The Dynamics of Labor Relations. The Challenges of Human Resources Management. Chapter Objectives After studying this chapter, you should be able to. Identify and explain the main federal laws that provide the framework for labor relations. Explain the reasons employees join unions.
The Dynamics of Labor Relations The Challenges of Human Resources Management
Chapter ObjectivesAfter studying this chapter, you should be able to Identify and explain the main federal laws that provide the framework for labor relations. Explain the reasons employees join unions. Describe the process by which unions organize employees and gain recognition as their bargaining agent. Discuss the bargaining process and the bargaining goals and strategies of a union and an employer. Differentiate the forms of bargaining power that a union and an employer may utilize to enforce their bargaining demands. Describe a typical union grievance procedure and explain the basis for arbitration awards. Discuss some of the contemporary challenges to labor organizations. LEARNING OUTCOME 1 LEARNING OUTCOME 2 LEARNING OUTCOME 3 LEARNING OUTCOME 4 LEARNING OUTCOME 5 LEARNING OUTCOME 6 LEARNING OUTCOME 7
Government Regulation of Labor Relations • Major Labor Laws • Railway Labor Act (RLA) of 1926 • Norris LaGuardia Act (Anti-Injunction Act) • Wagner Act (National labor Relations Act) of 1935 • National Labor Relations Board • Taft-Harley Act (Labor-Management Relations Act) of 1947 • Landrum-Griffin Act (Labor-Management Disclosure Act) of 1959
Government Regulation of Labor Relations (cont.) • Railway Labor Act (RLA) of 1926 • Purpose of the act is to avoid service interruptions resulting from disputes between railroads and their operating unions. • National Mediation Board • National Railway Adjustment Board • Norris-LaGuardia Act of 1932 • Restricts the ability of employers to obtain an injunction against unions for their lawful activities.
Wagner (NLRA) Act • Wagner Act (National Labor Relations Act)of 1935 • Protects employee rights to organize and bargain collectively through representatives of their choice. • Created the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to govern labor relations in the United States. • Holds secret ballot union representation elections. • Prevents and remedies unfair labor practices.
Wagner (NLRA) Act (cont.) • Section 7 of the Act guarantees employee rights: • To self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through freely chosen representatives. • To engage in concerted activities, for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection. • To refrain from any or all of such activities except to the extent that such right may be affected by an agreement requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment.
Wagner (NLRA) Act (cont.) • Section 8 of the Wagner Act outlawed employer practices that deny employees their rights and benefits: • Interference with Section 7 rights • Domination of a union (company union) • Discrimination against union members • Arbitrary discharge of union members • Refusal to bargain with the union
Amendments to the Wagner Act • Taft-Hartley Act (The Labor-Management Relations Act) of 1947 • Balances rights and duties of labor and management in collective bargaining by defining unfair union practices. • Created the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) to help resolve negotiating disputes. • Landrum-Griffin Act (Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act) of 1959 • Safeguards union member rights and prevents racketeering and other unscrupulous practices by employers and union officers.
Taft-Hartley Act (Unfair Union Practices ) • Unions are prohibited from: • Interfering with Section 7 rights of employees • Interfering with representation elections • Influencing employers to discriminate with regard to union membership • Refusal to bargain collectively with employer • Interference with certified employee representative’s relationship with employer • Assessment of excessive initiation fees and dues on bargaining unit members • “Featherbedding”
Landrum-Griffin Act (Bill of Rights of Union Members) • Union members have the right to: • Nominate candidates for union office • Vote in union elections or referendums • Attend union meetings • Participate in union meetings and vote on union business • Examine union accounts and records • Bring suit against union officers as necessary to protect union funds
Why Employees Unionize • As a result of their economic needs(wages and benefits) • Dissatisfaction with managerial practices • To fulfill social and status needs. • Social and leadership concerns
Union Avoidance Practices • Pay • Promote more employees from within • Conduct cultural audits • Offer job rotations and training programs • Share information with employees • Have desirable working conditions
Employee/Union Contact OrganizingSteps Initial Organizational Meeting Formation of In-House Committee Steps in the Organizing Process Election Petition and Voting Preparation Contract Negotiations
United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Authorization Card
Aggressive Organizing Tactics • Political Involvement • Neutrality Agreements • Organizer Training • Corporate Campaigns • Information Technology
Employer Tactics Opposing Unionization • Stressing favorable employer-employee relationship experienced without a union. • Emphasize current advantages in wages, benefits, or working conditions the employees may enjoy • Emphasize unfavorable aspects of unionism: strikes, union dues, abuses of legal rights • Use statistics to show that unions commit large numbers of unfair labor practices. • Initiate legal action when union members and leaders engage in unfair labor practices
How Employees Become Unionized • Bargaining Unit • A group of two or more employees who share common employment interests and conditions and may reasonably be grouped together for purposes of collective bargaining. • Exclusive Representation • The legal right and responsibility of the union to represent all bargaining unit members equally, regardless of whether employees join the union or not.
NLRB Representation Election • Representation Election Process • Pre-election Hearing: • NLRB certifies that 30 percent of eligible employees in bargaining unit have signed authorization cards and sets date for election. • Election: • NLRB conducts secret ballot election. If union wins the majority of votes in the election, NLRB certifies the union as the exclusive bargaining unit representative with which the employer must collectively bargain. • Certification on Card Check: • If at least 50 percent of employees within the bargaining unit sign authorization cards, then the union may request recognition by the employer.
