The University of Dissension
Why even consider the possibility of unionization? When lower-level employees start to feel the weight of the rising economy demands, the lack of wages, hours, and job satisfaction – other options become more desirable. Unionization sounds like a great idea to the minimum wage employees who feel dissatisfied with perhaps taking on the responsibilities of employees who have left the company for better opportunities. However there are many reasons why a company should avoid joining a union.
Unions present a great idea, but here are a few examples of why not to unionize: Unions cannot guarantee the economic needs of wage and hour increases, job satisfaction, better supervisory performances and communication (Bateman & Snell, 2009, pg 386). Avoid Unionization What steps would you take as a school administrator to resolve this issue and avoid unionization of the operator’s staff? Employees form unions because they are dissatisfied with the conditions in which they are working under and the direction under which the company that employs them is taking.
Companies can take certain steps to avoid unionization but they must follow certain rules and regulations regarding labor laws. Certain steps can be taken that will detour the employees from unionization and it starts with listening to your employees and their requests. It may be as simple as better communications or perhaps better working conditions. This step could be resolved easily by holding meetings on a regular basis. Actually listen to what the employee’s are saying and take notes. If necessary meet with the disgruntled employee’s one on one.
Once you have identified the problems try and find a way to resolve these problems. At the next meeting identify the changes the company is able to make and address the changes that cannot be made and the reason why those changes cannot be made. Employers who meet with their employees and keep them up to date will gain much more respect. Employee committees established will strengthen communication and also give the employees a sense of empowerment. This makes the employees feel like they are a valuable of the decisions that are being made.
This will make them less likely to want to unionize. An open door policy is always an excellent way to make the employee feel as though at any given time there is a member of the management team able and willing to listen to whatever problem they may be facing at this time You must train your managers on effective communication skills and how they can successfully deal with employee issues. Your managers are the ones who work on a daily basis with these employees. Management staff must also be informed on how to deal with union formation.
Seminars where literature may be distributed that pertain to the newest laws affecting unionization should be held frequently. Company policies should be enforced fairly. As a leader you should be giving the employees the proper respect that they have earned and deserve. If this is not practiced than you can expect the employees to revolt and start the process of unionization. Always ensure that you stay up to date with the wages and benefits within the industry in which your company practices. If an employee feels they are earning the same pay that any other company would pay them they are much less likely to unionize.
Effective ways to prevent unionization would be to continue the motion of communication. One idea is to conduct yearly employee relations audits, by doing this you are gathering small groups of employees and possibility hiring an outside communicator to relay the organizations intentions as well as hearing the voice of the disgruntled. Many of the employees who want to be part of a union are not fully educated on the meanings and possible freedoms that will lose or gained by becoming unionized.
In all reality less than Less than 1 out of 10 employees in the United States are unionized (May 2010). With that fact it proves to be that most workers are not educated with the outcomes. Secondly, another factor to prevention is having a well oiled and trained management team. By having a management team who is knowledgeable; the team can recognize the possible infraction of union discussion. Approximately 80% of the time, the receiving of a National Labor Relations Board petition is the first time employers find out they had union activity( May 2010).
Finally, a good method of prevention is during the new hire orientation process; provide information on the pros and cons of unionization of an organization. Unions often target new hires to sign union authorization cards and petitions because they are more susceptible to being pressured into signing (May 2010). Education, communication and a professional team can lessen a reality of having your organization unionized. The number of United States workers that have been unionized has been on a decline for the entire postwar period.
In 1948, almost one-in-three workers (31. 8 percent) were in a union; by 2008, the fraction had almost on-in-eight workers (12. 4 percent). The drop-off in union membership has been particularly stark in the private sector, where, by 2008, only about one-in-thirteen workers (7. 6 percent) was unionized, whereas more than one-in-three workers in the public sector was unionized” (Schmitt and Zipperer 2009). Imminent Unionization If unionization appears imminent, what positions and actions would you take to work through the process (2-3 examples – 215 words each)… ake sure these examples are in the most collaborative and least disruptive manner.
If Unionization appears to be imminent, actions to be taken in order for the process to be smooth and not cause much conflict between employees and management. Action is to communicate in a well professional manner with all Associates. According to the article “The University of Dissension”, there supervisors have informally encouraged workers to give up the idea of unionizing”. By doing so all they are doing is conflict to rise and not work something through with all employees.
First step to these will be a meeting to advice every one of what has happened with the company, changes they will be seeing, and decisions they can make whether to stay or leave. It will be shocking but at the same time it has been discuss with them in a well professional matter rather than informally advised to employees. As this action will be taken, some might agree to stay and work for the company while others will take actions needed to stop it or let other individuals know what the company has done to them.
And it will be lead to a strike. As management it will be highly important to communicate and cover with employees all information needed for them to know before making a decision to stay and work or leave. As if a strike will be performed they will have much false information against them. When business continues during a struck, the company “claims the right to prevent people who do not support a strike from exercising their voluntary exchange rights with strike targets” (CW. 26 ) meaning that these information will be excluded to employees and those who plan to not stay with the company.
As the case study indicates, most of the operating staff is unhappy with the increased workload with no pay increase, decreased health benefits with increased cost, and the failure of the administration to respond to their complaints. Although the University president listened to their complaints, he failed to give any feedback on the issues, and simply thanked the staff for their dedication to the school (Bateman).
The only communication from the administrative staff at the university has been the informal warnings to the operating staff that their jobs could be lost to contractors. This type of disregard for the operating staff’s complaints has them seeking help from a union. If the University has any hope of avoiding unionization of the operating staff, the lines of communication must open. Two important steps in avoid the unionization of staff involve having an effective way of resolving complaints and disputes, and communicating with workers (Worsham, J. 1998).
The disgruntled employees have interpreted the lack of a response to complaints as a lack of concern. The informal warnings of job loss from the administrative staff have only increased the distrust of management by the operating staff. The university should open the lines of communication by setting up a committee from both sides to work towards resolving the complaints. Employees may accept some cuts in benefits or increased workloads if they can see that the concessions are equally distributed among all the university staff.
If unionization is clearly imminent, the University could recognize the union without an election. This would allow the University to recognize the plight of the operating staffers and enter into negotiation of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) in good faith. Due to the negative situation that the operating staffers of the University have been put through, this option would allow the University to recognize the situation, and appear to be willing to resolve the situation in a fair and positive manner for all involved.
Due to the larger workload demands, increasing healthcare costs, diminishing healthcare coverage, increased administrator and faculty benefits and wages, and increased enrollment at the University, it would be in the University’s best interest to recognize the lopsided treatment and engage the union in a CBA. This would allow the University to employ a fair and represented system to argue for the employees, while the University held its stance that, “times are tough, outside funding is down, and we must all share in the burden of maintaining our school.
While this may very well be true, it is difficult to expect those who appear to be carrying the largest burden to understand the situation without fair negotiation and representation. In the team’s opinion, the situation has escalated out of hand to the point at which the school must acknowledge the union and use the union to help the employees understand that certain factors are based on the current economic times. If indeed, the University is just in their claims, the union will recognize after the CBA negotiations.
The union will look into the University’s funding and compensation plans to determine if the workers are being fairly compensated. In addition, the workers will also be protected against employer discrimination, harassment, or termination due to the employee’s affiliation with the union. This is due to the National Labor Relations Act of 1935, which protects employees from retaliation due to their affiliation with a union, attempts to form a union, or an employer’s refusal to collectively bargain with a union that represents their employees.