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You are the Human Resources manager for large distribution site. Your recent employee opinion survey indicated that overall, employees felt that this was a good place to work. However, recent downturns in the economy have resulted in the loss of large contracts, which provided a significant portion of the company’s revenue. One of the impacts from this loss in revenue is that the company will be unable to provide annual COLA or merit increases for the first time in more than 15 years. You have heard rumors from employees close to you that there is talk about efforts to unionize. What guidelines will you develop for supervisors to successfully respond to employee questions about unionization? What can your supervisors say or do that is legally permissible in this situation?
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significantthan yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to theinterests of others” (ESV, 2001, Philippians 2, 3-4).The situation presented in the assignment should be tackled with the same preparation as other organizational challenges. As the Human Resources manager facing these challenges I must ensure to be familiar with the laws, court decisions and regulations concerning unionization. As a manager in the upper echelon my initial reaction may be to quell this sort of “mutiny”, but I need to leave my bias as unions remain a strong alternative for employees during difficult negotiations (Mathis, & Jackson, 2011, Pg. 540). Being the initial mediator between the concerns of the employees and the supervisor I would ensure that a broad picture of union issues and its alternatives are presented to both sides. Keeping track of grievances and complaints will allow the supervisors to measure the speed of the unionization process. With the help of HR, this measuring and “listening” can potentially hold the employees from creating a union by effectively communication their concerns with the upper management. I would stress to the supervisors the many laws protecting labor movements within the United States, like the Wagner Act, which prohibits employers from restricting employees from exercising their rights to unionize (Mathis, & Jackson, 2011, Pg. 552). Also, the Right to Work laws which could apply to the state in which the employer is located would provide protection to those employees not wanting to join
the union and somewhat minimize the recruiting efforts (Mathis, & Jackson, 2011, Pg.553).As the laws protect both sides, each of them can employ permissible tactics in order to advance their respective agenda. The employees may be able to recruit for their union efforts and gather authorization cards, and the management can apply no-solicitation policies and providing anti-union material within the workplace. If the union is successful, the collective bargaining process whereby representative of management and workers negotiate wages and terms (Mathis, & Jackson, 2011, Pg.