Understanding Business Ch 12
Flashcard maker : Lily Taylor
The relationship between management and employees is a delicate one.
While both have a vested interest in seeing their business thrive, the needs and desires of each party can sometimes be wholly different
is an employee organization whose main goal is representing its members in employee-management negotiations over job-related issues. Recently labor unions have been in the news more than they have been for years.
Formal labor organizations in the United States date to the time of the American Revolution. As early as 1792, cordwainers (shoemakers) in Philadelphia met to discuss fundamental work issues of pay, hours, conditions, and job security—pretty much the same issues that dominate labor negotiations today.
The cordwainers were
a craft union , an organization of skilled specialists in a particular craft or trade, typically local or regional.
. Most craft unions were established to achieve some short-range goal, such as curtailing the use of convict labor as an alternative to available free labor.
The Industrial Revolution brought
enormous productivity increases, gained through mass production and job specialization, that made the United States an economic world power. This growth, however, created problems for workers in terms of productivity expectations, hours of work, wages, job security, and unemployment.
he first truly national labor organization was the Knights of Labor, formed by Uriah Smith Stephens in 1869.
The Knights offered membership to all private working people, including employers, and promoted social causes as well as labor and economic issues.
By 1886, the organization Knights of Labor, claimed a membership of 700,000. The Knights’ intention was to gain significant political power and eventually restructure the U.S. economy.
The Knights of Labor organization fell from prominence, however, after being blamed for a bomb that killed eight policemen during a labor rally at Haymarket Square in Chicago in 1886.
A rival group, the American Federation of Labor (AFL), was formed that same year. By 1890, the AFL, under the dynamic leadership of Samuel Gompers, stood at the forefront of the labor movement.
The AFL was never one big union, but rather an organization of craft unions that championed fundamental labor issues. It intentionally limited membership to skilled workers (craftspeople),assuming they would have better bargaining power than unskilled workers in obtaining concessions from employers. As a federation, its many individual unions can become members yet keep their separate union status.
an unauthorized AFL group called the Committee of Industrial Organizations began to organize industrial unions
which consisted of unskilled and semiskilled workers in mass-production industries such as automobile manufacturing and mining. John L. Lewis, president of the United Mine Workers, led this committee. His objective was to organize both craftspeople and unskilled workers under one banner.
When the AFL rejected his proposal in 1935, Lewis broke away to form the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO).
The CIO soon rivaled the AFL in membership, partly because of the passage of the National Labor Relations Act (also called the Wagner Act) that same year (see the next section). For 20 years, the two organizations struggled for power. It wasn’t until passage of the Taft-Hartley Act in 1947 (see Figure 12.1) that they saw the benefits of a merger. In 1955, the two groups formed the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO today maintains affiliations with 56 national and international labor unions and has about 12.5 million members.
A yellow-dog contract
required employees to agree, as a condition of employment, not to join a union.
is the process whereby union and management representatives negotiate a contract for workers.
The Wagner Act expanded labor’s right to collectively bargain by obligating employers to meet at reasonable times and bargain in good faith with respect to wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment
is the formal process whereby the NLRB recognizes a labor union as the authorized bargaining agent for a group of employees.
is the process by which workers can take away a union’s right to represent them.
The negotiated labor-management agreement, informally referred to as the labor contract, sets the tone and clarifies the terms and conditions under which management and the union will function over a specific period.
Unions attempt to address their most pressing concerns in the labor contract such as job security and offshore outsourcing. Negotiations can cover a wide range of work topics, and it can take a long time to reach an agreement.
Labor unions generally insist that a contract contain a _____________ _______________ _____________ stipulating that employees who reap union benefits either officially join or at least pay dues to the union
union security clause
After passage of the ___________ _______________ , unions sought strict security in the form of the closed shop agreement, which specified that workers had to be members of a union before being hired for a job.
Unions favor the ___________ _______________ _____________ , under which workers do not have to be members of a union to be hired but must agree to join within a prescribed period (usually 30, 60, or 90 days).
union shop agreement
Under a contingency called an ___________ _______________ _____________ employers may hire workers who are not required to join the union but must pay a special union fee or regular union dues.
agency shop agreement,
Labor leaders believe that such fees or dues are justified because the union represents all workers in collective bargaining, not just its members.
