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6 Labor relation and collective


A union is an organization of workers,
acting collectively, seeking to promote
and protect its mutual interests through
collective bargaining.

Labor contracts typically stipulate:
terms and conditions of employment
limit managements discretion


Union membership
by Industry

Why Employees Join Unions

Higher wages and benefits:
The strength of large numbers and
bargainers give unions an advantage
over individuals.

Why Employees Join Unions

Greater job security:
Collective bargaining contracts limit
managements ability to arbitrarily
hire, promote or fire.

Influence over work rules:

Unions represent workers and define

Labor Legislation
Labor Relations Acts
Bill of rights "which enables for unions,
guaranteeing right to organize and
bargain collectively.
determines bargaining units
conducts elections
prevents or corrects unfair labor practices

Unfair labor practices include:

interfering with an employees rights to
bargain collectively
refusing to bargain collectively with
employee representatives

Unionizing Employees
Union Organizing Process

Unionizing Employees
Thirty percent of employees must sign
authorization cards indicating their
interest in having an election.
A representation certification (RC),
If the union is accepted by a majority of
eligible voting workers, the union becomes
the workers legal representative.

Unionizing Employees
Once the National Labor Relations Board
certifies a union, each worker must abide by
the negotiated contract.
Most organizations managements will try to
influence workers against voting for union
elections can be held to vote unions out.

Collective Bargaining
interpretation of a written agreement between
two parties, at least one of which represents a
group that is acting collectively, that covers a
specific period of time.

Collective Bargaining
Objective and Scope of Collective
Contracts must be acceptable to
management, union representatives and
union membership.
Four issues appear in all labor contracts.

terms and conditions of employment
grievance procedure

Collective Bargaining
Collective Bargaining
Management is represented by
senior management for industrial
relations, corporate executives and
company lawyers
In small companies, the president
typically represents the company.

Collective Bargaining
Collective Bargaining Participants
Union bargaining teams include an
officer of the local union, local shop
stewards and representation from the
international/national union.
Government watches to ensure rules
are followed.
Financial institutions set limits on the
cost of the contract

Collective Bargaining
The Collective

Collective Bargaining
The Collective Bargaining Process
Preparing to negotiate
Fact-gathering: Includes internal information
(e.g., employee performance records, overtime)
and external (i.e., data on what similar
organizations are doing and the economy).
Goal-setting: Management decides what it can
expect from the negotiation.
Strategy development: This includes assessing
the other sides power and tactics.

Collective Bargaining
Negotiating at the bargaining table
Each side usually begins by
publicly demanding more than they
are willing to accept.
More realistic assessments and
compromises take place behind
closed doors.
After oral agreement, a written
contract is submitted to the union
for ratification.

Collective Bargaining
Contract administration refers to the
implementation, interpretation and
monitoring of the negotiated contract
between labor and management.
Information dissemination includes helping
staff and workers understand the new
contract provisions.
Implementing refers to making the changes
to comply with contract terms.

Collective Bargaining
Interpreting the contract and grievance
Grievance procedures are specified in the
contract and outline the steps for resolving
complaints as quickly as possible by
starting at the lowest level with the
immediate supervisor.

Collective Bargaining
Interpreting the contract and
grievance resolution
Grievance (rights) arbitration is
typically the final step in the
grievance process
Disputes that cannot be resolved
are resolved by an arbitrator, or
third party, whose decision is

Collective Bargaining

Sample Grievance Procedure

Collective Bargaining
Both union and management keep track
of how effective the current contract is
and any need for changes.

Collective Bargaining
Failure to Reach Agreement
Strikes versus lockouts
Economic strikes - labor and management
cannot reach agreement before the current
contract expires.
Wildcat strikes - unauthorized and illegal
strikes that occur because of worker
dissatisfaction during an existing contract.
Lockouts - when organizations deny unionized
workers access to their jobs during an impasse.

Collective Bargaining
Failure to Reach Agreement
Impasse-Resolution Techniques:
Used when labor and management
cannot reach agreement.
Conciliation and mediation involve a third
party to either keep negotiations going or
make non-binding settlement
Fact-finding involves a neutral third-party
who conducts a hearing and recommends a
non-binding settlement.

Collective Bargaining
Interest arbitration
Involves a panel of one neutral, one
management and one union
representative who hear testimony and
render a decision to settle a contract
negotiation dispute.
Primarily in public-sector bargaining.
Binding only if there is unanimous

Critical Issues for Unions

Union membership:
Where have the
members gone?
Union membership in the
U.S. reached a high of
36% in the early 1940s;
there has been a steady
decline since then.

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