Labor Relations Research Paper
MG420 DL Labor Relations Research Assignment (Arthur Crump) (September 27, 2009) Professor Stroud 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. (5 points)
The Honolulu Advertiser recently published an article which cites on-going contract bargaining negotiations between the University of Hawaii (UH) Professional Assembly (who represents the faculty) and UH (http://www. honoluluadvertiser. com/article/20090918/news07/909180373). Currently, negotiations are at a stale-mate due to UH submitting its final contract offer to the UH Professional Assembly asking for a 5% pay reduction as well as a 10% reduction in the state’s contribution to their health insurance premiums.
Due to this final offer issuing an ultimatum stating that the university will be “unilaterally imposed if not accepted by the union,” may force the union “to take legal action or strike. ” The reasons cited by the university for their terms are despite increased enrollment, they’ve experienced significant budget reductions. This article is a great example of collective bargaining because the faculty is afforded the opportunity to have some efficiency, equity, and voice (Labor Relations, pg. -12) regarding their work terms. Additionally, this article also displays the definition of multilateral bargaining which is negotiating between multiple parties which in this case include: Board of Regents, the UH president, and the State’s Governor (Labor Relations, pg 296) Unfortunately this particular case is affected by the economic element for the bargaining environment due to the reduced budget cuts. (Labor Relations, pg 286) 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) The National Labor Relations Act of 1935, also known as the (Wagner Act), supports collective bargaining by eliminating the disparities in equity between Labor and the Employer, as well as protects labor’s right to unionize should they so desire.
This law was initiated due to previous legislation being ruled unconstitutional, and placed more emphasis on law for private sector labor. (Labor Relations, pg 166) The following link: http://stlouis. bizjournals. com/stlouis/stories/2009/08/03/daily52. html cites an article about the Lumiere Place and President Casino of violating labor laws recognizing the employee’s union as their bargaining agent by the regional National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), office in St. Louis.
After reviewing this article in its entirety, this case evolved over an issue resulting from a misunderstanding by the employer as to the exclusive representation of the majority of employees, and the employer’s stance appears to stem from this requirement of the Wagner act. Another law designed to support collective bargaining and protect union members’ from corruption from its union leaders is the Landrum-Griffin act. A perfect violation of this law is the City of New York against New York City’s Carpenter’s union. See ad link at: http://www. nytimes. com/2009/08/06/nyregion/06indict. html.
The union’s leadership is accused of accepting bribes by allowing contractors to rip off the workers, and in return, the union leadership would overlook these offenses and provide no representation which is totally contradictory to the purpose of union affiliation. The third law which supports collective bargaining is the Railway Labor Act. This law considered a win-win to both the labor and employers. It is considered a win to labor because it allows them to have bargaining rights despite being in an interstate industry which requires the employees to “work now and grieve later” concept: (http://www. papilot. org/media/rla. asp#What%20is%20the%20Railway%20Labor%20Act). As far as Employers and the Public, Congress implemented this act to protect the employer’s, employees, and the public’s interest since rail was the main transportation of the day, and any disruptions due to strikes would have had an adverse impact on interstate commerce as a whole. This law also covers parcel drivers for UPS and FedEx, but an amendment to the law was introduced to amend the law as it is now, to only limit individuals who hold an FAA-certified job.
FedEx feels this would have a negative impact on its operations in the event of a strike by removing the work now grieve later concept from its other driver employees, and revert them back to the National Labor Relations Act. (http://www. joc. com/node/409948). 3. List four issues that are potential components of a collective bargaining agreement. Pick any two of the four issues you’ve listed and include and discuss [showing relevance or applicability] a current web-based news item/magazine article about each of those [two] collective bargaining issues in action.
Write succinct and complete summaries on the article. Support your findings with referenced research. (18 points) The four issues that primarily make up a bargaining agreement consist of wages, benefits, layoff policies, and grievance procedures. Regarding wages and benefits, the following link refers to an article where an individual incurred an eye injury toward the end of his contract with the cruise line, and simultaneously, the cruise line which he worked for was undergoing a merger with another cruise line.
