chapter 1 union-management relationship in perspective

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  • Chapter 1 Union-Management Relationships in PerspectiveCopyright 2009 Cengage Learning. PowerPoint Presentation by Charlie CookAll rights reserved. The University of West Alabama
  • Phases in the Labor Relations Process 1. Recognition of rights and responsibilities Legal protections and constraints on union and management representatives 2. Negotiation of the labor agreement Strategies, tactics, and dispute resolution techniques 3. Administration of the negotiated labor agreement Management administers the agreement. Union monitors managements compliance with the terms of the agreement. 2008 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. 12
  • Exhibit 1.1 Elements in the Labor Relations Process 2008 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. 13
  • Labor Relations Focal Point: Work Rules Work Rule Categories Rules governing compensation Wages, overtime payments, vacations, shift premiums Rules specifying employees and employers job rights and obligations No strike/no lockout, performance standards, promotion qualifications, job specifications, layoff provisions Characteristics of Work Rules Common or unique Vague or specific Change over time 2008 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. 14
  • Exhibit 1.2 Examples of Work Rules Job or Industry Classification Work Rule Electricians Where the work assignment of employees who have been assigned a permanent reporting location requires travel to and between other work locations and/or return to their permanent reporting location, the time consumed by the employees in such travel shall be counted as time worked. Professional Baseball The player and the club recognize and agree that the players participation in certain other sports may impair or destroy his ability and skill as a baseball player. Accordingly, the player agrees that he will not engage in professional boxing or wrestling, and that except with the written consent of the club, he will not engage in skiing, auto racing, motorcycle racing, sky diving or in any game or exhibition of football, soccer, professional league basketball, ice hockey, or other sport involving a substantial risk of personal injury. 2008 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. 15
  • Participants in the Labor Relations Process Management Officials Corporate, divisional, plant-level managers Management consultants, union avoidance experts Union Officials Elected officers and representatives Employees Vote to organize and vote to ratify negotiated agreements 2008 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. 16
  • Participants(contd) The Government Executive, legislative, and judicial branches Actions (laws and regulations) can change labor- management relationships. Federal, state, and local levels of government Third-Party Neutrals Mediators Facilitate bargaining activities. Arbitrators Consider disputed issues and make decisions binding on both labor and management. 2008 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. 17
  • Three Basic Assumptions Underlying U.S. Labor Relations 1. The free enterprise (capitalist) economic system creates an inherent conflict of interest between employers (owners) and employees. 2. Employees have a right to pursue their employment interests using lawful means. 3. Collective bargaining provides for employee participation through their chosen representatives in determination of work rules. 2008 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. 18
  • Exhibit 1.3 Basic Characteristics of the Private Sector Labor Relations System Primarily a bilateral process (union and management) governed by a framework of labor laws. A highly decentralized bargaining structure that results in a large number of labor contracts. Recognition of the key legal principles of majority rule and exclusive bargaining representation. Permits the use of economic pressure (e.g., strike, lockout, picketing, and boycott) to aid the parties (union and management) in reaching a voluntary negotiated settlement. Encourages the use of final and binding arbitration, if voluntary grievance negotiation efforts fail, to resolve rights disputes. Characterized by significant employer opposition to employee efforts to organize and bargain collectively through representation. 2008 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. 19
  • Constraints or Influences on Work Rules State of the Economy Inflation, interest rates, unemployment, and productivity affect job security. Labor Market Skills and wage levels in the relevant labor market Demand for labor and shifts in labor market sectors Product Market Vulnerability of disruption to product supply to customers from the potential for labor strikes Use of outsourced materials and products 2008 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. 110
  • Constraints or Influences(contd) Financial Market Availability and cost of funds for investment Exchange rates that affect plant location choice Funds borrowed to support ESOPs Capital investments in nonunion and offshore facilities Technology Equipment changing or eliminating skills required Pace and scheduling of the work Work environment and tasks Information exchange 2008 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. 111
  • Constraints or Influences(contd) International Forces North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) U.S. firms overseas investments Globalization and the global economy (24/7) Multinational firms plant location strategies Low-wages in newly industrializing countries Rising volume of imports Public Opinion Influential individuals and organizations Attitudes and traditions of the community 2008 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. 112
  • How Unions Enhance Public Opinion Monitoring and reacting to negative comments made in the media. Getting organized labors positive message out to the community. Forming alliances with various groups in the community. 2008 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. 113
  • Union Membership Is Declining Structural Changes in the Labor Force Shift from manufacturing to knowledge-based jobs Growth in professional, technical, and service workers Shifts in workforce demographics (more females and younger workers) Employment growth primarily (80%) in smaller firms Increases in the use of part-time and contingent workers Economic recessions 2008 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. 114
  • Exhibit 1.4 Union Membership Trends, 19752006 (in thousands) Data is based upon information in the Current Population Survey (CPS) compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.SOURCE: Barry Hirsch and David Macpherson, Union Membership, Coverage, Density, and Employment amongAll Wage and Salary Workers, 19732006,, 2007, p. 1 at 2008 Cengage Learning. All rights reserved. 115
  • Union Membership Is Declining (contd) Organizational Practices Union-avoidance practices by firms Improved human resources practices Employment Law Companies use of laws to forestall organizing Laws that make unions appear unnecessary Union Organizing Effor


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