cycles of repression and encouragement because of the changing views in Congress, the public, and the judiciary on the extent to which legalized collective bargaining is deemed to be a good approach to the economic situation facing the country as well as the views of personal and corporate rights.  Changing public attitudes, values, and economic conditions clearly impact labor law, just as they impact law in every area.


15-7: Explain in detail each step in a union drive and election.


Each step is described in detail in the text:  1) initial contact involves the union determination of the employees' interest in organizing and forming an organizing committee; 2) obtaining authorization cards is where the union seeks to obtain enough signatures on authorization cards to petition the NLRB to conduct an election; 3) holding a hearing is done by the NLRB to determine the appropriate bargaining unit and the legality of the authorization cards; 4) the campaign is where both sides present the issues to convince employees to vote one way or the other; and 5) the election is conducted by the NLRB through secret ballot.


15-8: Define impasse, mediation, and strike, and explain the techniques that are used to overcome an impasse.


Impasse occurs when the parties are not able to move further toward settlement.  Mediation is intervention in which a neutral third party tries to assist the principals in reaching agreement.  A strike is the withdrawal of labor.  An impasse might be overcome through mediation, fact-finders, arbitration, or the economic pressures of a strike or lock-out.




Individual and Group Activities:


15-9: You are the manager of a small manufacturing plant. The union contract covering most of your employees is about to expire. Working individually or in groups, discuss how to prepare for union contract negotiations.


You need to know what is good faith bargaining and what constitutes a violation of good faith bargaining.  Although as a supervisor you will not likely be involved in the negotiations, you can commit violations of good faith bargaining by making a unilateral change in working conditions or through the commission of an unfair labor practice.  Also you need to be a vehicle to give information about employee attitudes and concerns to those conducting the bargaining.  The list given in the chapter provides a good summary of how to prepare for bargaining.


15-10: Working individually or in groups, use Internet resources to find situations where company management and the union reached an impasse at some point during their negotiation process, but eventually resolved the impasse. Describe the issues on both sides that led to the impasse. How did they move past the impasse? What were the final outcomes?


The students should be able to find several examples in the airline industry, professional sports industry, and the package delivery industry, just to mention a few.


15-11: Appendix A, PHR and SPHR Knowledge Base at the end of this book lists the knowledge someone studying for the HRCI certification exam needs to have in each area of human resource management (such as in Strategic Management, Workforce Planning, and Human Resource Development). In groups of four to five students, do four things: (1) review Appendix A; (2) identify the material in this chapter that relates to the required knowledge Appendix A lists; (3) write four multiple choice exam questions on this material that you believe would be suitable for inclusion in the HRCI exam; and (4) if time permits, have someone from your team post your team’s questions in front of the class, so that students in all teams can answer the exam questions created by the other teams.


Material from this chapter that would be relevant to the HRCI test includes:  history of the American Union Movement, why workers organize, what do unions want, the AFL-CIO, unions and the law, the union drive and election, the collective bargaining process, grievances, and the union movement today and tomorrow.  In short, virtually the entire chapter is applicable to material covered on the test.


15-12: Several years ago, 8,000 Amtrak workers agreed not to disrupt service by walking out, at least not until a court hearing was held. Amtrak had asked the courts for a temporary restraining order, and the Transport Workers Union of America was actually pleased to postpone its walkout. The workers were apparently not upset at Amtrak, but at Congress for failing to provide enough funding for Amtrak. What, if anything, can an employer do when employees threaten to go on strike, not because of what the employer did, but what a third party—in this case, Congress—has done or not done? What laws would prevent the union from going on strike in this case?


Employers can do several things…none of which are explained in this chapter.  They can seek an injunction from a judge, they can file suit, they can seek to meet with the union and help them with their demands against the third party, etc.  There are some laws and executive orders that prevent certain workers (transportation as well as safety and security personnel) from striking.  The only one mentioned in this chapter is the Taft-Hartley Act which allows the President of the United States to temporarily bar national emergency strikes.


Experiential Exercise: The Union-Organizing Campaign at Pierce U


Purpose: The purpose of this exercise is to give you practice in dealing with some of the elements of a union-organizing campaign.


Required Understanding: You should be familiar with the material covered in this chapter, as well as the following incident, “An Organizing Question on Campus.” 


Incident an Organizing Question on Campus: Art Tipton is human resource director of Pierce University, a private university located in a large urban city. Ruth Zimmer, a supervisor in the maintenance and housekeeping services division of the university, has just come into Art’s office to discuss her situation. Zimmer’s division is responsible for maintaining and cleaning physical facilities of the university. Zimmer is one of the department supervisors who supervise employees who maintain and clean on-campus dormitories. 


