2.7 Employer & Employee Relations Chapter 16
Vocabulary • Trade Union • An organization of working people with the objective of improving pay and working conditions and providing them with support and legal services. • Industrial Action • Measures taken by the workforce or union to put pressure on management to settle disputes in favor of the employees
Collective Bargaining • The negotiations between trade unions and employers on issues of common interest such as pay and working conditions. • Trade Unions are not legal in all countries. • Are they legal in the U.S.? • Are they legal in North Carolina?
Why Workers Join Unions • Power through Solidarity- • Trade unions negotiate on behalf of their members. This puts workers in a strong position to determine pay and other benefits. • Individual Industrial Action VS Collective Industrial Action • One worker going “on strike” is not as effective as all employees going “on strike”. • Legal support for unfair dismissal or poor working conditions • Unions pressure employers to ensure that legal requirements are met like health and safety regulations.
Trade Union Recognition • An employer officially agrees to negotiate pay and working conditions with a trade union rather than bargain individually with each employee. • Do Trade Unions only benefit employees?
Benefits to Employers • Employers can negotiate with one organization rather each employee • Increases communication between the employer and employees. • Unions can impose discipline on their members. • Responsible partnering with unions creates a platform for discussing common business issues and promotes productivity, job security, and raises profits.
Types of Industrial Action • Negotiation • Go Slow (or Slow Down) • Workers keep working but at the minimum pace as demanded by the contract. • Work to Rule • Workers refuse to do any work outside the precise terms of their contract. • Overtime Bans • Workers refuse to work more than their contracted hours per work. • Strike Action – MOST EXTREME • Workers refuse to come to work. This causes the business to shut down.
Employer Response to Union Disputes • Negotiate • Public Relations • Using media to gain support for the employers position. • Threats of Redundancy • May put pressure on the union to settle. • Changes of Contract • Alter new contract to favor the employer • Closure • Close the location of the factory with the uncooperative union • Lock-Outs • Short-term closure of the factory to prevent workers from being paid.
How to Reduce Conflict • Single Union Agreement • An employer recognizes only union for collective bargaining. • Dealing with one union is less time consuming. • Eliminates inner union disputes.
Hot to Reduce Conflict • No-Strike Agreement • Unions agree to sign agreement not to strike in exchange for greater involvement in workforce decisions. Why give up the right to STRIKE? • Improves the image of the union. • Is usually traded for greater flexibility in decision-making within the business. Creates a partnership atmosphere.
Options to Resolve Conflict • Conciliation • The use of a third party to find common ground in order to find an acceptable compromise. • Arbitration • Using a third party to judge and recommend a solution that is binding.
Pendulum Arbitration • Compromise is not allowed. • Each “side” presents their best case scenario. • The arbitrator decides which case he will “side” with. • This decision becomes binding. • Advantage: Each side presents what they believe is fair knowing that a compromise is not an option. (Therefore, keeping the pendulum from swinging in favor of one party over the other.)