Labor Unions

Topics: Trade union, Collective bargaining, Labour relations Pages: 8 (2392 words) Published: November 16, 2008
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Labor Unions:
Interaction with Human Resource Management
Employee and labor relations
The objective of this research paper is to provide better understanding on how Labor Unions interact with Human Resource Management and employee and labor relations. To provide a better understanding I will include the following topics:

1. History of Labor Unions
2. Common Reasons for Joining a Union
3. Grievance Procedures
4. Arbitration and Mediation
During my career, I have been fortunate to have been involved in both union and non-union shops. I have been able to experience both the good, and the bad of having a union, and not having one. If it wouldn’t have been due to low wages, rising prices of health insurance, deletion of a pension plan, and being passed over for a promotion. I probably would have never went to a job that had a union. Through my experience and research, I have come to the conclusion that in order to have better benefits, and a better way of life. There is no other way, but to have a union shop. The benefits are significant for all involved including the community. The research of Labor Unions interaction with Human Resource Management and employee and labor relations focuses on these four topics.

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History of Labor Unions
In a Curriculum of United States Labor History for Teachers, Illinois Labor History Society (2008) states that the United States has the bloodiest history of labor of any industrialized nation on Earth. It is a story rich in human drama and tragedy. It also one of progress and hope. The Colonial Period to 1763: The Europeans began arriving after 1492 in America. They found land rich in resources and native culture. When news reached Europe many explorers came and developed colonization. Most, of the early colonists arrived in America under some version of bound labor, either as a slave or an indentured servant. This was the way free persons would pay for their passage. When they arrived they would be sold out to artisan, gentleman or farmers according to their abilities. They would work for 5-7 years to repay their passage costs. The Revolutionary Era: 1763-1789. Struggle for Independence, and workers interests, was important in the success of the revolutionary movement. An example is the Boston Massacre. Boston ropemakers were unhappy, because of the competition between off duty British soldiers who sought part-time work. It began as a verbal confrontation between one ropemaker and a soldier, and then escalated to a confrontation between workers and sentries and then ended as a battle for the revolution. Important evidence of common people in the movement is the success of Thomas Paine’s 1776 pamphlet, Common Sense, which was written for everyone, but the upper class. The large sales indicated the level of interest the average person had in independence. During this period workers united for better working conditions. The Growth of a New Nation: (1789-1830). Jefferson hoped

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America would remain a rural agricultural society. He warned of the evils of an industrialized society, because of industrialization the Jeffersonians lost their vision of America. Some sought to blend these competing interests, this was called the Lowell experiment. “It sought to preserve America’s agricultural base by employing rural women who would supplement the income on the farm.”(AH, 2008). When the experiment failed Jefferson’s vision was relegated to the history books. Expansion and Sectionalism: (1830-1850). The period of reform in American history. William Lloyd Garrison founded the abolition movement. The ten-hour movement achieved success in legislature for the ten-hour day. However there was a loophole many employers used. Employees were allowed to work longer hours if they so desired and if they didn’t employers would fire them or put them on a blacklist. More immigrants came who were eager to...

References: Bloomsbury, 2002. History of Human Resource Management
Brief History of the American Labor Movement, Bulletin 100 (Washington, PC: U.S
Neil A Wynn & John Carrier. (1976). The Afro-American and the second world war p.14.
“Union Members in 2005,” U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 20, 2006.
Keith Ecker, “State of the Union,” Corporate Legal Times 15 (September 2005): p.10.
R. Wayne Mondy. (2008). Human Resource Management 10th edition.
Llona Geiger, “The Value of Professional Mediation,” Association Management 54 9Movember 2002): p. 87.
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