Impact of Unionization on Managers • Challenges to Management Prerogatives • may involve such issues as the subcontracting of work, productivity standards, and job content • Loss of Supervisory Authority • covering wages, benefits, job security, and working hours
Structures, Functions, and Leadership of Labor Unions • Craft Unions • Represent skilled craft workers • Industrial Unions • Represent all workers—skilled, semiskilled, unskilled—employed along industry lines • Employee Associations • Represent various groups of professional and white-collar employees in labor-management relations.
Structure and Functions of the AFL-CIO GENERAL BOARD Executive members and principal officer of each international union affiliate Meets upon call of federation president of executive council Standing committees Staff departments Local unions affiliated directly with AFL-CIO Affiliated national and international unions Affiliated state bodies Local unions of national and international unions Local bodies
Structure and Functions of the AFL-CIO (cont.) • The “House of Labor” • Disseminates labor policy developed by leaders of affiliated unions. • Coordinates organizing activities among affiliated unions. • Provides research and other assistance through its various departments. • Lobbies before legislative bodies on labor subjects • Publicizes the concerns and benefits of unionization • Resolves disputes between different unions
Structure and Functions of National Unions • National Unions • set the broad guidelines for governing union members and for formulating collective bargaining goals in dealing with management • establishes the rules and conditions under which the local unions may be chartered • Other services: • training of union leaders, • legal assistance, • leadership in political activity, • educational and public relations programs, and • discipline of union members.
Structure and Functions of Local Unions Local Union Meeting (Normally Monthly) Business Representative President Secretary/Treasurer Vice-Presidents Sergeant at Arms Various Committee Chairpersons Training and Education Grievance Committee:Chief Steward and Shop Stewards Collective Bargaining Social Local Union Members
Structure and Functions of Local Unions (cont.) • Local Officers • Elected officials who lead the union and serve on the bargaining committee for a new contract. • Union Steward • An employee, as a nonpaid union official, represents the interests of members in their relations with management. • Business Unionism • The term applied to the goals of U.S. labor organizations, which collectively bargain wages, hours, job security, and working conditions.
Labor Relations in the Public Sector • Challenges to Public Sector Unionization: • No national-level public sector labor relations laws • Public employees’ wages and working conditions set by law • Collective bargaining for federal employees governed by executive orders and the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 • Various public civil service systems address public employee complaints or grievances • Substitution of compulsory binding arbitration for the guaranteed right to strike
The Bargaining Process • Collective Bargaining Process • The process of negotiating a labor agreement, including the use of economic pressures by both parties. • Preparing for Negotiations • Gathering Bargaining Data • Developing Bargaining Strategies and Tactics • Negotiating the Labor Agreement • Bargaining Zone • Area within which the union and the employer are willing to concede when bargaining.
The Bargaining Process (cont.) • Good Faith Bargaining Requirements • Meetings to be held at reasonable times and places to discuss employment conditions. • Proposals and counterproposals submitted by each party must be realistic and reasonable. • Both parties must sign a written document of the agreement reached through negotiations • Interest-based Bargaining • Problem-solving bargaining based on a win-win philosophy and the development of a positive long-term relationship.
Management and Union Power in Collective Bargaining • Bargaining Power • The power of labor and management to achieve their goals through economic, social, or political influence. • Union Bargaining Power • Strikes, pickets, and boycotts • Management Bargaining Power • Hiring permanent replacement workers • Continuing operations staffed by management • Locking out employees
Administration of the Labor Agreement • The bulk of labor relations activity comes from the day-to-day administration of the agreement because no agreement could possibly anticipate all the forms that disputes may take. • Once the agreement is signed, each side will naturally interpret ambiguous clauses to its own advantage. These differences are traditionally resolved through the grievance procedure.
Grievance Arbitration • Rights Arbitration • Arbitration over interpretation of the meaning of contract terms or employee work grievances. • Fair Representation Doctrine • The doctrine under which unions have a legal obligation to provide assistance to both members and nonmembers in labor relations matters.
Grievance (Rights) Arbitration Issues in deciding to use arbitration as a method for dispute resolution Use of binding arbitration Rights arbitration and EEO conflicts Fair Representation Doctrine Methods for choosing an arbitrator Submission agreement and awards
Arbitration Hearing • The arbitrator declares the hearing open and obtains the submission agreement. • Parties present opening statements. • Each side presents its case using witnesses and evidence; witnesses can be cross examined. • Parties make closing statements. • Arbitrator closes hearing and designates date and time for rendering the award.
Arbitration Award • Factors arbitrators use to decide cases: • The wording of the labor agreement (or employment policy in nonunion organizations). • The submission agreement (statement of problem to be solved) as presented to the arbitrator. • Testimony and evidence offered during the hearing. • Arbitration criteria or standards (similar to standards of common law) against which cases are judged.
Contemporary Challenges to Labor Organizations • Decrease in Union Membership • A shift from traditional unionized industries (manufacturing, mining) to high technology industries (computers, pharmaceuticals). • Growth in the employment of part-time and temporary workers. • Growth in small businesses, in which unionization is more costly and difficult to perform. • Globalization of the workforce particularly among low wage employers
Contemporary Challenges to Labor Organizations (cont.) • Globalization and Technological Change • Offshoring:work that was previously carried out in one country moved to another • most of the recent growth in U.S. companies comes from outside of the country • Employers need to pay more attention to the relevant stakeholders such as unions, employees and communities in which they operate • Most job loss in America is not due to offshoring, but rather to technological changes.
Key Terms • fair representation doctrine • grievance procedure • industrial unions • interest-based bargaining • labor relations process • rights arbitration • unfair labor practices (ULPs) • union shop • union steward • offshoring • arbitrator • authorization card • bargaining power • bargaining unit • bargaining zone • business unionism • collective bargaining process • craft unions • employee associations • exclusive representation