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Management and Organizational Studies
Management and Organizational Studies 4485F/G
Linda Eligh

Chapter 11 – Collective Bargaining and Labour Relations  Magna granted voluntary recognition of Caw, in return workers gave up right to strike  Realization that new principles would be needed to stay competitive  Unions can’t stay static, must take on new issues and find new ways of making progress Introduction  To be more competitive, employers must not only reduce cost but improve quality Labour Relations Framework  Successful industrial relations system consists of four elements: o An environmental context (technology, market pressures, legal framework) o Participants, including employees and their unions, management and the government o A web of rules that describe the process by which labour and management interact and resolve disagreements o Ideology  Must have some common ideology  Conflict is inevitable  An effective industrial relations system does not eliminate conflict; it provides a web of rules that resolve conflict in a way that minimizes costs to management, employees and society.  Open conflict relationship: the parties have an extreme distrust and dislike for one another  Containment-aggression relationship: distrust remains, but to lesser extent  Accommodation is more courteous, still hindered by lack of trust and acceptance of the other party  Parties can achieve cooperative model by seeking new ways of working together to solve issues  Cooperation/collaboration is characterized by a positive relationship where the parties trust and accept the legitimacy of each other’s role and responsibilities. Goals and Strategies Society  Labour unions, and their group emphasis do not fit well with individualistic orientation of Canadian capitalism.  Seeked to make bargaining power more equal, from the dominance that employers had in the past  Major benefit of labour unions to society is institutionalization of industrial conflict o Better to resolve disputes through discussion (collective bargaining) than by battling in the streets  Unilateral control by management sacrifices works’ rights o Hence the benefits of labor unions are existent Employers (Management)  Most want to discourage the unionization of their employees o Fear of higher wage and benefits costs o As well as disruption of strikes and adversarial relationship  Two strategies to avoid unionization: o Seek to provide employment terms and conditions that are attractive and equitable to make employees not see the desire in joining a union o May aggressively oppose union representation  Walmart just shutting down its operations that try to unionize  If the employer recognizes voluntarily a union, or union becomes certified by labor relations board o Then management must negotiate with employees as a group opposed to as individuals o Important still to control labor costs and increase productivity o Can try to decertify a union  Must be initiated solely through employees without any employer influence Labor Unions  Sets conditions of their work  Represent their members’ interests in setting negotiation priorities  Major goal of labour unions is bargaining effectiveness o Comes with power and influence to make the employees’ voices heard and effect changes in the workplace o Right to strike, can be used as leverage o Depends on costs imposed on union vs. costs imposed on management Union Structure, Administration and Membership National and International Unions  Most union members belong to a national or international union o Most national unions are composed of multiple local units o National comprise 67 percent of Canada’s union membership, 27.6 belong to international unions.  Trade unions generally have a localized structure. There is a central or national office run by the executives of the union, responsible for macro-level management of the union o Policy, expertise, funding, administering union’s finances  The structure of international unions is much the same as domestic unions, typically based in US and has a Canadian National office o Has elected international officers and Canadian union executives who determine and apply international policies of the union o Has some common policies that apply equally to its American and Canadian locals o They usually have autonomy though  Craft unions are often responsible for training their members (through apprenticeships) and for supplying craft workers to employers. o Request for carpenters come to union, they decide who to send out o Bargaining power is determined by control it can exercise over the supply of its workers  Industrial Unions tend to associate more closely with a single employer, made up of members who are linked to their work in a particular industry. o Represent many different occupations o Changing employers is less common for industrial workers than it is among craft workers o Industrial try to organize many employees in a wide a range of skills as possible, opposed to craft unions who may keep membership low to keep wages high Local Unions  Administration of the contract is largely carried out at the local union level including conducting membership drives and processing grievances. o Bulk of day-to-day interaction take place at local level  Negotiation might fall on local union officers, national office provides backup as advice to background information  Most union contact is with the stop steward, who is responsible for ensuring that the terms of the collective bargaining contract are enforced. Union Security  Survival and security of union depends on its ability to ensure regular flow of new members and member dues to support the services it provides o Place high priority on negotiating two contract provisions  Check off provisions and union membership or contribution o Check-off provision: the employer, on behalf of the union is automatically deduct union dues from employees’ paycheques o Closed shop: under which a person must be a union member before being hired o Union shop requires all existing