In the next several minutes, Zimmer proceeds to express her concerns about a union-organizing campaign that has begun among her employees. According to Zimmer, a representative of the Service Workers Union has met with several of her employees, urging them to sign union authorization cards. She has observed several of her employees “cornering” other employees to talk to them about joining the union and to urge them to sign union authorization (or representation) cards. Zimmer even observed this during working hours as employees were going about their normal duties in the dormitories. Zimmer reports that a number of her employees have come to her asking for her opinions about the union. They told her that several other supervisors in the department had told their employees not to sign any union authorization cards and not to talk about the union at any time while they were on campus. Zimmer also reports that one of her fellow supervisors told his employees that anyone who was caught talking about the union or signing a union authorization card would be disciplined and perhaps dismissed.


Zimmer says that her employees are very dissatisfied with their wages and with the conditions that they have endured from students, supervisors, and other staff people. She says that several employees told her that they had signed union cards because they believed that the only way university administration would pay attention to their concerns was if the employees had a union to represent them. Zimmer says that she made a list of employees who she felt had joined or were interested in the union, and she could share these with Tipton if he wanted to deal with them personally. Zimmer closed her presentation with the comment that she and other department supervisors need to know what they should do in order to stomp out the threat of unionization in their department.


How to Set up the Exercise/Instructions: Divide the class into groups of four or five students. Assume that you are labor relations consultants the university retained to identify the problems and issues involved and to advise Art Tipton on the university’s rights and what to do next. Each group will spend the time allotted discussing the issues. Then, outline those issues, as well as an action plan for Tipton. What should he do next? 


If time permits, a spokesperson from each group should list on the board the issues involved and the group’s recommendations. What should Art do?


Video Case Appendix:


Video Title: Union-Management Relations (UPS)


Synopsis:


The former human resources head for UPS describes what it’s like (for both an employer and an employee) to work with a labor union. The roles and functions of labor unions are discussed, and the advantages and disadvantages that can accrue to both employees and management are explained. The future of unions, and other arrangements that fulfill some of the same roles, are also discussed.


Discussion Questions:


15-13: From what you know about UPS, what do you think would make the union believe that the company was ripe for being organized?

15-14: Do you agree that unions “stifle creativity”? Why or why not?

15-15: Do you agree that employees who excel in nonunion environments earn more than they would in unionized companies? Why?

15-16: What other “replacements” for unions have helped reduce union membership, according to the chapter?


Application Case: Negotiating with the Writers Guild of America


15-17: The producers said the WGA was not bargaining in good faith. What did they mean by that, and do you think the evidence is sufficient to support the claim?


Bargaining in good faith means that both parties honestly communicate and negotiate to make a reasonable effort to arrive at a fair agreement.  It would be very difficult to determine if the WGA was not bargaining in good faith without knowing additional facts and details regarding the negotiations and bargaining between both parties.


15-18: The WGA did eventually strike. What tactics could the producers have used to fight back once the strike began? What tactics do you think the WGA used?


The producers could have threatened to hire writers to take the place of striking employees.  While this course of action would be very difficult given the creative nature of this business, often the threat of hiring replacement workers helps the process move toward a labor settlement.  The WGA in return could claim the producers have committed an unfair labor practice.  The WGA could also play to the media to gain sympathy for their job action.


15-19: This was a conflict between professional and creative people (the WGA) and TV and movie producers. Do you think the conflict was therefore different in any way than are the conflicts between, say, the Autoworkers or Teamsters unions against auto and trucking companies? Why?


The conflict and bargaining process described in this scenario is no different than the day-to-day negotiations between any union and management.  Very often, the issues are over wages, hours, and/or working conditions.


15-20: What role (with examples) did negotiating skills seem to play in the WGA producers’ negotiations?


Timing played a role as well as a marathon bargaining session which tends to make each side more flexible and come to an agreement.  Also the introduction of the heads of Walt Disney and News Corp played a role in moving both parties toward settlement.


Continuing Case: Carter Cleaning Company - The Grievance 


15-21: Do you think it is important for Carter Cleaning Company to have a formal grievance process? Why or why not?


Certainly it is important for many reasons.  First, it is important from a standpoint of justice and fair treatment.  Second, the lack of justice and fair treatment is a prime catalyst for union activity.


15-22: Based on what you know about the Carter Cleaning Company, outline the steps in what you think would be the ideal grievance process for this company.


Because it is a small company, it should be simple and short.  One suggestion is a two-step process that begins with a written appeal to the store manager.  The second step is to send that appeal to Jennifer and her father for review.


15-23: In addition to the grievance process, can you think of anything else that Carter Cleaning Company might do to make sure grievances and gripes like this one are expressed and are heard by top management?


The grievance procedure is critical.   Students may identify many things from the previous chapter’s sections on justice and fair treatment.


The Hotel Paris: Improving Performance at the Hotel - The Hotel Paris’s New Labor Relations Practices


15-24: List and briefly describe what you believe are the three most important steps Hotel Paris management can take now to reduce the likelihood unions will organize more of its employees.


