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MGT431 Labor Relations Paper WEEK 5 IND. ASSIGN.


MGT431 Labor Relations Paper WEEK 5 IND. ASSIGN. fin571

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MGT431 Labor Relations Paper WEEK 5 IND. ASSIGN.
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Date Created: 11/10/15
Labor Relations Paper  Labor Relations Paper NAME MGT 431 Human Resources Management DATE Labor Relations Paper  2 Labor Relations Paper Introduction According to Merriam­Webster online dictionary (2010), “a union is an  organization of workers formed for the purpose of advancing its members’ interests in  respect to wages, benefits, and working conditions.” Unions offer representation to  employees in the organization by supporting their interests and providing fair wages and  work conditions. Union based associates look at unionizing as a way to have a voice to  further their working relationships and their jobs entirely. Unions do not only benefit the  employees but the organization as well. Changes in employee relations strategies,  policies, and practices can affect organization performance either negatively or  positively. How these strategies, policies, and practices are presented have a lot to do  with the success rate. This is where effective communication needs to come into play to  make sure all employees are aware of and understand these new implementations.  Unions and Labor Relations Labor unions stretch deep in the American history where they protected the early  settlers against unfair working conditions. However, over the years the work environment has changed drastically over the years and employees’ rights are now protected by many  different labor laws. So are labor unions any longer necessary in modern day business?  No they are not; current day employers know they must offer fair wages and work  conditions in order to maintain an effective workforce. “Unions are organizations formed  Labor Relations Paper  3 for the purpose of representing their member’s interests in dealing with employers  (Hollenbeck, Gerhart, Noe, & Wright, 2004).” Unions were created to make sure that  employees were treated fairly. They exist to look represent the interests of hard workers  who simply ask for accurate pay and safe environments. Unions view their roles as  always needed; because of the usual employee and manager clash. If an employee feels  they are not receiving adequate attention from management for work issues they can  usually join a union to have these issues addressed.  In the earlier years unionization was familiar to most workers. Universities reacted to this trend by developing a training program known as labor relations to  streamline process. “Labor relations emphasize the skills managers and union leaders can use to minimize the costly forms of conflict and seek the best solution for both parties  involved in the disagreement (Noe, et al., 2004).” Labor relation includes three parts in  the decision making process. The first is the labor relation strategy which includes the  requirement of management to take action whether it is to implement the use of a union  or develop a nonunion operation. The second part of the decision making process is the  negotiation of contracts. This decision affects both the employer and employee for the  entire term of the contract and should include fair stipulations for both sides. The contract may include work policies and rules, work environment safety, job security, and pay  structure. The final step is administering this contract. Noe et al (2004) explains that “this includes the conflicts between union members and organization’s management on a daily  basis.” Effects on Organizations Labor Relations Paper  4 Certain organizations have displayed a concern regarding unionization.  Organizations have a fear of decreased productivity, financial standing, and stock  performance. Profit managers have quickly learned to effectively manage labor relations  and positively influence the results if unionization is used. It has been stated that because  of unions productivity has decreased or stopped because of strikes, limits on hours and  work loads and simple rules. On the other side of the fence it is stated that unions have  increased productivity by reducing turnover rates and improving the moods of  employees. Some organization may go with the argument that happy employees are  productive employees. The implementation of a union can persuade managers to focus  more attention on employees and their opinions on work environments. Managers have  been known to forget what its like to be a regular employee and unions can be a little  reminder for them. “Union workers can both negatively and positively affect an  organization. However, research has shown that union workers are more productive than  nonunion workers (Noe, et al, 2004).” Change in Employee Relations Organizations that set a goal to be more competitive in modern day business  should not only implement a labor relations strategy but monitor it regularly. Monitoring  is important because even if a union does increase productivity in an organization, the  company may still encounter a loss if the union raises the cost of wages and benefits to  more than productivity gain. Union employees usually receive higher wages and more  benefits than a non union employee. Organizations that include employees from a union  perform collective bargaining to discuss employees’ contract with union members on a  Labor Relations Paper  5 regular basis. “The human resources department is responsible for maintaining  communication with the union representatives to ensure issues are resolved as soon as  they become apparent (Noe, et al., 2004).” Like any other change in business, employee  relations can either have a negative or positive affect on organizational performance.  Given the fact that employee relations cover many important factors such as  communication, employee participation in management decisions, conflict and grievance  solution and collective bargaining it is important that it be effectively implemented within the organization. One of the most important steps is to make sure all employees are aware of the new employee relations system and how they can incorporate themselves and  inquire about information. An employee relations strategy should be a good fit for that  specific organization. Every organization is different and has different and unique needs.  Change in Policies and Practices Along with the process of ensuring employees well being, unions much also  consider and work with the organization’s human resource department. Organizations  uses the human resource department to not only conduct the hiring process but to  establish policies related to hiring, offer promotions, benefits, and use effective discipline techniques. The human resource department must also make sure to not only develop  policies and procedures but communicate them with the entire work force. “The  implementation of policies eliminates any bias as well as promotes fair decision making.  Another function of the human resources department is to ensure employee safety and  security. That is keeping all employee information private and confidential (Noe, et al.,  Labor Relations Paper  6 2004).” If policies and procedures are not communicated to employees along with their  understanding of them they won’t be able to follow them and they will be for nothing.  Are Unions Still Needed? Employers and organizations have really improved working conditions over the  years. With labor laws and regulations employers have many rules to follow and this  makes the need for unions obsolete. Basically, labor laws and effective employers who  want good employees are doing what unions were put in place to do from the beginning.  Employees are much more educated than they used to be regarding not only laws but  methods of keeping employees and training costs in the organization long term. Since the civil war labor laws have made it a lot easier for employees to negotiate for themselves  regarding safety, benefits, salary, and schedules. Employees have a new confidence and  employers are aware of this confidence and knowledge and no they must do and provide  certain things to have an effective and productive work force. If you want good  employees and a routine profit you need good employees that are motivated and willing  to put in the effort. Unions are great and always have the employee’s interest in mind.  However, unions can be costly for members and employers. Labor laws are free and safe  work environments are everywhere.  Conclusion Labor unions were put in place to protect the employees and make sure they are  treated fairly. The system is usually implemented by employees who believe his or her  concerns are not satisfactorily viewed and resolved. Many have argued that the purpose  of labor unions is no longer important because of employees’ awareness, labor laws, and  Labor Relations Paper  7 human resources departments. The human resources department should at all times  provide employees with the security, confidentiality, and wages they work so hard for  everyday. Whether or not an employee is covered by a union, it is in the best interest of  the company to operate with integrity to best suits its internal and external customers. References: Merriam­Webster Incorporated. (2010). Merriam­Webster Online. Retrieved from http://www.merriam­ Noe, R.A, Hollenbeck, J.R, Gerhart, B. Wright (2004). P.M. Fundamentals of Human Resource Management (2nd ed) McGraw­Hill/Irwin, 2007 New York, NY.


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