Labor Agreement and Arbitration

Negotiating a Labor Agreement and the Process of Arbitration


Conflict administration is the procedure of intending to avoid disagreement where potential and organizing to solve conflict where it does occur, as quickly and easily as feasible. For any organization to be efficient and effective in getting its objectives, the people in the organization require to have a shared vision of what they are striving to get, as well as obvious goals for each team / department and person. They also require methods of recognizing and solving disagreement amongst labor, so that disagreement does not become so serious that co-operation is not possible. All participants of any organization need to have ways of keeping disagreement to a minimum - and of solving issues caused by disagreement, before conflict becomes a main barrier to your work. This could occur to any organization, whether it is an NGO, a CBO, a political group, a business or a regime.

The purpose of this paper is to provide a research paper to identify the process of conflict resolution by the labor unions incase of labor conflict with organization.

Negotiating a Labor Agreement and the Arbitration Process

Union negotiation is the procedure of a labor union achieving together with the management of a specific organization or firm and trying to get a labor contract or conflict resolved. Though union negotiations get a great deal of media concentration when there are issues, the great mainstream of contracts are approved without ever drawing the concentration of the common people. The union negotiation procedure, or collective bargaining as it is also recognized, deals with problems such as salaries, hours, and working environment. The union negotiation procedure generally begins with an initial suggestion, which may be offered by one or both sides. This may be submitted before the actual first meeting in the collective bargaining procedure, or may be part of that initial presentation. The two sides often do not make a choice at this time, but could do so if the problems are comparatively minor. Through following meetings, the contract will be modified until both sides find it acceptable, or until the union leadership determines to put the offered contract to a vote of its membership.

The vote of the membership may symbolize the final stage of a union negotiation, if the contract is accepted. If it is not accepted, the union headship will go back to the firm and carry on the negotiation procedure after getting proper feedback. If the prior contract expires before this occurs, the employees may select to go on strike, or may ask the organization to momentarily extend the terms of the prior contract. One of the main things the union negotiation procedure determines is wages. This will contain helping decide hourly rates, bonuses, and any advantages, such as health insurance and life insurance. Union jobs often have a complex pay scale, depend on years of experience; time spent doing a specific job, shift differentials, and other issues. This issue is also one of the toughest that both sides must agree upon.

Hours are another matter decided through the union negotiation procedure. Though most full-time workers work forty hours a week, other issues, such as meals and breaks, may be part of the negotiations. Further, the accessibility of overtime, which has the right to work or reject that overtime, may also be part of the negotiations over work hours. Working environment is another key part of union discussions. This may contain not only physical situations that make working insecure or disagreeable, but also the grievance procedure, and how connections between workers and superiors should be managed. Though several people do not often believe this a key point of contention when going into a union discussion, it has the potential to be a major factors if the issues are perceived to be serious by union membership.


Congress in 1935 approved the National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act), which was the first of the three federal laws that govern labor associations in America. The other two laws, approved in 1947 and 1959, respectively, were the TAFT-HARTLEY ACT and the Landrum-Griffin Act. These statutes assure the right of private workers to shape and join unions in order to bargain together. The mainstreams of states have extended union rights to public workers.

The National Labor Relations Act utilizes a wide definition of "worker." The term contains anybody currently on a firm's payroll and anybody whose employment has ceased due to a current strike or UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE and who has not attained regular employment somewhere else. Many groups of employees are particularly exempted from this definition, containing the following:

* Agricultural laborers

* Peoples worked in a family's or peoples' domestic service in the home

* Peoples worked by a life partner or parent

* Autonomous contractors

* Peoples worked by businesses subject to the Railway Labor Act

* Managers

The inclusion of supervisory workers on this list is most important, because supervisors are not sheltered if they select to contribute in union activity. In some very limited situation, nevertheless, a manager may be secured from termination, if an employer terminates a manager to intimidate other workers from using their rights.

It was in a context of serious economic problems that the Wagner Act came into effect. After 10 years of prosperity, during the Great Depression of the nineteen thirties the nation faced an increasingly high unemployment percentage and a quickly declining standard of living. It found a federal agency, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), with the authority to examine and determine on charges of unjust labor practices and to conduct elections in which employees would have the chance to determine whether they wanted to be represented by a union. The panel also looked into issues such as enhancing workers by better training and the growth of standard processes in various work areas. The NLRB was provided more extensive authorities than the much weaker organization of the same name found under the National Industrial Recovery Act, which the American Supreme Court had stated illegal. Federal involvements to regulate connections between labor and capital were resisted by several who subscribed to a “laissez faire” attitude towards fiscal order. Employees' struggles to organize in the 1920's were considerably limited by antitrust laws. The Wagner Act marked a considerable change in administration policy towards labor organizations in a context of fiscal depression. This change in mentality can be seen in Senate address on 8th May 1937, in which Roosevelt stipulated: “The right to bargain together is at the bottom of social justice for the employee, as well as the sensible conduct of business relationships. The rejection or observance of this right means the variation between despotism and social equality.

Labor Unions and Conflict Management

Much of the NLRA concentrates on the connection between the workers joining together to bargain collectively and the election of the union that obtains the right to represent these workers through a vote of the workers. A series of difficult laws governs the labor representation procedure. Forming and joining a union to bargain collectively must be done before the collective bargaining procedure. The procedure of forming a union engages various considerations, such as the kinds of staff who would constitute a suitable bargaining unit, and the selection of the right union to represent the workers.

Workers must describe a suitable collective bargaining unit or units to decide how the workers should be represented in collective bargaining. Under the NLRA and other labor statutes, only those peoples who share a sufficient "Community of interest" may comprise an appropriate bargaining unit. Community of interests usually means that educators have substantial mutual interests, containing the following:

* Salary or compensation

* Work hours

* Employment advantages

* Administration

* Educations

* Training and expertise

* Nature of job

* Contact with other workers

* Integration of work functions with other workers

* Collective bargaining history

Several state statutes set forth needs or considerations with respect to determinations of bargaining units in the public sector. Furthermore, some statutes set forth particular bargaining units.

