Research Assignment on Labor Relations
1. Define and discuss the term “collective bargaining.” Include and discuss [showing relevance or applicability] a current web-based news item/magazine article about a real life example of a collective bargaining action. Write a succinct and complete summary on the contents of the article you've provided along with your critical comments about that article. Support your findings with referenced research. (10 points) Collective bargaining can be defined as. “Process by which members of the labor force, operating through authorized union representatives, negotiate with their employers concerning wages, hours, working conditions, and benefits” (Answers.com, 2007). There can be advantages for both employees and employers in regards to collective bargaining. The advantage for employees is it “ensures adequate wages and working conditions by providing them with a "collective voice". It also allows them to influence personnel decisions and to achieve a fair distribution of gains from technological progress and productivity increases” (International Labour Organization Website, 2007). The advantage for employers is “collective bargaining helps to stabilize industrial relations by maintaining industrial peace that otherwise may be disrupted by labor unrest. Through collective bargaining employers can also address the need for adjustment to facilitate modernization and restructuring” (International Labour Organization Website, 2007).
An example of collective bargaining is the article, Take-home pay: minus $108.28. This article is about Wausau’s education support professional and their wages. These workers are paid by the hour and do not get paid when school is closed—these days not being pay include snow days, spring, winter, and summer break, or teacher inservice days. The difficult part is that they still get charge for their full health premium. Last year insurance was $302 and now it is $389 a month. Many of the workers are being paid below the minimum living wage (On WEAC, 2007).
Wausau’s education support professionals are using collective bargaining to get their point across to their employer that these wages are unfair. They organized a march to gain the employers attention that change needs to happen. They need to be able to pay their insurance premiums that were raised should be making at least the minimum living wage if not higher.
2. Identify three laws that support collective bargaining. Include and discuss [showing relevance or applicability] a current web-based news item/magazine article about each. Write a succinct and complete summary on the contents of the article you've provided along with your critical comments about that article. Support your findings with referenced research. (30 points)
There are many laws that support collective bargaining. These laws have helped improve job industries. Three laws that support collective bargaining include the Equal Pay Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, and Family and Medical Leave Act.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was created to prohibit discrimination between men and women determining compensation for equal pay. This act is today a controversy subject. The article, Equal Pay For Equal Work Effort Stalled, brings up some very good questions, “So why then, in 2006, could it be that college-educated women are still earning not quite 75 cents for every dollar of a similarly educated man? It's a pay gap that has actually widened in the last decade, says an Economic Policy Institute analysis” (Tampa Tribune, 2006). Although the act was passed there is still work to be done regarding equal pay since the gap between men and women pay has changed much over the years.
The Fair Labor Standards Act can be defined as, “A federal law that guarantees a worker's right to be paid fairly. The FLSA defines the 40-hour workweek, sets out the federal...