HR research paper

Topics: Trade union, Collective bargaining, National Labor Relations Act Pages: 9 (1084 words) Published: September 13, 2014
Union/Management relations
the past and future

A labor union is defined as a formal association of workers that promotes the interests of its members through collective action. Unions base their collective actions on the following factors: wages, benefits, working conditions, and on representing their members in disputes with management over violations of contracts. Labor unions can be a challenge for some managers because if the employee is not satisfied with the organizations Human Resource Department a labor union may be their alternative.

Human Resource managers must familiarize themselves with why employees unionize and the factors that influence unions. Employees typically unionize because they are unsatisfied with the way they are being treated in their work environment, and because they believe that their work situation will benefit as a result of the union. According to Human Resource Management, Essential Perspectives these are the major factors that trigger unionization: Working Conditions- inadequate staffing, mandatory overtime, and poor working conditions. Management Style- Arbitrary management decision making, use of fear and intimidation, and lack of recognition. Employee Treatment- Job security, unfair discipline and policies, lack of response to complaints, and harassment and/or abusive treatment. Compensation- Noncompetitive pay, inadequate benefits, and inadequate pay raises.

Unions, as well as employee relations, have evolved over time and will continue to change as working conditions change. There are several factors that will continue to affect the way that labor unions form and why they continue to grow. These factors include but are not limited to: economic dominance, the pace of change, information ability, old ways failing, increases in litigation, and resistance to change. Economic dominance uses the global economy to influence American business and the constant competition with other nations. The pace of change is a huge factor in labor unions, employee relations, and ultimately business because it is so rapid.

Human Resource managers must be familiar with changes and know how to lead and manage in a time of change. Information accessibility is a leading factor of change because of the increase in the use of internet to generate information. Information about companies and even employees can easily be found on the internet. Technology is constantly changing and influencing communication as it changes. Resistance to change will not only negatively impact employee relationships but it will also hinder management.

Manager-employee relationships are the biggest component of unions. These relationships could be what “makes or breaks” a union. Unions are formed because of working conditions, management style, employee treatment, and compensation, which are all factors that management can control. Neither management nor the union can achieve its institutional goals without the other; both unions and management are much more likely to achieve their institutional goals through collaboration and cooperation than conflict.

In addition to Human Resource managers familiarizing themselves with why unions are formed, they must also be concerned with the laws and regulations regarding unions. The text book Human Resource Management, Essential Perspectives outlines the U.S Labor Laws and how these government laws both hinder and protect unions.

The Railway Labor Act (RLA) of 1926 shows the joint effort of railroad management and unions in attempt to reduce transportation strikes. The RLA gave the railroad companies the right to organize and bargain collectively through the representatives of their own choosing. The RLA influenced another act, the Norris La-Guardia Act that guaranteed employees rights to organize and restricted the issuance of court injunctions in labor disputes. Both...

Cited: "GALLUP DAILY." Gallup.Com. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2013.
Mathis, Robert L., and John Harold. Jackson. "Union/Management Relations." Human Resource Management: Essential Perspectives. 6th ed. Australia: South-Western College Pub., 2002. 223-44. Print.
"The Pros and Cons of Joining a Labor Union." Fox Business. Larry Keller, 10 Apr. 2012. Web. 27 Nov. 2013.
 "Rethinking the Management - Labor Relationship." Rethinking the Management - Labor Rela tionship. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2013.
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