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Workers who object to an action stemming from an employers interpretation of the collective agreementmay complain. Such complaints trigger the grievance process. An unresolved grievance may be referred to an arbitrator. The underlying principle of grievance arbitration is “work now, grieve later” which means the employee must accept the employers decision until that decision is revered by the employer, either because the employer has reconsidered the matter or because an arbitrator has directed the employer to act differently. Grievances typically take a long time to resolve, which means that an employer can exert power by violating an agreement for an extended period of time. For example, an employer can fire, transfer or demote a worker and thereby affect the workers life (often significantly for years), with the only penalty being an order to make economic restitution to the employee (assuming grievance go against the employer). In this way, employers wield significant power over employee, even when subject to collective agreements.
24.Are the rules that govern unionization and collective bargaining neutral?The laws that maintain social order by regulating behaviour and punishing transgressions. Since most people favour order, it can almost heretical to question the impartially of law. However, many do question the impartially of law, suggesting that those in power use it as a tool to main the circumstances that made them powerful in the first place. In the context of employment, this suggests that the law mayindeed favour those who own an control the means of production (capitalist), over those who do not (labour. Despite the production it offers, statutory law continues to give employers significant power. For example, the law recognizes trade unions and require employers to bargain with them yet these laws continue to allow the employers the right to manage their business and their employees see fit. Furthermore, some of the features of these laws (such as the grievance process displacing the right to strike during the term of collective agreement) appear to reinforce this power by channeling conflict intoa manageable process. This analysis suggests that employment law and collective bargaining is neutral.