and future employees to join and maintain membership in the union o Agency shop, based on Rand formula, does not require union membership, only that dues be paid by all members of the bargaining unit o Maintenance of membership rules do not require union membership but do require that employees who choose to join must remain members for a certain period of time o Voluntary check-off does not require that employees join the union, and the members of the union will have union dues deducted by the employer only at their request. Union Membership and Bargaining Power  Strategic level, management and unions meet head on over issue of union organizing  Employers are actively resisting unionization to control cost and maintain their flexibility  Union membership has consistently declined as a percentage of employment o Only 16% in private sector  Canada has larger participation than Union o Larger public sector workforce o Differences in labor laws  Make it easier for unions to win representation votes Legal Framework  Legal framework constrains union structure and administration and manner in which unions and employers interact  Although labour relations statues have broad coverage, notable exclusions o Types of employees that are excluded vary by jurisdiction  Employees who perform sufficient managerial functions or who are employed in a confidential capacity in matters relating to labor relations are excluded  Hunting, agriculture, or trapping o In the federal sector, professional employees are outside the scope of the statute o Many provincial labor relations similarly exclude professional employees  Architects, dentists, engineers, land surveyors, and legal or medical professionals Union Labor Practices-Employers  All jurisdictions prevent an employer from adverse treatment toward an employee for engaging in union activities, or for asserting any other right the employer may have pursuant to the statute o Generally unlawful for employers to interfere with the formation or administration of a union or to contribute to a union. o Employers must not discriminate or refuse to employ an employee because person is member of a trade union or is a participant in lawful union activities o Cannot penalize or threaten an employee on their choice to join or refrain from joining a union o Can’t have no-solicitation rules that prohibit union organizing during nonworking hours Unfair Labor Practices  Forbidden from using intimidation or coercion to seek union members  Unions cannot interfere with the formation or administration of an employers’ organization  Duty to bargain in good faith  Prohibition against engaging in, threatening or encouraging an unlawful strike  Duty of fair representation and referral  can’t discriminate someone from joining their union  cannot require an employer to terminate the employment of an employee on the basis that the employee has been suspended or expelled from the union Duty of Fair representation  obliged to treat their unions fairly  Duty of fair representation: A common law and statutory duty that the union fairly represent all employees in the bargaining unit, whether or not union members. Unions are prohibited from acting in an arbitrary, discriminatory or unfair manner o built on common law foundation Duty to Bargain in good faith  A duty on employers and unions to make every reasonable effort to collectively bargain with the objective of reaching a collective agreement. o Some statutes state parties must meet within a certain period of time following the date that notice to bargain was given Enforcement  Statutes rests with the labour relations board in each jurisdiction, which is an independent, representational tribunal with expertise in labour matters  Major functions of labour relations board include: o Certification of trade unions o Termination of bargaining rights o Resolving unfair labour practice complaints o Determining employer status under statute o Resolving duty of fair representation and fair referral complaints o Resolving duty to bargain in good faith complaints o Issuing remedies and declarations in respect of unlawful strikes, lockouts and unlawful picketing o Jurisdictional disputes between unions regarding the assignment of work  Labor relations board does not initate action, responds to request sfor action  Empowered to manage as it sees fit Union and Management Interactions: Organizing Why do Employees Join Unions?  Gap in-between the pay, benefits and other conditions of employment that employees actually receive versus what they should receive o If large enough to motivate the employees to try and remedy the situation Process of legal Framework of Organizing  Labour boards are responsible for ensuring that organizing process follows certain steps and for certification of the union as the legally recognized bargaining agent for a unit of employees o The process by which the labour board designates the union as the exclusive bargaining agent of employees in the bargaining unit.  Once a union is certified, where no collective agreement is in force, another union is barred from applying to displace certified union for a prescribed period of time o Allows for relationship to build  Voluntary recognition is another method o Occurs where the employer agrees in writing to recognize the union as the exclusive bargaining agent of employees in the bargaining unit o Might not be afforded certain rights until a first collective agreement is finalized  Labour boards are responsible for determining appropriate bargaining unit and the employees who are eligible to participate in organizing activities. o Eligibility to vote is determined by jurisdiction, and employee’s status Organizing Campaigns: Management and Union Strategies and Tactics  Unions attempt to persuade employees that their treatment by employers is not sufficient and union will make effective improvements  Management emphasizes that it has provided good package of wages, benefits and so on. o Also argues that union will cost them,
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