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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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
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
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
DISSATISFIED WITH THE ORGANIZATION
WAGES & BENEFITS
WORKING CONDITIONS & COMPANY POLICIES
GRIEVANCES & UNRESOLVED DISPUTES
WANT PROTECTION FROM ARBITRARY DECISIONS
WRITTEN AGREEMENT (a signed contract)
WANT AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE A LEADER
BECOME A UNION STEWARD
SERVE ON THE BARGAINING COMMITTEE
FORCED TO JOIN
UNION WON THE ELECTION
WANT TO WORK IN A “UNION-SHOP” STATE
“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
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
LEGAL SERVICES AND FEES
LOSS OF PRODUCTIVE TIME
LOSS OF EXECUTIVE TIME
POOR PUBLIC IMAGE
DAMAGES RELATIONSHIPS WITH EMPLOYEES
RETAINS MANAGEMENT FLEXIBILITY
AVOIDANCE OF STRIKES
LOWER LABOR COSTS
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)
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
Benefits of remaining union-free
Changes will be distasteful and disruptive
ADEQUATE COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
PROTECTING JOBS AND SENIORITY
ARBITRARY COMPANY POLICIES
UNRESOLVED GRIEVANCES AND DISPUTES
IS THE COMPANY TRYING TO TAKE SOMETHING AWAY?
THE FIRM IS UNFAIR OR EXPLOITIVE
MANAGEMENT DOESN’T LISTEN TO US
WORKERS NEED MORE CONTROL (Which a union can provide)
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.
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
Explain salary and merit systems to the union
Union is entitled to know actual pay details for each person in their bargaining unit
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
Once distributed, must be continued even if not in the contract
Cannot be changed in the middle of a contract without reopening negotiations
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
WORK RULES & JOB-RELATED FACTORS
Must be a union member to be interviewed for a job
Must join the union after probationary period is completed
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
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
Requires the employer to automatically deduct union dues from employee paychecks
Supervisors continue operations
Use of replacement workers
Phase down or close facilities
Collective bargaining failure – officially authorized by the union
Tries to force recognition or work for our own members, rather than other unions (illegal under Taft-Hartley Act)
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
A strike action without union approval
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?
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
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
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.
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.
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.
EXPECTATIONS FROM EMPLOYERS
TREATMENT WITH DIGNITY & RESPECT
OBLIGATIONS TO EMPLOYERS
OBLIGATIONS TO THIRD PARTIES
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
Refuse to commit crimes, testify to authorities, blow the whistle
Written or implied by letters, handbook or oral assurances
BREECH OF GOOD FAITH
Is this fair? Was an opportunity given to improve?
WHAT IS AN “UNJUST” DISMISSAL?
Disloyalty – blowing the whistle?
Violation of company policies and procedures?
Lateness and absenteeism?
Inefficiency and low productivity?
Lack of ability and skills?
Incompatibility with management?
What is the morality of job loss due to each of these circumstances?
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:
LACK OF ABILITY
LACK OF EFFORT
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
Try to change behavior or outcomes
Results or actions must be “corrected!”
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
POOR WORK PERFORMANCE
LACK OF ABILITY?
LACK OF MOTIVATION?
TASK IS TOO DIFFICULT?
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?
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
TO DUE PROCESS:
CONDUCT A THOROUGH INVESTIGATION
PROVIDE AVENUES OF APPEAL
“OPEN DOOR” POLICY
PEER REVIEW PANEL
TO ASSIST THE FORMER EMPLOYEE:
JOB LOSS DUE TO:
POOR WORK PERFORMANCE
POOR PERSONAL CONDUCT
SHOULD THE EMPLOYER PROVIDE?
ASSISTANCE IN FINDING A NEW JOB?