The Taft-Hartley Act recognized the legality of the union shop but granted individual states the power to outlaw such agreements through ———– laws
In a right-to-work state, an ___________ _______________ _____________ gives workers the option to join or not join a union if one exists. A worker who does not join cannot be forced to pay a fee or dues.
open shop agreement
Future contract negotiations will likely focus on evolving workplace issues such as child and elder care, worker retraining, two-tiered wage plans, drug testing, and other such work-related issues.
A _____________ is a charge by employees that management is not abiding by or fulfilling the terms of the negotiated labor-management agreement as they perceive it.
Overtime rules, promotions, layoffs, transfers, and job assignments are generally sources of employee grievances
Grievances, however, do not imply that a company has broken the law or the labor agreement.
The vast majority of grievances are negotiated and resolved by shop stewards (union officials who work permanently in an organization and represent employee interests on a daily basis) and supervisory-level managers.
During the _______ ___________ ____________ there is generally a bargaining zone, which is the range of options between the initial and final offers that each party will consider before negotiations dissolve or reach an impasse.
contract negotiation process,
Mediation is the use of a third party, called a mediator, who encourages both sides in a dispute to continue negotiating and often makes suggestions for resolving the matter. Keep in mind that mediators evaluate facts in the dispute and then make suggestions, not decisions.
A more extreme option used to resolve conflicts is arbitration—
an agreement to bring an impartial third party—a single arbitrator or arbitration panel—to render a binding decision in a labor dispute.
The arbitrator(s) must be acceptable to both labor and management
Many negotiated labor-management agreements in the United States call for the use of arbitration to end labor disputes.
If labor and management cannot reach an agreement through collective bargaining, and negotiations break down, either side, or both, may use specific tactics to enhance its negotiating position and perhaps sway public opinion
Unions primarily use strikes and boycotts, as well as pickets and work slowdowns
Management may implement lockouts, injunctions, and even strikebreakers.
A strike occurs when
workers collectively refuse to go to work. Strikes have been the most potent union tactic. They attract public attention to a labor dispute and can cause operations in a company to slow down or totally cease. Besides refusing to work, strikers may also picket the company, walking around carrying signs and talking with the public and the media about the issues in the dispute.
One purpose of picketing is to alert the public to an issue stirring labor unrest, even though a strike has not yet been approved by the union’s membership.
Strikes sometimes lead to the resolution of a labor dispute; however, they also have generated violence and extended bitterness. Often after a strike is finally settled, labor and management remain openly hostile toward each other and mutual complaints of violations of the negotiated labor-management agreement continue.
The public often realizes how important a worker is when he or she goes on strike
Employees of the federal government, such as postal workers, can unionize but are also denied the right to strike.
In critical industries such as airlines and railroads, under the Taft-Hartley Act, the U.S. president can ask for a cooling-off period, during which workers return to their jobs while negotiations continue, to prevent a strike. The cooling-off period can last up to 80 days.
A primary boycott occurs
when labor encourages both its members and the general public not to buy the products or services of a firm engaged in a labor dispute.
A secondary boycott
is an attempt by labor to convince others to stop doing business with a firm that is the subject of a primary boycott.
Labor unions can legally authorize primary boycotts, but the Taft-Hartley Act prohibits using secondary boycotts.
is an attempt by management to put pressure on union workers by temporarily closing the business.
is a court order directing someone to do something or to refrain from doing something
Strikebreakers (called scabs by unions) are workers
hired to do the jobs of striking employees until the labor dispute is resolved.
his loss has occurred despite unions like the UAW granting management concessions, or _____________, of previous gains in attempts to save jobs.
Both public and private sector union members now face challenges as they try to maintain remaining wage and fringe benefit gains achieved in past negotiations.
Today the largest union in the United States is the National Education Association (NEA) with 3.2 million members. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) with 2.2 million members is second.
he traditional manufacturing base that unions depended on for growth needs to give way to organizing efforts in industries like health care (over 16 million workers) and information technology (over 4 million workers)
Unions will also need to take on a new role in partnering with management in training workers, redesigning jobs, and assimilating the changing workforce to the job requirements of the new service and knowledge-work economy
Organizations are _______ in global expansion, offshore outsourcing, and technology change.