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Q1a) Discuss why there has been a recent (within the last two years) labor uprisings.  What are the key labor issues?  Analyze the impact and effects on employees and businesses.  Who is really winning?

or (Answering both won’t increase the grade)

Q1b  Research a recent (within the last 2 to 3 years) dispute over a labor contract negotiation.  What was the employee and business positions?  Was the business close to “busting the union?”  Who won?  What impact will the contract ultimately have on the business and employees.   Alternative, this question might be answered where employees actually decertified their union.  Discuss the issues and what was the outcome?

Attitudes towards Employee Unions

1.A, 2.A, 3.A, 4.A, 5.B, 6.A, 7.B, 8.B, 9. A, 10. A, 11. A, 12.A, 13. B, 14.A, 15.A, 16.B, 17.A, 19.A, 20.A.

The total number of As selected is 14, compared to 6 Bs. I choose to support unions because they are fundamental in any workplace; the blocks control the authority and powers of the company, safeguarding organizational productivity. The fact that I have more As than Bs demonstrates my positive attitude toward unions and how likely I am to support labor unions. One of the reasons I like blocks is that, as an employee, I benefit from collaborations to get a better salary and avoid severe employment punishments (Obiekwe & Eke, 2019). Partnerships give employees a voice in representing their grievances to the management and negotiating wages on their behalf. When employees face harsh working environments, it is the role of the union to look for solutions with the employer company. I cannot compare the benefits that unions bargain for to the dues employees pay for the blocks; the benefits are more significant.

Most employees have a positive attitude towards unions due to the unions’ benefits. The unions advocate for equality in employment, fair rewards, reasonable punishments, good working conditions, and equitable working hours (Obiekwe & Eke, 2019). These negotiations are the most important for employee satisfaction; hence the employees prefer to join the unions to voice their opinions. The workers cannot address the employer directly; therefore, the union is responsible for approaching the management. Unions encourage employee productivity and improve job security by discouraging employment-at-will relationships. Employers should have a legal reason for dismissing an employee, having followed all the requirements of the Civil Rights Act and other federal regulations (Doellgast & Benassi, 2020). However, if the employee fails to gain union membership, they may not be protected, making most employees support the partnerships.

Despite the employees’ benefits that the union provides, some individuals have a negative attitude towards the blocks, but they remain in membership to satisfy employers’ and labor relations requirements. Employees are discouraged by the dues they pay for the union and negotiation procedures, which at times do not meet their expectations (Doellgast & Benassi, 2020). The employees believe that the union’s representation of their interests discourages individuality while minimizing the chances for promotion. If the unions provided negotiations for free, it could be better, and most individuals could support the groups. Sometimes, the union’s decisions may differ from the employee’s expectations, discouraging the worker from taking a different path. At times, employees’ poor morale with the blocks is driven by the tendency of unions to pit workers against their employers.

An upcoming event will be the NLRB’s injunction initiative to prevent employers from threatening and coercing employees, especially during campaigns. In this case, the employee unions are critical to protecting the workers’ rights and statutory violations by minimizing anti-union actions that escalate coercion and unlawful discharges stated under section 10j of the National Labor Relations Act (Estlund & Liebman, 2021). Coercion and threats in the work environment have been an authentic experience in organizations targeting employees, especially non-union members. Employer threats cause obsolete actions and impose burdens on employees in the company.

In my experience in my current workplace, the union has been supportive and influential when it comes to ensuring employee satisfaction. Most junior workers have no say in the company until the union intervenes to negotiate employment terms with the organization. The approach has been successful in enabling work environments for safe production. Salaries have always been dependent on union negotiations.

References

Doellgast, V., & Benassi, C. (2020). Collective bargaining. In Handbook of research on employee voice. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Estlund, C. L., & Liebman, W. (2021). Collective Bargaining Beyond Employment in the United States. Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal42(2).

Obiekwe, O., & Eke, N. U. (2019). Impact of employee grievance management on organizational performance. International Journal of Economics and.

