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HRM: Labor Relations

– Formal association of workers that promotes the interests of its members through collective action
Factors leading to Employee Unionization
– Working Environment
– compensation
– Management Style
– Employee Treatment
Working Environment
– Inadequate Staffing
– Mandatory Overtime
– Poor working conditions
– Non-competitive pay
– Inadequate benefits
– inequitable pay raises
Employee Treatment
– Job insecurity
– Unfair discipline and policies
– Lack of response to complaints
– Harassment and abusive treatment
Practice whereby union of workers representatives are given positions on a company’s board of directors
HR Unit
– Deals with union organizing attempts at the company level
– Monitors “climate” for unionization and union relationships
– Helps negotiate labor agreement
– Provides detailed knowledge of labor legislation as needed
– Promote conditions conducive to positive relationships with employees
– Avoid unfair labor practices during organizing efforts
– Administer the labor agreement on a daily basis
– Resolve grievances and problems between management and employees
Unions in the U.S.
– Economic Issues
– Organization and Kind of Job and Employer
– Collective Agreements as “Contracts”
– Competitive Relations
Economic Issues
– Unions have typically focused on improving the “bread and butter” issues for their members
– wages, benefits, job security, and working conditions
– In other countries, political power and activism are equal concerns along with economic issues
Organization and Kind of Job and Employer
– Unionization on a company-by-company basis
– In other countries, national unions bargain with the government or with employer groups
Collective Agreements as “Contracts”
– usually spell out compensation, work rules, and the conditions of employment for several years
– In other countries agreements are with the government and employers sometimes for only one year because of political and social issues
Competitive Relations
– Management and labor traditionally takes the roles of competing adversaries who often “clash” to reach agreement
– In other countries “Tripartite” bargaining occurs between the national government, employer’s association, and national labor federations
Craft Union
One whose members do not type of work, often using specialized skills and training
Industrial Union
– One that includes many persons working in the same industry or company, regardless of the jobs held
– Group of autonomous national and international unions
National and International Unions
– not governed by a federation
– Collect dues, have their own boards, specialized publications, and separate constitutions and bylaws
– Determine broad union policy
– Offer services to local unit units
– Help maintain financial records and provide a base from which additional organizing drives may take place
Local Unions
– Centered around a particular employer or organization or around a geographical location
– elect officers who are subject to removal if they do not perform satisfactorily
– The focus and the heart of labor/management relations in most U.S. companies
– Business Agent
– Union Steward
Business Agent
– Full-time union official who operates the union office and assists union members
Union Steward
– Employee elected to serve as the first-line representative of unionized workers
– Americans Federation of Labor
– United a member of independent national unions in 1886
– Aims were to organize skilled craft workers and to emphasize economic issues and working conditions
– Congress of Industrial Organization (CIO)
Congress of Industrial Organization (CIO)
– Founded in 1938
– Focused on semiskilled and unskilled workers
– Major organization coordinating union efforts in the U.S.
Railway Labor Act (RLA)
– 1926
-This act gave the railroad employees “the right to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing
– Railroads and airlines in 1936
– allows either the unions or the management to the use NLRB, a multi-stage dispute resolution process
Norris-LaGuardia Act
– Guaranteed workers some right to organize and restricted the issuance of court injunctions on labor disputes
Wagner Act (National Labor Relations Act)
– The Magna Carta of Labor
– Pro Union
– Outgrowth of the depression
– Declared that the official policy of the U.S. government was to encourage collective bargaining
– Established the right of workers to organize unhampering by management interference
– Prohibited Employers from utilizing unfair labor practices
Employers and Unfair Labor Practices
– Interfering with, restraining, or coercing employees in the exercise of their right to organize or bargain collectively
– Dominating or interfering with the formation or administration of any labor organization
– Encouraging or discouraging membership in any labor organization by discriminating with regard to hiring, tenure, or conditions of employment
– Discharging or otherwise discriminating against an employee because he or she filed charges or gave testimony under the act
– Refusing to bargain collectively with representatives of the employees
Taft-Hartley Act (Labor Management Relations Act)
– Addressed the concerns that labor unions were becoming too strong
– Designed to offset the pro-union Wagner Act by limiting union actions
– Considering pro-Management
– Forbade unions from engaging in a series of unfair labor practices
– Established the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS)
– allows the President of the U.S. to declare that a strike presents a national emergency
Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FCMS)
– An agency to help management and labor settle labor contract disputes
– must be notified of disputes over contract renewals or modifications if they were not settled within 30 days of the designated due date
National Emergency Strike
Strike that would impact the national economy significantly
Right To Work Laws
– State laws that prohibit requiring employees to join unions as a condition of obtaining or continuing employment
Closed Shop
– prohibited by right-to-work laws
