Legal Implicaiotn of human resource management Essay

A union is an organization of workers, acting collectively, seeking to promote and protect its mutual interests through collective bargaining. However, before we can examine the activities surrounding the collective bargaining process, it is important to understand the laws that govern the labor-management process, what unions are and how employees unionize. Although the current percentage of the workforce that is unionized has declined steadily, there are still many employees who feel that the workforce is primed for a positive response by employees to a new effort in organizing.

The main reasons for union organizing are: higher wages and benefits, greater job security, influence over work rules, compulsory membership and being upset with management. Among various reasons why employees join a union, we see one common factor: management, specially the first-line supervisor. If employees are upset with the way their supervisor handles problems, upset over how a coworker has been disciplines, and so on, they are likely to seek help from a union. In fact, it is reasonable to believe that when employees vote to unionize, it’s often a vote against their immediate supervisor rather than a vote in support of particular union.

CASE: In the provided case, the employees are upset with company since employer rolled out its plan to organize employees into teams, change job titles, work assignments and the pay structure. Beside that employees were told “this is how it will be. ” I am working as the top HR Manager and have to deal with this situation. First of all I would learn some basic legal implications of union organizing. The legal framework for labor-management relationships has played a crucial role in its development. There are two important laws that have shaped much of the labor relations process.

Wagner Act: Also knows as the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, this act gave employees that right to form and join unions and to engage in collective bargaining. The Wagner Act is cited a shifting the pendulum of power to favor unions for the first time in U. S labor history. This was achieved, in part, through the establishment of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The Wager Act provided the legal recognition of unions as legitimate interest groups in American society, but many employers opposed its purposes. Some employers, too, failed to live up to the requirements of its provisions.

Thus, the belief that the balance of power had swung too far to labor’s side, and the public outcry stemming from post-World War II strikes, led to passage of the Taft-Hartley Act (Labor- Management Relations Act) in 1947. The Taft-Hartley Act: Amended the Wagner Act by addressing employers’ concerns in terms of specifying unfair union labor practices. Realizing that unions and employers might not reach agreement and that work stoppages might occur, Taft-Hartley also created the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) as an independent agency separate from the Department of Labor.

FMCS is a government agency that assists Labor and management in settling disputes. The Wagner and Taft-Hartley Acts were the most important laws influencing labor-management relationships in the United States, but there are other laws that influence the labor organizing. Specifically, these are the Railway Labor Act; the Land rum Griffin Act; Executive Orders 10988 and 11491; the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970; and the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (discussed in previous module) is as relevant to labor organizations as it is to management.

Title VII of the act is focused on this subject. In the provided case, it seems like there is already union getting into shape. The labor laws do permit us as HR Manager to defend ourselves against the union campaign, but we must do it properly. I would follow the following guidelines of what to do and what not to do during the organizing drive. * If your employees ask for your opinion on unionization (as my supervisor is asking me this question), should respond in a natural manner.

For example, “I really have no position on the issue. Do what you think is best. * You can prohibit union-organizing activates in your workplace during work hours only if they interfere with work operation. This may apply to the organization’s e-mail, too. * You can prohibit outside union organizers from distributing union information in the workplace. * Employees have the right to distribute union information to other employees during breaks and lunch periods. * Don’t question employees publicly or privately about union-organizing activities- for example, “Are you planning to go to that union rally this weekend? but if an employee freely tells you about the activities, you may listen.

* Don’t spy on employees’ union activities, for example, by standing in the cafeteria to see who is distributing pro-union literature. * Don’t make any threats or promises related to the possibility of unionization. For example, “If this union effort succeeds, upper management is seriously thinking about closing down this plant, but if it’s defeated, they may push through an immediate wage increase. * Don’t discriminate against any employee who is involved in the unionization effort. Be on eh lookout for efforts by the union to coerce employees to join its ranks.

This activity by unions is an unfair labor practice. If you see this occurring, report to your boss or to HR. Company might slow want to consider filing a complaint against the union with NLRB. Keeping all the above points checked, I will also keep in mind that union organizing drives may or may not be successful, but when they do achieve their goal to become the exclusive bargaining age, the next step is to negotiate the contract or demands.

Now, I’ll get myself ready along with my first line supervisors, for the next expected step: collective bargaining. This typically refers to the negotiation, administration, and interpretation of a written agreement between two parties that covers a specific period of time. This agreement, or contract, lays out in specific terms the conditions of employment that is, what is expected of employees and any limits to management’s authority. Although collective bargaining is mostly used in public sectors, however it is also common in private sector.

My employees are upset because of three months old change; based on my supervisor’s comments I assume that union has been certified; I might come up with a new set of interpretation of this change between my management and employees. I will make sure that my management and the union must negotiate in good faith over these issues. I would follow the following collective bargaining process outline in order to resolve these issues: Preparing to Negotiate: Once a union has been certified as the bargaining unit, both union and management begin the ongoing activity of preparing for negotiations.

We can consider the preparation for negotiation as composed of three activities: fact gathering, goal setting, and strategy development. Information is acquired from both internal and external sources. With all the collection of this background information in hand, and tentative goals established both union and management must put together the most difficult part of the bargaining preparation activities, a strategy for negotiations. This includes assessing the other side’s power and specific tactics.

Negotiating at the Bargaining Table: Negotiation customarily begins with the union delivering to management a list of “demands. ” By presenting many demands, the union creates significant room for trading in later stages of the negotiation; it also disguises the union’s real position, leaving management to determine which demands are adamantly sought, which are moderately sought, and which the union is prepared to quickly abandon. Real negotiations typically go on behind closed doors, each party tries to assess the relative priorities of the other’s demands, and each begins to combine proposals into viable packages.

Next comes the attempt to make management’s highest offer approximate the lowest demands that the union is willing to accept. Contract Administration: Once a contract is agreed upon and ratified, it must be administered. Contract administration involves four stages: (1) dissemination the agreements to all union members and mangers; (2) implementing the contract: (3) interpreting the contract and grievance resolution: and (4) monitoring activities during the contract period.

Providing information to all concerned requires both parties to ensure that changes in contract language are spelled out. The stage of contract administration is ensuring that the agreement is implemented. All communicated changes now take effect, and both sides are expected to comply with the contract terms. The most important element of contract administration relates to spelling out a procedure for handling contractual disputes. These contracts have provisions for resolving specific, formally initiated grievances by employees concerning dissatisfaction with job-related issues.

As an HR Manager for a company with 1500 employees, who are quite upset with our management and are unionizing, I have tried to come up with a plan to resolve this issue. First of all, I gathered the legal data in this respect, I proposed some guidelines to avoid unionizing and last, I have discussed the plan in detail to resolve the issue in provided case. I would like to comment that although historically, the relationship between labor and management was built on conflict and the nterests of labor and management were seen as basically at odds-each treating the other as the opposition. But times have somewhat changes. Management has become increasingly aware that successful efforts to increase productivity, improve quality, and lower costs require employee involvement and commitment. Similarly, some labor unions have recognized that they can help their members more by cooperating with management rather than fighting them which is quite positive for both management and employees.

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