The problem for the employee occurred because while he was out from work and the merger on-going, he felt that he was entitled to wages for the time which he was away due to obtaining surgery (sick leave). Since his contract expired 3 Oct 97, the district court which presided over the case ruled that due to the member’s closely approaching contract expiration date on or about 3 Oct 1997 in relation to the date of injury, he was not entitled to sick pay. Additionally due to the collective bargaining agreement in effect at the time of this member’s injury, the member was entitled to 63 days sick leave with pay under the original agreement.
Since there was confusion as to which agreement was in effect due to the merger, this particular case was ruled in favor of the employer, and the employee wages claim for sick leave was denied. Definitely an unfortunate outcome for the employee since he was temporarily incapacitated from seeking additional employment, and hopefully a learning experience to have input with any future employment involving collective bargaining. (http://www. accessmylibrary. com/article-1G1-78635159/royal-caribbean-cruises-properly. html) 4. Describe the process of establishing a bargaining unit.
Include and discuss [showing relevance or applicability] two current web-based news item/magazine article about any part of the process of establishing a bargaining unit. Write a succinct and complete summary on the contents of the article you’ve provided along with you critical comments about that article. Support you finding with reference research. (5 points) Establishing a bargaining unit has 8 steps each for both the employer and the union. The eight steps for the union consist of As capitalism continues to globe trot across China’s landscape, China is racing to establish unions in all fortunate 500 companies located there.
Their recent accomplishment of setting up workplace unions in supposedly non-union Wal-Mart, led to them wanting to set up unions in at least 80 percent of the aforementioned companies and branches. Their current time-line calls for 10,000 workplaces to have new unions within 100 days. Additionally they are using a pattern bargaining structure from their Wal-mart feat (Labor Relations pg 291), in order to accomplish this enormous task. http://www. clntranslations. org/article/33/the-chinese-trade-unions-big-rush-to-set-up-unions-in-fortune-500-companies
Two years after the All China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) accomplished a breakthrough to set up workplace unions in Wal-Mart stores, on 11 June this year, after holding a meeting in Beijing, it announced that it would immediately launch a campaign to set up unions in at least 80 percent of the Fortune 500 company headquarters and branches. Up until now only some 50 percent of these companies have unions. This means that, including unions in these company’s branches, more than 10,000 workplaces have to have new unions. This ‘100-day focused action’ as the ACFTU calls it, will be in high gear until the end of September.
The announcement was made with a sense of urgency and determination. Local unions were also instructed to take legal action against any companies that refuse to accept having a union. 1 It would have been a tall order had this union federation edict been issued in a country where there is freedom of association, especially in a place like the United States where unionization is met with stiff resistance and where labor laws and unionization procedures make setting up workplace unions extremely difficult – if not impossible. But using the establishment of the 100 Wal-Mart trade unions as a template, this is a feasible mission.
After initially using the secretive method of setting up unions at about a dozen Wal-Mart stores (see http://www. clntranslations. org/article/4/wal-mart), the ACFTU abandoned this new organizing method and reverted to using the ‘consultative’ method, that includes management in the setting up of the union preparatory committee and the subsequent election process. The new grassroots unionization method used for the first dozen Wal-Mart stores is time consuming and may end up with elected trade union executive committees and chairpersons making demands on the company.
The ACFTU has always been using the ‘above-ground’ method which, in their view, has stood the test of time. In light of the ACFTU’s goal to set up more than 10,000 workplace unions within three months, it can be safely predicted that these unions will be heavily dominated by management. To illustrate what these new Fortune 500 trade unions will probably be like, CLNT has chosen to translate a report form the Suzhou Daily, 8 July 2008, which is a transcript of a round-table discussion by 10 workplace trade union staff members from some Fortune 500 companies that have already had trade unions.
They talked about their experiences and offered their own opinions on what ideal trade unions chairpersons should be. There was a consensus that the union is to be a channel of communication between workers and management, that the trade union chair should have the ability to use a common language to talk to both parties, that the union is the agent for a win-win situation for the