The NLRA gives formal procedures for designation and identification of bargaining units. State statutes contain similar provisions. When disagreements happen with respect to union representation, several states direct groups to solve these disagreements with the public employment connections board in that state. Once workers organize bargaining units, members may file an appeal with the suitable labor board. The labor board will usually decide that JURISDICTION over the bargaining unit is right, that the suggested bargaining unit it appropriate, and that a mainstream of workers approve the bargaining unit through an election. STATUTORY provisions and other laws usually make sure that the votes are uncoerced and otherwise fair. After this election, the labor board will certify the union as the exclusive representative of the bargaining unit. Once a union is certified, generally for a one-year period, neither workers nor another union may appeal for a new election.

Once a union has been selected, both public and private employers are bound to deal completely with that union. The selected union must conversely bargain for the collective concerns of the members of the bargaining unit. Nevertheless, neither the union nor the company is needed to agree to any suggestion or to make any concessions in the bargaining procedure. Both companies and unions must bargain with one another in good faith. The responsibility of groups to bargain in good faith is very significant to the collective bargaining procedure, since discussions between companies and unions can become very intense and heated. Understanding of the term “good faith” under the NLRA generally concentrates openness, justice, mutuality of conduct, and collaboration between groups. Several state statutes describe "good faith" similarly, though some states give more particular direction regarding what constitutes good faith bargaining. Some statutes also provide a list of examples of instances that are supposed bargaining in bad faith. Failure or denial to discuss in good faith constitutes an unjust labor practice under the NLRA and several other statutes.

The NLRA gives that an organization and union must bargain on problems regarding salary, hours, and other terms and conditions of service. The National Labor Relations Board has found three sets of laws for the following three groups of bargaining problems: (1) unlawful matters, which would be prohibited by the NLRA; (2) voluntary matters, which fall outside the mandatory matters; and (3) mandatory subjects that in the category of salary, hours, and other terms and conditions of service.

The National Labor Relations Board has decided that a number of subjects fall within the category of mandatory topics. Instances of these topics are as follows:

* Worker discharge

* Working schedules

* Seniority

* Injustices

* Vacations and individual merit raises

* Christmas bonuses and profit-sharing retirement plans

* Plant rules on breaks and lunch periods

* Security rules

* Physical check up of worker

In the lack of constitutional language specifying the scope of collective bargaining, unions and organizations must consult related case law and labor board choices to decide whether a subject is mandatory or voluntary. Other confines to collective bargaining may also be present. A collective bargaining agreement, for instance, cannot violate or contradict statutory law or constitutional provisions. Likewise, the collective bargaining contract should identify contractual rights that may previously exist.

Conflict Resolution

When good faith struggles between unions and companies fail to solve the disagreement or disagreements between the groups, a lawful impasse has happened. Once this happens, active bargaining between the union and the groups will usually be suspended, and parties go through a series of choices to solve the impasse.

The first choice after an impasse is stated is mediation. A mediator is employed to act as a neutral 3rd party to help the two sides in reaching a negotiation. Mediators cannot make binding choices and are employed only to act as advisors. Several state statutes need use of mediators in the public sector upon declaration of an impasse. Private sector unions and schools may use a federal mediator, though federal labor rules do not advise further choices regarding disagreement resolution.

Should mediation be unsuccessful, several states need the employment of a fact-finder, who analyzes the facts of the bargaining procedure and seeks to identify a possible compromise. Groups are not bound by suggestions of the fact-finder, though a fact-finder may affect public view regarding a right resolution of a disagreement. In some states, fact-finding is the last stage of impasse resolution, leaving the groups to bargain among themselves.

Union workers often resort to picketing when there is a dispute between the union and the company. Picketing in its simplest type is utilized to provide information to workers and the public that there is a conflict between the union and the company. Nevertheless, picketing is also utilized to coerce action on the part of the employer or to discourage clients from patronizing the employer.

The National Labor Relations Board allows picketing for only informational intentions. Nevertheless, it is illegal for a union to picket where it seeks identification for a union or seeks for workers to accept the union when another union has been identified, and the NLRB would not do a new election; a valid election has been conducted within the past one year; or no election appeal has been filed, and picketing has been conducted for a period of time not to exceed thirty days.

Questions are sometimes raised when the picketing seeks to give information and seeks identification of the union. The NLRB has set forth a number of regulations, some of which hinge on whether the picketing disrupts pickup from or delivery to the employer.

Unions also employ boycotts when disputes happen. A primary or simple boycott happens when a union declines to deal with, patronize, or allow union members to work for the employer with whom the union has a dispute. A secondary boycott happens when a union declines to deal with, or pickets, clients or suppliers of the employer. Several secondary boycotts are forbidden, and others are legal only when limited situations are met.

Lastly, workers may option to strike in the event of a dispute where other actions have failed. A lockout by an organization is the counterpart to the strike. The right to strike in the private sector is guaranteed under the NLRA. Nonetheless, only about half of the states expand this right to workers in the public sector. Where public workers are not allowed to strike, state statutes often impose economic or similar punishments on those who strike illegitimately. In states where strikes by public workers are allowed, workers must often meet many conditions earlier to the strike. For instance, a state may need that a bargaining unit has been appropriately certified, that ways for impasse resolution have been exhausted, that any existing collective bargaining contract has terminated or end, and that the union has given sufficient notice to the school board. The purpose of such conditions is to provide the parties a chance to avoid a strike, which is generally disliked with both organizations and workers.


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