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LEGISLATION AFFECTING UNION RELATIONSHIPS. 1926—NATIONAL RAILWAY LABOR ACT Procedures for collective bargaining & grievances 1932—ANTI-INJUNCTION ACT (NORRIS-LA GUARDIA) Banned “Yellow-dog contracts” and limited use of injunctions against unions

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legislation affecting union relationships
LEGISLATION AFFECTING UNION RELATIONSHIPS

1926—NATIONAL RAILWAY LABOR ACT

Procedures for collective bargaining & grievances

1932—ANTI-INJUNCTION ACT (NORRIS-LA GUARDIA)

Banned “Yellow-dog contracts” and limited use of injunctions against unions

1935—NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT (WAGNER)

Guaranteed right to form unions, formed the NLRB, listed unfair management practices

1947—LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS ACT (TAFT-HARTLEY)

Rights to not join unions, bans closed shops + secondary boycotts, lists unfair union practices

1959—LABOR-MANAGEMENT REPORTING & DISCLOSURE ACT (LANDRUM-GRIFFIN)

Regulates internal union affairs, requires regular reports, elections every 5 years

1980—AMENDMENT TO WAGNER ACT

Guarantees conscious objectors rights to not support unions, even in union-shop states

national labor relations act wagner act 1935
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS ACT(WAGNER ACT) 1935

Affirmed employees’ rights to form unions and to bargain collectively

Created the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to decide all unfair labor disputes and to oversee union elections

Established a list of unfair management practices

Interference with efforts to organize

Domination of the labor organization by the employer – creating a “company” union

Firing, demoting, or taking negative action against employees who join or vote for a union

Discrimination in hiring to discourage union affiliation – not hiring suspected union sympathizers

Threatening to close down a company if the workers unionize

Promising to give benefits to workers for refusing to support a union

Spying on union meetings – taking pictures or keeping records of who attends union meetings

Asking workers about their union activities in a coercive or intimidating way

Refusal to bargain collectively with chosen employee representatives

labor management relations act taft hartley act 1947
LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS ACT(TAFT-HARTLEY ACT) 1947

Employees can refrain from union activity (the right-to-work)

Closed shop outlawed (with exceptions)

Written agreement required for deducting union dues (the check-off)

Employer free-speech rights & right to file unfair charges against unions

Employees given right to initiate decertification elections

President can intervene in strike actions for “national security” reasons

Unfair labor practices of unions identified

Coercion of workers to join the union – pressuring employees to sign authorization cards

Jurisdictional strikes outlawed – strikes to force employer to bargain with a different union

Excessive or discriminatory fees or dues

Pressuring employers to discriminate against employees

Featherbedding – asking to be paid for work not performed

Secondary boycotts – strikes and actions against an employer where no violation of the union’s agreement has occurred

Refusal to bargain in good faith

why do workers join unions
WHY DO WORKERS JOIN UNIONS?

DISSATISFIED WITH THE ORGANIZATION

WAGES & BENEFITS

WORKING CONDITIONS & COMPANY POLICIES

SUPERVISORY PRACTICES

GRIEVANCES & UNRESOLVED DISPUTES

WANT PROTECTION FROM ARBITRARY DECISIONS

WRITTEN AGREEMENT (a signed contract)

JOB SECURITY

WANT AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE A LEADER

BECOME A UNION STEWARD

SERVE ON THE BARGAINING COMMITTEE

FORCED TO JOIN

PEER PRESSURE

UNION WON THE ELECTION

WANT TO WORK IN A “UNION-SHOP” STATE

catalytic events in a unionization effort
CATALYTIC EVENTS IN A UNIONIZATION EFFORT

“SIGNALS” OF DISRESPECT – (SIGNS THE FIRM DOESN’T CARE ABOUT ME!)

POOR HOUSEKEEPING – (Dirty environment)

POOR SUPERVISION – (Uncommunicative)

INADEQUATE WAGE DIFFERENTIALS

INADEQUATE PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE

ARBITRARY COMPANY POLICIES

CUMBERSOME GRIEVANCE SYSTEM

INCIDENTS WHERE MANAGEMENT APPEARS UNFAIR

A BELIEF THAT THINGS WILL NOT CHANGE EXCEPT THROUGH COLLECTIVE ACTION AND THAT THE BENEFITS OF ORGANIZING OUTWEIGH THE COSTS