– Firm that requires individuals to join a union before they can be hired
Open Shop
– Dictates workers are not required to join or pay dues to a union
Arrangements for States that do not Have Right to Work laws
– Union Shop
– Agency Shop
– Maintenance-of-Membership Shop
Union Shop
– Requires that individuals join the union
– Usually 30-60 days after being hired
Agency Shop
– Requires employees who refuse to join the union to pay amounts equal to union dues and fees in return for the representation services of the union
Maintenance-of-Membership Shop
Requires workers to remain members of the union for the period of the labor contract
Landrum-Griffin Act (Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act)
– Passed in part to ensure that the federal government protects the democratic rights of those members
– Unions are required to establish bylaws, make financial reports, and provide union members with a bill of rights
– Appointed the Secretary of Labor to act as a watchdog of union contact
Civil Service Reform Act of 1978
– Identified areas subject to bargaining and established the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) as an independent agency similar to the NLRB
– Given the authority to oversee and administer union/management relations in the federal government and to investigate unfair practices in union organizing efforts
Typical Unionization Process
Organizing Campaign –> Authorization Cards –> Representation Election –> Certification –> Contract Negotiation (Collective bargaining)
Practice in which unions hire and pay people to apply for jobs at certain companies
Authorization Cards
Card signed by an employee to designate a union as his or her collective bargaining agent
Bargaining Unit
Employees eligible to select a single union to represent and bargain collectively for them
Collective Bargaining
– Contract Negotiation
– Process where representatives of management and workers negotiate over wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment
– Management rights
Management Rights
– Rights reserved so that the employer can manage, direct, and control its business
– The employer retains all rights to manage, direct, and control its business in all particulars, except as such rights are expressly and specifically modified by the terms of this or any subsequent agreement
Union Security
– Union Security Provisions
– Dues Checkoff
Union Security Provisions
– Contract clauses to help the union obtain and retain members
– requiring union membership of all employees, subject to state right-to-work laws
– union ships, agency shops, and maintenance-of-membership shops
Dues Checkoff
– Provides for the automatic deduction of union dues from the payroll checks of union members
Mandatory Issues
Collective bargaining issues identified specifically by labor laws or court decisions as subject to bargaining
Permissive Issues
Collective Bargaining issues that are not mandatory and relate to certain jobs
Illegal Issues
Collective bargaining issues that would require either party to take illegal action
Good Faith
– Provisions in federal law require that both employers and union bargaining representatives negotiate in good faith
– The parties agree to send negotiators who can bargain and make good decisions, rather than people who do not have the authority to commit either group to a decision
Process by which union members vote to accept the terms of a negotiated labor agreement
Bargaining Impasse
– Conciliation
– Mediation
– Arbitration
Process by which a third party attempts to keep union and management negotiators talking so that they can reach a voluntary settlement
Process by which a third party helps the negotiators reach a settlement
Process that uses a neutral third party to make a decision
Work stoppage in which union members refuse to work in order to put pressure on an employer
Shutdown of company operations undertaken by management to prevent union members from working
Types of Strikes
– Economic Strikes
– Unfair Labor Practices Strikes
– Wildcat Strikes
– Jurisdictional Strikes
– Sympathy Strikes
Economic Strikes
Happen when the parties fail to reach agreement during collective bargaining
Unfair Labor Practices Strikes
Occur when union members walk away from their jobs over what they feel are illegal employer actions, such as refusal to bargain
Wildcat Strikes
– Occur during the life of the collective bargaining agreement without approval of union leadership and violate a no-strike clause in a labor contract.
– Strikers can be discharged or disciplined
Indication of employee dissatisfaction
Complaint formally stated in writing
Grievance Procedures
– Formal channels of communication used to resolve grievances
– HR Unit
– Managers
HR Unit Grievance Procedures
– Assists in designing the grievance procedures
– Monitors trends in grievance rates for the organization
– May assist in preparing grievances cases for arbitration
– May have responsibilities for settling grievances
Managers and Grievance Procedures
– Operate within provisions of the grievance procedure
– Attempt to resolve grievances when possible
– Document grievance cases for the grievance procedure
– Engage in grievance prevention efforts
Weingarten Rights
A unionized employee generally has a right to union representation if he or she is being questioned by management and if discipline may result
Steps in a Grievance Procedure
– Employee discusses the grievance with the union steward (the representative of the union on the job) and the supervisor
– The union steward discusses the grievance with the supervisor’s manager and/or the HR manager
– A committee of union officers discusses the grievance with appropriate company managers
– The representative of the national union discusses the grievance with designated company executives or the corporate industrial relations officer
– If the grievance is not solved at this stage, it goes into arbitration
– An impartial third party may ultimately dispose the grievance
Grievance Arbitration
Means by which a third party settles disputes arising from different interpretation of a labor contract

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