Labor Relations Paper - Labor Relations 1 Running head...

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Labor Relations 1 Running head: LABOR RELATIONS Labor Relations Silvia C. McGhee MGT431 Lori Gardner University of Phoenix March 15, 2010
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Labor Relations 2 Unions are organization formed for the purpose of representing their member’s interests and resolving conflicts with employers (Noe, et al, 2004). Unions form when employees feel that they need third party representation because they are not successful in obtaining or negotiating favorable work conditions. Unions can help employees and employers come to alignment or agreement on important aspects of work. Such aspects include benefits, working hours and wages and working conditions. Labor relations is a specialized field that emphasizes skills managers and union leaders can use to minimize costly forms of conflict and seek win-win solutions to disagreements (Noe, et al, 2004). Labor relations involves three levels of decisions, labor relations strategy, negotiating contracts and administering contracts (Noe, et al, 2004). Unions serve as a middle man between the employee and organization. This relationship can have good effects as well as bad ones on an organization. Having a union represent employees often means that those employees are not free to directly deal with HR or other company representatives directly about anything that is covered in the labor contract. This can be an issue when employees want quick resolution but need to follow the protocol set in the contract before taking action. Employers are bound to the contract and cannot arbitrarily make changes without presenting the changes to the union. Once those changes are introduced the company must wait for the union to review the proposal and either accept it, reject it or offer a counter solution. This process of negotiation can be bureaucratic and drawn out if both parties cannot reach an agreement.
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