EXISTENCE OF A “CRITICAL MASS” OF WORKERS WHO WILL ACTIVELY PURSUE UNION ORGANIZATION

COLLECTION OF SIGNED AUTHORIZATION CARDS (>30%) TO JUSTIFY AN ELECTION SUPERVISED BY THE NLRB

unionization objectives
UNIONIZATION OBJECTIVES

TO SECURE & IMPROVE THE LIVING STANDARDS FOR ITS MEMBERS

TO PROTECT MEMBERS FROM THREATS CAUSED BY MARKET FLUCTUATIONS, TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGES, AND MANAGEMENT DECISIONS

TO INFLUENCE POWER AND SOCIAL SYSTEMS IN WAYS THAT FAVOR AND DO NOT THREATEN UNION GAINS AND GOALS

TO ADVANCE THE WELFARE OF ALL WHO WORK FOR A LIVING, WHETHER UNION MEMBERS OR NOT

TO CREATE MECHANISMS TO GUARD AGAINST THE USE OF ARBITRARY AND CAPRICIOUS POLICIES AND PRACTICES IN THE WORKPLACE

should the organization resist unionization
SHOULD THE ORGANIZATION RESIST UNIONIZATION?

COSTS

LEGAL SERVICES AND FEES

LOSS OF PRODUCTIVE TIME

LOSS OF EXECUTIVE TIME

POOR PUBLIC IMAGE

DAMAGES RELATIONSHIPS WITH EMPLOYEES

BENEFITS

RETAINS MANAGEMENT FLEXIBILITY

AVOIDANCE OF STRIKES

LOWER LABOR COSTS

communications by the organization during a unionization effort
COMMUNICATIONS BY THE ORGANIZATION DURING A UNIONIZATION EFFORT

POSSIBLE CAMPAIGN THEMES

ANTI-UNION (All unions are bad!)

ANTI THIS UNION (Of all the unions, this one is really bad!)

PRO COMPANY (Look at all the good stuff we’ve done for you!)

INTELLIGENT CHOICE (Consider the pros/cons of your choice)

YOU CAN:

A) voice an opinion, B) provide information, C) explain workplace changes, D) give wage and benefit comparisons

SPECIFIC ISSUES OFTEN RAISED BY THE ORGANIZATION

Strike record of the union

Membership cost (financial and otherwise)

Union corruption and abuse

Company merits

Benefits of remaining union-free

Changes will be distasteful and disruptive

issues commonly raised by union organizers
ISSUES COMMONLY RAISED BY UNION ORGANIZERS

ADEQUATE COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

PROTECTING JOBS AND SENIORITY

ARBITRARY COMPANY POLICIES

UNRESOLVED GRIEVANCES AND DISPUTES

IS THE COMPANY TRYING TO TAKE SOMETHING AWAY?

LOST JOBS

REDUCED BENEFITS

THE FIRM IS UNFAIR OR EXPLOITIVE

MANAGEMENT DOESN’T LISTEN TO US

WORKERS NEED MORE CONTROL (Which a union can provide)

four types of nlrb elections
FOUR TYPES OF NLRB ELECTIONS

REGULAR CERTIFICATION ELECTION (RC)

Employees petition NLRB to decide whether union representation is desired

CERTIFICATION ELECTION REQUESTED BY THE FIRM (RM)

Authorization cards submitted by the organization to force a decision regarding union representation

DECERTIFICATION ELECTION (RD)

Initiated by employees (not by the organization). Must be submitted to NLRB 60 to 90 days prior to contract expiration. An affirmative vote expels the union, and there is no longer a contract. The result is an “open shop.”

DEAUTHORIZATION ELECTION (UD)

Similar to decertification, except the union is not removed. It creates an “exclusive bargaining shop” where the union represents workers, but support is not mandated.

during the unionization campaign the nlrb watches for
DURING THE UNIONIZATION CAMPAIGN THE NLRB WATCHES FOR:

Questioning of employees about union membership and activity

Information provided to employees is truthful (both union & firm)

No threats or intimidation are used to gain votes

No promises of special treatment for votes

No final presentations within 24 hours of the election

ONCE THE ELECTION IS OVER (AND THE UNION WON) THE NLRB WATCHES FOR:

Bargaining in “good faith”

Parties must meet and confer. There is no obligation to agree or make concessions.

