Trade Union and Hormel

Topics: Trade union, Negotiation, Local union Pages: 9 (2918 words) Published: April 1, 2013
Post-Negotiation and Case Analysis for ABC/Local 190

Group 9

Xiangnan Liu, Jing Zhang, Miao Hou, Qun Xie, Yiping Cao


1.1 Parties involved in the Hormel negotiations.

In the Hormel negotiations, there are four main parties, Hormel Company, union Local P-9, United Food and Commercial Workers international(UFCW)and Local P-10er, which stands for dissident group of Local P-9.

1.2 Primary goals/interests of each party.

The primary goal of Hormel Company was to keep the wages of workers as low as possible to maintain the low labor cost. Since, some other meatpackers had come across situation that their costs were out of line and cause them hard to recover. The Hormel&Co did not want to encounter that situation, so they tried to keep the cost on workers low.

Union Local P-9 was the union that represented all workers in Hormel Austin plant. The main goal of Local P-9 was to ensure that workers get the wages that they should earn. P-9 believed wages of workers should be based on profitability of companies. The Local P-9 developed Corporate Campaign programs to fight with Hormel Company. The union believed if they can embarrass the Hormel long enough, they would finally win the fight.

United Food and Commercial Workers international is the parent of P-9. UFCW always work with local union, but this time P-9 casted away UFCW and tried to win the game all by their own. The UFCW considered the P-9’s approach not appropriate. UFCW is interested in giving some strategic advices to P-9 to guiding P-9 to right method.

P-10 disagreed with union P-9, their main goal was to try to correct what they believed union P-9 have done wrong.

1.3 Two pairs of parties that are in conflict with each other and reasons why they are in conflict.

First Local P-9 was definitely in conflict with Hormel Company. The Hormel Company tried to cut the wages and Local P-9 struggled to guarantee the rights of workers. Before the union took action, the Hormel Company was eager to decrease the wages to nearly $8.25. But the union wanted to keep the wages at $10.69 or higher.

The second conflict was between UFCW and Local P-9. UFCW disagreed with the approach of union P-9. They did not think that Corporate Campaign programs would cause positive consequence. Lewie Anderson believed only embarrassing Hormel could not help them win the struggle.

2.1 Local P-9 took hardball tactics and refused guidance from international union.

At first, Local P-9 asked union members to send out leaflets talking about higher wages for city workers, which indirectly hurt Hormel’s reputation. Then Jim Guyyete, president of Local P-9 hired Ray Rogers, a union organizer, to represent the Local union to challenge management. As Nyberg said, Ray Rogers's classical approaches are harassment, intimidation, and threats and his rationale was that if you could embarrass a company long enough, you would bring that company to its knees. We think it was a big mistake to hire him because he cares only about beating the management, not the impact on workers.

Guyette notes that usually the international union provides structure for strike support, but the local union had pushed the international union out of the way, so now it had to do everything by itself. P-9 may be better if it can get support from international union.

2.2 Hormel replies with executing its BATNA and threatening union workers.

Hormel’s proposal kept the base wage frozen for three years at $10/hour, and any new employees would be paid two dollars less for the same work. But it was too low for both local and international union to accept. Hormel decided not to settle with Local union. So Chief Counsel Nyberg then laid out management options that were to shut down the plant, hire temporary workers, and hire permanent replacements.  In seventeenth week of the strike, Hormel's production has not been stopped and the company shifted production to its other plants.

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