Hotel Paris should train managers and supervisors to recognize the signs of union activity and to deal with it. They should also develop a procedure whereby employees can air their grievances in a productive manner (an appeals process.) Third, the company needs to constantly and positively communicate the benefits their employees have by staying non-union.


15-25: Write a detailed 2-page outline for a “What You Need to Know When the Union Calls” manual. Lisa will distribute this manual to her company’s supervisors and managers, telling them what they need to know about looking out for possible unionizing activity, and how to handle actual organizing process–related supervisory tasks.


Key Terms:


Closed Shop - A form of union security in which the company can hire only union members.  This was outlawed in 1947 but still exists in some industries (such as printing).


Union Shop - A form of union security in which the company can hire nonunion people, but they must join the union after a prescribed period of time and pay dues.  (If they do not, they can be fired.)


Agency Shop - A form of union security in which employees who do not belong to the union must still pay union dues on the assumption that union efforts benefit all workers. 


Preferential Shop -Union members get preference in hiring, but the employer can still hire nonunion members.


Right to Work - A term used to describe state statutory or constitutional provisions banning the requirement of union membership as a condition of employment.


Norris-LaGuardia Act (1932) - This law marked the beginning of the era of strong encouragement of unions and guaranteed to each employee the right to bargain collectively "free from interference, restraint, or coercion."  


National Labor Relations Act (Warner) (NLRA) - This law banned certain types of unfair labor practices and provided for secret-ballot elections and majority rule for determining whether or not a firm's employees want to unionize.


National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) - The agency created by the Wagner Act to investigate unfair labor practice charges and to provide for secret-ballot elections and majority rule in determining whether or not a firm's employees want a union.


Taft-Hartley Act (1947) - Also known as the Labor Management Relations Act, this law prohibited unfair union labor practices and enumerated the rights of employees as union members.  It also enumerated the rights of employers.


National Emergency Strikes - Strikes that might "imperil the national health and safety."

Landrum-Griffin Act (1959) - The law aimed at protecting union members from possible wrongdoing on the part of their unions.


Union Salting - Refers to a union-organizing tactic by which workers who are in fact employed full-time by a union as undercover organizers are hired by unwitting employers.


Authorization Cards - In order to petition for a union election, the union must show that at least 30% of employees may be interested in being unionized.  Employees indicate this interest by signing authorization cards.


Bargaining Unit - The group of employees the union will be authorized to represent. 


Decertification - Legal process for employees to terminate a union’s right to represent them.


Collective Bargaining - The process through which representatives of management and the union meet to negotiate a labor agreement.


Good Faith Bargaining - Both parties making every reasonable effort to arrive at agreements; proposals are being matched with counterproposals. 


Voluntary Bargaining (or permissible items) - Items in collective bargaining over which bargaining is neither illegal nor mandatory—neither party can be compelled against its wishes to negotiate over those items.


Illegal Bargaining Items - Items in collective bargaining that are forbidden by law; for example, the clause agreeing to hire "union members exclusively" would be illegal in a right-to-work state. 


Mandatory Bargaining - Items in collective bargaining that a party must bargain over if they are introduced by the other party—for example, pay.


Impasse - Collective bargaining situation that occurs when the parties are not able to move farther toward settlement, usually because one party is demanding more than the other is willing to offer.


Mediation - Intervention in which a neutral third party tries to assist the principals in reaching agreement.


Fact Finder - A neutral party who studies the issues in a dispute and makes a public recommendation for a reasonable settlement.


Arbitration - The most definitive type of third-party intervention, in which the arbitrator usually has the power to determine and dictate the settlement terms. 


Interest Arbitration - Arbitration enacted when labor agreements do not yet exist or when one or both parties are seeking to change the agreement.


Rights Arbitration - Arbitration that interprets existing contract terms, for instance, when an employee questions the employer’s right to have taken some disciplinary action.


Strike - A withdrawal of labor.


Economic Strike - A strike that results from a failure to agree on the terms of a contract that involve wages, benefits, and other conditions of employment.


Unfair Labor Practice Strike - A strike aimed at protesting illegal conduct by the employer.  

Wildcat Strike - An unauthorized strike occurring during the term of a contract.


Sympathy Strike - A strike that takes place when one union strikes in support of another.


Picketing - Having employees carry signs announcing their concerns near the employer’s place of business.


Corporate Campaign - An organized effort by the union that exerts pressure on the corporation by pressuring the company’s other unions, shareholders, directors, customers, creditors, and government agencies, often directly. 


Boycott - The combined refusal by employees and other interested parties to buy or use the employer's products. 


Inside Games - Union efforts to convince employees to impede or to disrupt production – for example, by slowing the work pace.


Lockout - A refusal by the employer to provide opportunities to work.


Injunction - A court order compelling a party or parties either to resume or to desist from a certain action.


Grievance Procedure - Any factor involving wages, hours, or conditions of employment that is used as a complaint against the employer.


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