Signs of “bad faith” bargaining

Unwillingness to make counterproposals

Constantly changing positions on issues

Use of delaying tactics

Withdrawal of concessions immediately after they’ve been made

Refusal to provide necessary data for negotiations

“Boulwarism”

nlrb rulings regarding compensation issues
NLRB RULINGS REGARDING COMPENSATION ISSUES

PAY STRUCTURE

Explain salary and merit systems to the union

SALARY DISCLOSURE

Union is entitled to know actual pay details for each person in their bargaining unit

WAGE DISCUSSION

Can’t enforce a rule prohibiting discussion of wages among workers

WAGE DATA DISTRIBUTION

When distributed by a union, release of wage data is not an invasion of privacy

PAY SURVEY DATA

Must reveal firms surveyed (if known) to the union

BONUSES

Once distributed, must be continued even if not in the contract

BENEFITS

Cannot be changed in the middle of a contract without reopening negotiations

union bargaining issues
UNION BARGAINING ISSUES

UNION RECOGNITION

UNION SECURITY

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

EMPLOYEE SECURITY

WORK RULES & JOB-RELATED FACTORS

MANAGEMENT RIGHTS

union security agreements
UNION SECURITY AGREEMENTS

CLOSED SHOP

Must be a union member to be interviewed for a job

UNION SHOP

Must join the union after probationary period is completed

AGENCY SHOP

Don’t have to join union, but must pay “fair share” of expenses to the union

EXCLUSIVE BARGAINING SHOP

Union has right to represent workers, but support of union is strictly voluntary

OPEN SHOP

No union is recognized as bargaining agent. No one has to join anything.

MAINTENANCE OF MEMBERSHIP CLAUSE

Union members must continue to support the union once they’ve joined

CHECKOFF

Requires the employer to automatically deduct union dues from employee paychecks

breakdowns in negotiations possible strategies
BREAKDOWNS IN NEGOTIATIONS: POSSIBLE STRATEGIES

UNION TACTICS

Slowdowns

Picketing

Strikes

Boycotts

Sabotage

“Salting”

Corporate campaigns

ORGANIZATION TACTICS

Lockouts

Supervisors continue operations

Use of replacement workers

Phase down or close facilities

THIRD PARTIES

Mediation

Issues Arbitration

type of strikes
TYPE OF STRIKES

ECONOMIC

Collective bargaining failure – officially authorized by the union

JURISDICTIONAL

Tries to force recognition or work for our own members, rather than other unions (illegal under Taft-Hartley Act)

SYMPATHY

Express support for another union (and cease work) even though you have no grievance against the stricken party

UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE

A protest against alleged illegal employer actions, according to the contract or the NLRB

WILDCAT

A strike action without union approval

the morality of labor disputes
THE MORALITY OF LABOR DISPUTES

ARE STRIKES “MORAL?”

Are strikes necessary to redress “wrongs” which cannot be ignored?

Or, is a strike simply raw coercion or blackmail?

STRIKE ACTIONS MAY BE MORALLY JUSTIFIABLE IF:

The issue forcing a strike is a “just-cause” (job-related)

Proper authorization has been obtained (no sudden surprises)

The strike action is used as a “last resort” (we’ve tried everything else first)

IF WORKERS HAVE A LEGITIMATE RIGHT TO STRIKE, DO EMPLOYERS HAVE A MORAL RIGHT TO USE LOCKOUTS OR REPLACEMENT WORKERS TO PROTECT THEIR BUSINESSES AND TO CONTINUE TO SERVE THE PUBLIC?

HOW ETHICAL ARE SYMPATHY STRIKES, BOYCOTTS, SABOTAGE, AND CORPORATE CAMPAIGNS?

ASK YOURSELF, WHO ARE WE HURTING WITH THESE ACTIONS? DO THE AFFECTED PARTIES DESERVE TO BE HURT?

