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Chapter 13

Management and Organizational Studies 3352F/G Chapter Notes - Chapter 13: Bargaining Unit, Final Offer

Management and Organizational Studies
Course Code
MOS 3352F/G
Johanna Weststar

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Chapter 13: Strikes
A. Strikes
Function of strikes
-to resolve conflict when the parties are unable or unwilling to reach a compromise in negotiations
-the costs both of them in an ensuing strike pressure them to rethink their bottom lines and lower their
expectations to the point where a mutually satisfactory compromise is possible
-the absence of the right to strike can mean that management has little reason to even respond to union
 grievance rates may be higher, conflict continue to fester during the term of collective agreement
-the ability to strike without fear of reprisal is critical to freedom of expression
-can be desirable if it expresses discontent European countries
Restrictions on strike activity
-it is illegal for workers to strike unless they are represented by a certified union in their workplace
-cannot legally strike during the process by which their union is seeking certification
-can strike only after existing contract has expired and a good faith attempt has been made to negotiate a
new one
-majority of the workers in the bargaining unit has voted in favour of a strike and if minister of labour
requires so, the parties have undergone conciliation or mediation
-cannot strike if the government has deemed them an essential service in the public sector
-governments can introduce legislation to end strikes which they deemed to be injurious to the public
The causes of strikes
1. strikes as mistakes
-focuses on factors that influence calculations/miscalculations
-the parties’ negotiating positions may not converge to the point where an agreement can be reached
-it is only once that the contract expiry deadline is reached and/or a strike has begun that either or both
come to realize that they have misread the other and adjust their position accordingly
-it suggests that under ideal conditions, strikes would not occur
-if it were not for problems of limited info and complexity, each would be able to anticipate the ability and
willingness of the other to grant concessions, enabling the parties to reach a settlement without undergoing
-1st: in an immature relationship, the negotiators may be lacking in skills and experience, they are more
likely to miscommunicate their own position and misread the position of the other
may harbor personal ideological agenda, dislike for the other side
-2nd: if negotiators are simply unfamiliar with one another, unlikely to develop a bargaining protocol
-changes in the employer’s ability to grant concessions due to employer’s competitive environment
 to determine if management is telling the truth about its ability to grant concessions, the union side will
call them bluff and go on strike, if management is indeed bluffing it will change its position quite quickly
-3rd: another circumstance is when the rate of inflation or the level of unemployment changes  increased
-4th: unrealistic worker expectations while union negotiators may have, workers are unlikely to ratify the
agreement and may even vote them out of office in the next election
-5th: complexity of the situation itself, issues in dispute are complex and there are disagreements on both
 happens generally where bargaining unit is complex, covering a # of establishments, occupations, skill
-strikes will not go away because this approach assumes that both parties are concerned with only
maximizing their economic well-being and rationalizes strikes as having to do with competing values,
principles, fairness beliefs
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