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Chapter 15

Working with
Organized
Labor

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as Prentice Hall 15-1
Chapter 15 Overview
Why Do Employees Join Unions
Labor Relations and the Legal Environment
Labor Relations in the U.S.
Labor Relations in the Other Countries
Labor Relations Strategy
Managing The Labor Relations Process
The Impact of Unions on HRM

Copyright 2010 Pearson


Education, Inc. publishing
as Prentice Hall 15-2
Overview of Unions
Unionan independent organization
Represents employees interests
Deals with issues such as wages, work
hours, and working conditions

Employees join unions when:


Dissatisfied with aspect of their job
Feel they lack influence with mgmt
See unionization as a solution
Copyright 2010 Pearson
Education, Inc. publishing
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Overview of Unions

U.S. Labor Unions:


Legally unprotected until 1935
Employment relationship is private

Employment at will
Employers usually prefer a nonunion
workforce
Unions widely supported in 1930s
Not supported as much today

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The Managers Role in Labor Relations

Labor relations specialist


Negotiate labor contracts
Resolve grievances
Advise top management on labor strategies
Management
Can influence work environment
Responsible for implementation of agreements
Needs basic understanding of labor laws
Often asked to serve on grievance committees
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The Legal Environment

Three Important
Laws
Wagner Act (1935)
Taft-Hartley Act
(1947)
Landrum-Griffin

Act (1959)

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The Wagner Act (NLRB Act)
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
Independent federal agency
Certifies elections
Investigates unfair labor practice charges
Can issue cease and desist order, if
management:
Interferes with union formation or administration
Discriminates against union members
Refuses to bargain with the union
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Taft-Hartley and Landrum-Griffin Acts
Taft-Hartley Act
Protects management and workers from union
coercion
Prohibits discrimination against non-union
Illegal to refuse to bargain in good faith
Also prohibits union shops, secondary boycotts,
excessive dues, and featherbedding
The Landrum-Griffin Act
Protects union members from union leaders
Unions must have bill of rights and constitution
Union elections regulated by government
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Labor Relations in the U.S.
Accepts capitalist economic structure
Six characteristics
Business unionism
o Focus on improving worker well-being
o Less so on running the company

Unions structured by type of job


o AFL-CIO
o Change to Win

Focus on collective bargaining


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Labor Relations in the U.S.
Labor contracts
Specify terms of employment and work rules
Growth of unions in the public sector
At 36%, is five times higher than private sector
But have less bargaining power
o Government power is diffuse

o Many unions not permitted to strike

By voting have some political power over


employer
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Labor Relations in the U.S.
Adversarial Nature of Labor-Management Relations
Shrinking Union Membership

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Labor Relations in Other Countries
U.S.concerned with economic issues
Francemore politically involved
Chinalow in political and economic involvement
Swedenhigh both politically and economically
Germany:
Works Councilscommittees with workers and
management
Codeterminationworkers on board of directors
Japan:
Enterprise Unionsall workers in one organization
System fostered by lifelong employment
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Labor Relations Strategy

LaborRelations
Strategy
Overall plan for
dealing with labor
unions
Ranges from open
conflict to labor-
management
cooperation
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Labor Relations Strategy

Two Basic Strategies


Union Acceptance
Union Avoidance
Union Substitution
Union Suppression

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Labor Relations Process

Union Organizing
Union solicitation
Pre-election conduct
Certification election
Employee Free Choice Act

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Collective Bargaining
Bargaining Behavior
Must negotiate in good faith
Each side develop and present proposals

Bargaining Power
Bargaining Types
Distributive
Integrative

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Guidelines for Integrative Bargaining

Try to understand others needs and


objectives
Create a free flow of information
Emphasize commonalities
Minimize differences
Search for solutions that meet all parties

goals and objectives


Develop flexible responses to other

proposals
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Bargaining Topics
Mandatory
Wages, hours, and employment conditions

Permissive
Both parties must agree
E.g. board service, retiree benefits
Illegal
Featherbedding
Discriminatory practices, etc.
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Impasses in Bargaining

Role of Mediator
Economic Strike
Wildcat Strike
Lockout

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Contract Administration

Grievance Procedure
Step by step process used to settle disputes
Union stewardadvocate for the employee
Arbitrationlast step in grievance process

Two Types of Grievances


Contract interpretation
Employee discipline

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The Impact of Unions on HRM
Staffingseniority based
Employee Development
performance appraisals for feedback
Compensation
Higher in union shops
Benefits generally better in union shops
Prefer across the board raises (COLAs)
Employee Relations
Union gives employees a voice
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Summary and Conclusions
Unionsthrive when employees are
dissatisfied and lack influence with mgmt
Managers should be aware of labor relations
laws
Union-management relationship historically
adversarial
Labor relations in other countries often more
political
Strategy: acceptance vs. avoidance
Substitution better than suppression
Unions impact almost every area of HRM
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