threats to unions today
THREATS TO UNIONS TODAY

DECLINE OF INDUSTRIAL/MANUFACTURING SECTOR JOBS

SHIFT TO SERVICE-ORIENTED INDUSTRIES

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION FOR MARKETS

TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS AND ROBOTS

EMPLOYEE “RIGHTS” LEGISLATION

DECLINING PUBLIC IMAGE OF LABOR

DECLINE IN UNION MEMBERSHIP

HARD-LINE APPROACH TO UNIONIZATION

DECERTIFICATION ELECTION SUCCESS

BUSINESS DECLINES, BANKRUPTCIES, AND MERGERS

Concessions and “give back” bargaining

Two-tiered contract agreements

ENLIGHTENED MANAGEMENT PRACTICES

Worker participation and empowerment

factors that reduce the chances for successful union organization
FACTORS THAT REDUCE THE CHANCES FOR SUCCESSFUL UNION ORGANIZATION
  • Employees believe the organization is NOT trying to exploit them
  • Employees that take a lot of pride in their work
  • Good performance records kept by the organization
  • Employee effort is recognized and appreciated
  • Disciplinary procedures are fair and consistent
  • Rewards are based on clear performance criteria, not on favoritism
  • Supervisors have good relationships with workers
arbitrators normally consider
ARBITRATORS NORMALLY CONSIDER:
  • NATURE OF THE OFFENSE
  • DUE PROCESS PROCEDURES—ARE THERE ANY AND WERE THEY FOLLOWED?
  • KNOWLEDGE OF RULES BY WORKERS
  • CONSISTENCY IN ENFORCEMENT OF RULES
  • PAST RECORD AND PREVIOUS WARNINGS
  • LENGTH OF SERVICE WITH THE COMPANY
  • SIGNS OF DISCRIMINATORY TREATMENT
the changing social contract
THE CHANGING SOCIAL CONTRACT

OLD CONTRACT -- LOYALTY GUARANTEES SECURITY

Job security and a lifetime career (paternalistic)

Steady advancement and rising income

Loyalty to and identification with the organization (employer)

Sense of employee entitlement

NEW CONTRACT -- YOU HAVE A JOB ONLY IF YOU PERFORM

Employment only as long as you “add value”

Payment for contributions, not seniority

Responsible for your own development and career

Loyalty to self and profession, not the company

Job and employer changes are frequent

models of management morality applied to employee stakeholders
MODELS OF MANAGEMENT MORALITYAPPLIED TO EMPLOYEE STAKEHOLDERS

IMMORAL MANAGEMENT

Employees are factors of production used for company gain.

Little concern shown for employees’ needs, rights, & expectations.

Short-term focus. Environment is coercive, controlling, & alienating.

AMORAL MANAGEMENT

Employees are treated as the law requires.

Motivation focuses on increasing production, not on satisfying employees’ needs.

Treats employees with minimal respect.

Structure and incentives are geared toward short- & medium-term productivity.

MORAL MANAGEMENT

Employees are a human resource that must be treated with dignity and respect.

Employees’ rights to due process, privacy, freedom of speech, and safety are respected.

Consultation and participation are used to build confidence, trust, and commitment.

claimed employee rights
CLAIMED EMPLOYEE “RIGHTS”
  • EMPLOYMENT
  • DUE PROCESS
  • EXPRESSION
  • PRIVACY
  • SAFE WORK ENVIRONMENT
  • EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
  • JUST WAGES
  • ORGANIZE

EXPECTATIONS FROM EMPLOYERS

JUSTICE/FAIRNESS

NON-INJURY

TREATMENT WITH DIGNITY & RESPECT

OBLIGATIONS TO EMPLOYERS

LOYALTY

OBEDIENCE

CONFIDENTIALITY

OBLIGATIONS TO THIRD PARTIES

TRUTHFULNESS

NON-INJURY

FAIRNESS

the right to work
THE RIGHT TO WORK

DERIVED FROM BASIC RIGHTS TO LIFE, DEVELOPMENT, & RESPECT

A “RIGHT” TO EMPLOYMENT MAY ARISE WHEN:

Labor supply exceeds demand

No alternative ways to earn a living exist, except to work for others

Extended families (which share resources) do not exist, or break down

“EMPLOYMENT AT WILL” DOCTRINE

There is no contract.

Either member can terminate the relationship at any time

THREE EXCEPTIONS

PUBLIC POLICY

Refuse to commit crimes, testify to authorities, blow the whistle

CONTRACT

Written or implied by letters, handbook or oral assurances

BREECH OF GOOD FAITH

Is this fair? Was an opportunity given to improve?

due process the right to a fair hearing
DUE PROCESSThe right to a “fair” hearing

WHAT IS AN “UNJUST” DISMISSAL?

Disloyalty – blowing the whistle?

Theft?

Violation of company policies and procedures?

Lateness and absenteeism?

Inefficiency and low productivity?

Lack of ability and skills?

Incompatibility with management?

Economic downturn?

What is the morality of job loss due to each of these circumstances?

is the disciplinary process fair
IS THE DISCIPLINARY PROCESS “FAIR?”

ATTRIBUTIONAL MODEL OF FAILURE

Is the person at fault, or is it the situation that has created the problem?

