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Human Resource Management Angelo S. DeNisi & Ricky W. Griffin. Managing Labor Relations. CHAPTER 14. PowerPoint Slides by Charlie Cook. Vote. Unfair. Strike. The Role of Labor Relations in Organizations. Labor relations

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Managing Labor Relations

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Managing labor relations l.jpg

Human Resource ManagementAngelo S. DeNisi &Ricky W. Griffin

Managing Labor Relations


PowerPoint Slides by Charlie Cook

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The Role of Labor Relations in Organizations

  • Labor relations

    • is the process of dealing with employees who are represented by a union.

  • A labor union

    • is a legally constituted group of individuals working together to achieve shared job-related goals, including higher pay and shorter working hours.

  • Collective bargaining

    • is the process by which managers and union leaders negotiate acceptable terms and conditions of employment for workers represented by unions.

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A Historical Time Line of Unionization in the U.S.

United Auto Workers (1935)

InternationalLongshoreman’sUnion (1937)

National Federation of Federal Employees (1917)

Congress of Industrial Organizations (1938)

American Federation of Labor (1886)

National Education Association (1857)

Many small craft unions

United Cigarmakers (1856)


National Trades Union (1834)










International Brotherhood of Teamsters (1903)

National Typographical Union (1852)

Iron Molders (1859)

International Ladies Garment Workers Union (1900)

Knights of Labor (1869)

United Mine Workers (1890)

Source: Ricky Griffin and Ronald Ebert, Business, 3rd ed.. © 2000. Reprinted by permission of Prentice-Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, N.J.

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Legal Context of Unions

Cordwainer Doctrine

Local Philadelphia courts declared cordwainers an illegal conspiracy in restraint of trade and subject to injunction.

Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that unions were not a restraint of trade, but it offered no protection for union organizers from firing.

Commonwealth v. Hunt 1843

Sherman Antitrust Act 1890

Businesses returned to using injunctions against unions for restraint of trade.

National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) 1935

Established rights of workers to organize unions and to concerted actions (e.g., strike); required employers to recognize and to collectively bargain with unions and refrain from unfair labor practices. Set up the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to administer labor law (oversee union elections and collective bargaining).

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Legal Context of Unions

Labor Management Relations Act (Taft-Hartley) 1947

Passed in response to public outcry over strikes after WWII. Curtailed and limited union power. Outlawed closed shops, and gave states the option to restrict union security clauses (right-to-work). Empowered the U.S. president to invoke a 60-day “cooling off” period in labor disputes that threaten nation interests.

Landrum-Griffin Act (Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act) 1959

Focused on eliminating various unethical, illegal, and undemocratic union practices. Union officials must stand for election, and no felons may hold national office.

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The Basic Structure of a Union

National orinternational union

Source: Ricky Griffin and Ronald Ebert, Business, 3rd ed.. © 2000. Reprinted by permission of Prentice-Hall, Inc.

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Trends in Union Membership

Union or Association Members as Percent of Wage and Salary Employment (percent)

Source: Wall Street Journal Almanac 1999, p. 248. Reprinted by permission of Dow Jones, Inc. via Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. © 1999 Dow Jones and Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Trends in Union Membership

Source: Wall Street Journal Almanac 1999, p. 248. Reprinted by permission of Dow Jones, Inc. via Copyright Clearance Center, Inc. © 1999 Dow Jones and Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Trends in Union Membership

Reasons for declining union membership

Lack of success in union organizing campaigns

Change in the the composition of the workforce

Management’s use of aggressive anti-union strategies

Increases in employee-friendly work environments

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Decertification of Union

The process for decertifying a union:

The previous labor contract must have expired and no new contract have been approved.

The union must have served as the official bargaining agent for at least one year.

30% of the bargaining unit members must sign decertification cards.

If the majority of voters in a decertification election favor decertification, the union is removed as the official bargaining representative.

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Significant Labor Relations Trends

  • Shifts in the overall economy

    • The economy is changing to more knowledge workers and downsizing to fewer workers in the smokestack industries from which unions have traditionally drawn their strength.

  • Union-management relations

    • Labor unions, weakened due to loss of membership, have become less confrontational and adopt a more conciliatory approach to union-management relations.

  • Bargaining perspectives

    • Unions have shifted away from wage demands to focus their bargaining efforts on maintaining current benefits and job security issues.

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Steps Employees Use to Form a Union

Generate union interest among employees

If less than 30% of bargaining unit members sign cards, process ends

Collect signed authorization cards

Petition NLRB to hold election

If union is rejected by majority vote, process ends

Secret ballot election held

Union signs up members, elect officers

Collective bargaining over first contract

Labor contract signed

Grievance procedure used to resolve disputes during the life of the contract

Source: Ricky Griffin, Management, 6th ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1999), p. 439. Copyright © 1999 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Reprinted with permission.

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The Collective Bargaining Process

  • Mandatory items

    • Items (e.g., wages, working hours, and benefits) that must be included in the collective bargaining process if either party expresses a desire to negotiate over one or more of them. Mandatory items can be bargained to impasse.

  • Permissive items

    • Items that may be included in collective bargaining if both parties agree to their inclusion. Permissive items cannot be bargained to impasse.

  • Impermissible (illegal/non-permissive) items

    • Items that are illegal or discriminatory or that violate federal, state, or local laws are not permitted in collective bargaining.

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Negotiating Labor Agreements

Negotiation Preparation

Develop a bargaining strategy from previous experience and current labor market conditions.

Conducting Negotiations

Meet, discuss, bargain over mandatory issues of wages, hours, working conditions. Both bargaining teams make proposals and counter-offers that lead to an agreement.

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The Bargaining Zone

Employer’smaximum limit


Employer’sdesired result

Bargaining zone



Union’sminimum limit

Source: Ricky Griffin and Ronald Ebert, Business, 5th ed. Reprinted by permission of Prentice-Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, N.J.

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Buy Here







Buy Union- Made




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Resolving Impasses

  • Mediation

    • A neutral third party (the mediator) reviews the information presented by both sides and then makes an informed recommendation and provides advice to both parties. The mediator does not decide the matter, but rather provides a channel through which negotiations can be revived after an impasse has been reached.

  • Arbitration

    • Both parties agree in advance that they will accept the recommendations made by the independent arbitrator.

  • Final-offer arbitration

    • The parties submit final offers to the arbitrator, who has to choose one of the offers as an imposed settlement.

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