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To Unionize or Not to Unionize

To Unionize or Not to Unionize

BUS 372

Employee and Labor Relation

To Unionize or Not to Unionize

It has been noted that the circumstances at a labor manufacture plant, have been undoubtably unrighteous. There has been word that a small group have been talking about the need to fight back for fair labor practices and are seeking the need to unionize. Here in this paper there will be a step by step process that will encourage those to seek further instructions and the advantages that will be assessed to continue. The type of union that this plant will need to accommodate, the responsibilities of the unionizing employees, and how the union can do to help with the process.  We will also discuss what management is legally able to say and do during the organization process of the union being started, and the rights and responsibilities in order to help those in other facilities within the business that are oversees. Lastly, there will be a brief explanation of how the nature of the business has any effects on the bargaining process and unionization.

Union Process

It’s been noted that the fellow employees of the manufacturing plant have had enough. The current working conditions along with the short wages, have been deemed unacceptable let alone there has been multiple labor violations. Its time to take a stand, but where does one start? There are enough employees to adventure out to seek help, but it must be done without the attention of the those in charge. Whether it a small or large group, the important part is that everyone privately discusses the workplace issues together and seeks the help of a union organizer. Select those who will be good leaders and individuals who aren’t afraid to speak up and get to the point of taking care of business. This will be your organization committee, it’s their job to familiarize themselves with the union and what to expect to further this knowledge with others in the group wanting change. “The organizing committee must be educated about workers’ right to organize and must understand UE policies and principles of democracy and rank-and-file control.” Freeman, R. B. (2005). Other parts of organizing a committee will also include gathering information to help further the process, other information includes the structure of the workplace, each department, other work areas, each job title and specifications of the job and the shifts that are applied to the workers. As well as employee information will also be gathered, this includes names, addresses, phone numbers and what position and shifts they cover in the plant. Lastly the employer information must be acquired, this includes any other locations, if there is a parent company, what types of products and the customer based along with the past union history.

Once all the information is gathered its time for the next step, the committee then makes a list of all the improvement that by unionizing will help change. The committee will then have all those interested in joining a Union to sign membership cards. The next step is to file a petition with either the federal or states labor board. This part of the process may take up to several weeks to be concluded. Once the labor board determines who is eligible there will be an election that is schedule to take place. If most of a union is favored, it will be then the employer’s job to deal with the union. “Winning a union election not only requires a strong, diverse organizing committee and a solid issues program, but there must also be a plan to fight the employer’s anti-union campaign.” Freeman, R. B. (2005).  

The last steps are to negotiate a contract in which suits both and all parties. This contract will be legal and binding and all must comply with the terms. Now that the hard part is over, it’s a union all your own.

Union Choice

The Union group that will help in this situation would be the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations or (AFL-CIO). The AFL-CIO is known for being the largest and the powerful organized union for labor, in the United States. The AFL-CIO union will have the most experience and knowledge in helping for the working union.

Responsibilities

The workers in this union will have many responsibilities, some of the first would be to relate their concerns to a committee that is selected by the coworkers that are also joining. This process is important since these officials will also be apart of the bargaining process. The concerns are then dealt with in a manner by those selected as union officials and representatives. These people are nominated by fellow members to follow through with the union setup process, all officials must follow the regulations of the union.

Unions Responsibilities

The resources of a union have many positives regarding health conditions, pay increase, hours, working environment and safe working conditions. That is if the all parts of the bargaining agreement are met. These outcomes are all part of the process that is stated with the workers responsibilities. Some further outcomes are: “Unions helped with the increase of wages by nearly 20%, Unionized laborers get 26% more excursion time and 14% more aggregate paid leave (travels and occasions)”, (Walters, 2003).

Legalities Organizing a Union

The majority of those involved in a union are not always in favor, however they are legally bound to the conditions once started and the best option for the business owner is respect their workers and respect the bargaining agreement. “The labor laws prohibit management from firing, disciplining, demoting, or penalizing workers for engaging in union activities,” (Walters, 2003). It may take some time however, once a union is started and in full force, the business has little chance of backing out, unless they want to lose their entire working force and stop production. They are able to take an opposition to any disagreements to the bartering table and address any issues before agreeing on any proposed solutions that work for all. Both sides of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), must be in full compliance for this part of the legal process to be complete, each of the parties must sign and honor the contract once completed.

Solution for those Overseas

The next process is to help those overseas in other labor departments, according to Schiavone, M. (2008). “the new local union will form an international solidarity committee to educate its members of benefits of international solidarity and to form alliance with overseas workers,”. Those apart of the union will then compose a contract that is made through international regulations, that utilizes international union conferences that advocates those who are overseas. According to Schiavone, (2008) “the next step involves industry wide networks, engaging in international coordinated bargaining.” Created for those who have any similar issues within the company the other department leaders will be apart of the Unionization.

Globalization Issues with Unions

“Unions are affected by globalization just like the labor it represents, therefor union strikes can be ineffective against a multinational corporation.” Walters. M. (2003). Therefor it would be safe to say that the nature of the business greatly depends on whether the future of unions is under attack. According to Dreher and Gaston (2007), “find that there is no significant contemporaneous relationship between globalization and union density.” However, per Scruggs and Lange (2002) have determined “that globalization has reduced union density rates in 16 industrialized democracies between 1960 and 1994.” With that being noted, the decline of unionization has been predicted by several models. However, “the finding that globalization does not affect the extent of government intervention is in line with the existing literature that finds no significant effect of globalization on the size and scope of the public sector” (Dreher, 2008, pg 4). According to our text “Not all countries allow workers to organize. Some places organizing efforts can mean a death sentence to the workers” (Seaquist, 2015).           

Conclusion

Throughout this paper we have covered many aspects in the chance of unionizing due to the circumstances of unfair wages, safety violations, poor working conditions and unfair working hours. The process was made clear to start organizing a union that will be beneficial and reasonable to the working class of this business and the regulations in which management must comply. The rights and responsibilities of the workers and those of management were also discussed in order for complete legal proceeding. The union type was specified and was succeeded with information for that union.  There was also a solution for those who are working in the same conditions overseas, and whether the global nature of this business has any influence on the organization process and bargaining process in which is necessary for a union to be successful.

References

Dreher, A. and Gaston, N. (2007). Has Globalization Really had no Effect on Unions? Kyklos 60(2), 165-186.

Freeman, R. B. (2005). What do unions do? —The 2004 M-brane stringtwister edition. Journal

of Labor Research, 26(4), 641-668.

Seaquist, G. (2015). Employee and labor relations: A practical guide. San Diego: Bridgepoint Education

Schiavone, M. (2008). Unions in crisis? The future of organized labor in America. Westport,       CT: Praeger.

Scruggs, L. and Lange, P. (2002). Where Have All the Members Gone? Globalization, Institutions, and Union Density. Journal of Politics 64(1), 126-153

Walters. M. (2003). How unions help all workers. Retrieved on 12 October 2019 from

http://www.epi.org/publication/briefingpapers_bp143/

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