Case Based Study
BACKGROUND: 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...