“Fundamental Attribution Error” --- blames the person most of the time

IS POOR WORK PERFORMANCE ATTRIBUTED TO:

PERSON

LACK OF ABILITY

LACK OF EFFORT

ENVIRONMENT

DIFFICULT TASK

BAD LUCK

SUPERVISOR RESPONSE TO FAILURE

LACK OF ABILITY – CONSIDER TRAINING OR TRANSFER

LACK OF EFFORT – CONSIDER DISCIPLINE OR MOTIVATIONAL PLAN

A DIFFICULT TASK – CONSIDER JOB REDESIGN

BAD LUCK – OFFER SYMPATHY AND SUPPORT

two philosophical objectives re problem employees discipline
TWO PHILOSOPHICAL OBJECTIVES RE: PROBLEM EMPLOYEES & DISCIPLINE

CORRECTION

Try to change behavior or outcomes

Results or actions must be “corrected!”

RETRIBUTION (PUNISHMENT)

One must bear the consequences of one’s actions

There is a “price” to pay when mistakes are made

The offending parties need to “feel real bad” about what happened!

TWO TYPES OF WORK-RELATED DISCIPLINE PROBLEMS

POOR WORK PERFORMANCE

INAPPROPRIATE PERSONAL CONDUCT

problem employees
PROBLEM EMPLOYEES

POOR WORK PERFORMANCE

LACK OF ABILITY?

LACK OF MOTIVATION?

TASK IS TOO DIFFICULT?

UNFORSEEN OBSTACLES?

INAPPROPRIATE PERSONAL CONDUCT

ALCOHOLISM & DRUG ABUSE

PERSONAL PROBLEMS?…WILLING TO REHABILITATE?

THEFT, VANDALISM, HARASSMENT & ILLEGAL ACTS

DO WE HAVE GOOD EVIDENCE?…WHAT MOTIVATED THEM TO DO THIS?

HORSEPLAY AND BREAKING COMPANY RULES

DELIBERATE OR UNINTENTIONAL?…ARE THE RULES LOGICAL AND FAIR?

disciplinary mistakes made by supervisors
DISCIPLINARY MISTAKES MADE BY SUPERVISORS
  • Rules and procedures are not formalized (written down)
  • Workers don’t know what the rules are (not communicated) clearly)
  • Supervisor is too lenient early, and too strict later
  • Supervisor “chews out” (disciplines) employees in public
  • No objective investigation of facts prior to discipline
  • No opportunity for employee to state his/her side of the story
  • No avenue of appeal available
  • No records kept of previous incidents or rule violations
written records of violations should include
WRITTEN RECORDS OF VIOLATIONS SHOULD INCLUDE:
  • A statement of the facts … what happened?
  • Identify the rule violated
  • What damages did, or could have resulted from this action?
  • Previous violations by this employee
  • Future consequences if this happens again
  • The worker’s version of the incident
  • The worker’s signature and date
disciplinary action guidelines
DISCIPLINARY ACTION GUIDELINES

DON’T JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS – GET ALL THE FACTS FIRST

BE A GOOD LISTENER

BE PROMPT IN DEALING WITH THE ISSUE

COMMUNICATE WHICH BEHAVIORS ARE DESIRABLE

THE ACT, NOT THE PERSON, SHOULD BE CONDEMNED

DISCIPLINE SHOULD BE ADMINISTERED IN PRIVATE

TACTFULLY WATCH TO SEE WHETHER BEHAVIOR IMPROVES

the employer has obligations
THE EMPLOYER HAS OBLIGATIONS

TO DUE PROCESS:

CONDUCT A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION

PROVIDE AVENUES OF APPEAL

CHAIN-OF-COMMAND

“OPEN DOOR” POLICY

OMBUDSPERSON

PEER REVIEW PANEL

ARBITRATION

arbitrators normally consider33
ARBITRATORS NORMALLY CONSIDER:
  • NATURE OF THE OFFENSE
  • DUE PROCESS PROCEDURES—ARE THERE ANY AND WERE THEY FOLLOWED?
  • KNOWLEDGE OF RULES BY WORKERS
  • CONSISTENCY IN ENFORCEMENT OF RULES
  • PAST RECORD AND PREVIOUS WARNINGS
  • LENGTH OF SERVICE WITH THE COMPANY
  • SIGNS OF DISCRIMINATORY TREATMENT
employer obligations contd
EMPLOYER OBLIGATIONS, CONTD

TO ASSIST THE FORMER EMPLOYEE:

JOB LOSS DUE TO:

POOR WORK PERFORMANCE

POOR PERSONAL CONDUCT

ECONOMIC DOWNTURN

SHOULD THE EMPLOYER PROVIDE?

ADEQUATE NOTICE?

SEVERANCE PAY?

ASSISTANCE IN FINDING A NEW JOB?

JOB RETRAINING/RETOOLING?