Chapter 13

Creating Positive Employee - Management Relations

Kaiser Permanente: A Leader for Labor Relations

A labor or trade union is an organization of workers dedicated to protecting members' interests and improving wages, hours and working conditions for all.

No matter what you do for a living, there's a union with members who do the same thing
Unions represent:

  • mechanics,
  • teachers,
  • factory workers,
  • office workers,
  • actors,
  • musicians,
  • police officers,
  • construction workers,
  • airline pilots,
  • janitors,
  • plumbers,
  • doctors,
  • pharmacists,
  • IT/computer professionals,
  • government workers at all levels,
  • engineers,
  • writers,
  • nurses,
  • and many more types of workers.

Collective Bargaining

The process in which working people, through their unions, negotiate contracts with their employers to determine their terms of employment, including pay, benefits, hours, leave, job health and safety policies, ways to balance work and family and more.


37% public sector employee's are unionized.
6.9% private sector employee's are unionized.

2011 Union Membership

15.7% workers age 55-64
4.4% workers age 16-24

NY - highest membership 24.1%
NC - lowest membership less than 3%

Three types of unions

1. Industrial Unions - semi skilled employees - manufacturing industry
2. Trade Unions - skilled employees - plummers, carpenters
3. Employee Associations - teachers, healthcare employees, clerical

NLRA - National Labor Relations Act of 1935

Provided the right for nonmanagerial employees of organizations engaged with interstate commerce to join unions and collective bargaining.

Before the Wagner Act - What tactics were employers allowed to use for firing employee's?

Railway Labor Act - s a United States federal law that governs labor relations in the railroad and airline industries. The Act, passed in 1926 and amended in 1934 and 1936, seeks to substitute bargaining, arbitration and mediation for strikes as a means of resolving labor disputes.

To avoid work stoppages that threaten to substantially interrupt interstate commerce to a degree such as to deprive any section of the country essential transportation services.

Who is covered by the RLA:

The RLA applies to freight and commuter railroads, airlines, companies directly or indirectly controlled by carriers who perform services related to transportation of freight or passengers and the employees of these railroads, airlines and companies.

The RLA contains five basic purposes:

To avoid any interruption to commerce.

To ensure an unhindered right of employees to join a labor union (added in 1934).

To provide complete independence of organization by both parties to carry out the purposes of the RLA.

To assist in the prompt and orderly settlement of disputes covering rates of
pay, work rules, or working conditions.

To assist in the prompt and orderly settlement of disputes growing out of
grievances or out of the interpretation or application of existing contracts covering the rates of pay, work rules or working conditions.

NLRA of 1947 - Taft Hartley Act

Extends rights to many private-sector employees including the right to organize and bargain with their employer collectively. Employees covered by the act are protected from certain types of employer and union misconduct and have the right to attempt to form a union where none currently exists.

Right to Work Laws

Guarantees that no person can be compelled, as a condition of employment, to join or not to join, nor to pay dues to a labor union

Union Shops

A business or industrial establishment whose employees are required to be union members or to agree to join the union within a specified time after being hired.



Closed Shop - Solely employs individuals who are current union members.

Agency Shop - Requires nonunion employees to pay a union fee for their services in negotiating their contracts.

Open Shop - Doesn't discriminate based upon union membership in employing or retaining employees.

Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 - Landrum-Griffin Act

Provides a framework for the Bill of Rights for union members and sets up measures for union elections, discipline, and financial reporting.

Card Check

Employees sign a card of support if they are in favor of unionization, if a majority of workers (over 50%) sign a union authorization card, the NRLB requires the employer to recognize the union without a secret ballot election.

Decertification Election

A election to govern if a majority of employees want to no longer be represented by a union.

What are the steps of a decertification election?

Hard Bargaining - taking a strong position on an issue.

Surface Bargaining - going through the motions of negotiations with no intent of reaching an agreement.

Collective Bargaining

the process of negotiation between employers and a group of employees aimed at reaching agreements to regulate working conditions. The interests of the employees are commonly presented by representatives of a trade union to which the employees belong.

Question - What are the three categories that are a part of a collective bargaining agreement?

Employee Rights

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Management Rights

1. The right to identify the business objectives of the organization.

2. The right to determine the uses to which the organization's material assets will be devoted.

3. The right to take disciplinary action against an employee for cause.


the process in which two or more parties make offers, counteroffers and concessions in order to reach an agreement.

Two type of Negotiations

1. Distributive Negotiations - transpires under zero-sum conditions, where any gain to one party is offset by an equivalent loss to the other party.

2. Integrative Negotiations - a win-win negotiation, in which there is no loss to either party.

Four Fundamental Principles of integrative Negotiation

1. Separate the people from the problem.

2. Focus on interests, not positions.

3. Create options for mutual gain.

4. Insist on objective criteria.

In-Class Assignment - Case Study - Union/Management Cooperation at General Motors Tonawanda Plant

Mediation - using a neutral third party to attempt to resolve the dispute through facilitation.

Arbitration - an impartial third party acts as both judge/jury while imposing a binding decision on both negotiating parties.

Rights Arbitration - covers disputes over the interpretation of an existing contract, and is often used in settling grievances.

Interest Arbitration - resolves disputes over the terms of a collective bargaining agreement currently being negotiated.

Strike - union members refuse to work, halting production/services.

Wagner Act Strike Coverage

1. Unfair labor practice strikes

2. Economic strikes

3. Recognition strikes

4. Jurisdictional strikes

Boycott - union members refuse to use or buy the organization's products to exert economic pressure on management.

Secondary boycott - when union encourages third parties such as customers and suppliers to stop doing business with the organization.

Lockout - management keeps employees from entering the workplace and utilizes their management team or replacements to operate the business.

Dysfunctional conflict - personal conflict engaged with emotions/differences between both parties.

Functional conflict - task conflict that balances both parties interests to maximize mutual gains.

Collaborating - both parties attempting to work with each other for resolution which satisfies both parties.

Compromising - looking for a beneficial, mutually acceptable middle ground solution which partially satisfies both parties.

Accomodating - neglecting one's own concerns to satisfy the concerns of others.

Competing - in the pursuit of one's own concerns at others expense.

Avoiding - not instantly pursuing one's own concerns or others and not addressing conflict.

Legitimating tactics - enhancing ones formal authority to make a request by referring to standards, rules, contracts,or other official documents.

Personal appeals - requesting a favor for someone due to the friendships.

Assertiveness - the usage of pressure, coercion or persistent follow up to gain compliance.

Ingratiation - the usage of flattery or praise to shape moods to receive assistance.

Inspiration appeals - appealing to ones values, aspirations or ideals to receive their commitment.

Rational persuasion - the usage of facts/logic to persuade another person.

Upward appeals - obtaining/referring to the support of superiors.

Coalition tactics - engaging the assistance of others to persuade them to do something.

Exchange - offering to exchange something of value now or in the future for cooperation of another.

Labor relations strategic plan - identifies individual or joint labor relations goals by management which determines the best strategy to accomplish them. Develops/executes the actions to implement the strategy.

Compliance labor relations strategy - relies on the application of labor law to enforce rights/obligations created by statue and contract.

Avoidance labor relations strategy - when management engages in lawful or unlawful efforts to prevent a union from forming or seeks the decertification of an existing union.


Seniority - the length of time the employee has worked for the employer.

Weingarten rights - guarantee employees the right to union representation during investigatory interviews by the employer.

Cost of living adjustment - tied to inflation indicators rather than merit.

Works council - elected employees that participate in shared workplace governance.

Codeterminiation - employee representation on the organization's board of directors.