Reply to Rakeem

Rakeem Williams posted Feb 8, 2022 11:19 AM

The Major League Baseball (MLB) labor contract negotiations of 2020 featured lengthy deliberations that resulted in a shortened league of only 60-games. The situation mimicked the 1994 MLB lockout of players when the MLB owners and MLB players disagreed on specific details of the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) at the time. The most recent challenges in 2020 started on March 12 when the league’s officials announced a temporary shutdown owing to the COVID-19 pandemic concerns. The halting of the MLB season coincided with the shutdown of NHL and NBA seasons (Baer, 2020). As a result, the league officials had projected that the new 2020 season would be delayed by at least two weeks, which in retrospect was a vast understatement.

Without a definitive schedule because of the pandemic, MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) agreed that the players’ association would not exchange for assurances regarding service time and salary advances for the players suing the MLB for total salaries in the case of cancellation. The two entities also agreed to operate on prorated salaries when the season shortened. However, the MLB continued to insist on reducing the players’ pay suggesting a per-game payment basis if the payers wished to see the season through (Baer, 2020). On the other hand, the players’ organization argued against the presented suggestions leading to a standoff. That standoff lasted for the entire part of 2020 until an agreement was reached.

One of the issues that prevailed in the preliminary stages of the standoff was whether the league would continue with its scheduled number of games for the 2020 season. By April, the league had not yet started, and with rising cases of COVID-19, the league officials were hesitant to make any actual plans. MLB had floated many suggestions, such as playing games in an isolated area comparable to the NBA’s model of playing in Disney. However, no indication of the sort ever materialized. Anderson et al. (2020) state that both the players’ union and the league later agreed that the season, if at all any, would be held in the home stadiums of every team playing in the company without any fans in attendance.

Another major issue that drew sharp reactions from the stakeholders regards the revenue-sharing plan. MLB and, by extension, the owners of the clubs participating in the league earn a lot of revenues from selling television broadcasting rights to the major broadcasters in the country and across the world. In addition, they also make vast sums of money from sponsorships. Therefore, approximately two months after suspending the league, MLB initiated the first steps for reviving the season. It was, however, clear that it would be impossible to manage an entire 164-game season owing to the delays caused by the pandemic. Therefore, MLB proposed an 82-game season that would commence in early July (Baer, 2020).

Nevertheless, the owners of the league and MLB were not ready to pay players the entire sums as agreed in their contracts. As such, MLB had incorporated a contentious revenue-sharing proposal that players disagreed with right from the start. The situation became worse when that proposal leaked to the media before its official release by MLB.

In the proposal, MLB had suggested that players agree to a sliding scale payment plan with payments sliding between 72.5% and 20% of per-game payments (Rogers, 2020). In essence, the players would earn a cumulative salary of 23.9% of their original salaries. Players earning higher wages would experience the biggest pay cut. A majority of people in the industry believed that the proposed plan would result in conflict between the well-paid players and those earning smaller salaries (Baer, 2020). On the other hand, players countered the offer by suggesting a 114-game season with full per-game pay. The players’ union indicated that players earn their total prorated salaries, which would amount to 70.4% of the original 2020 players’ wages. MLB declined the proposal.

Subsequent proposals by MLB surfaced, and MLBPA countered those proposals with suggestions of their own. There was no agreement between the players and the league. Finally, the league consulted with the owners and issued an ultimatum to players, insisting on a 60-game league with total prorated salaries. Players, however, wanted a 70-game league. MLB stayed put, insisting that the league would only hold 60 games for the 2020 season. The players’ representatives voted against that suggestion in a 33-5 vote (Fucillo, 2020). The Chief Operating Officer of MLB imposed a 60-game league and issued a July 1 report date. Players resumed, and the season started on July 23 and ended on September 27.

The interesting bit with this scenario is that, on the one hand, MLB wanted to retain as many profits as possible. By limiting the number of games and convincing players to agree to a work payment formula that would see them earn less money, using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse. Although COVID-19 truthfully disrupted MLB operations, the owners saw this as an opportunity to pocket millions of endorsements and television rights payments through a shortened season with fewer games. On the other hand, players believed that the MLB earned a lot of money and, truthfully so and therefore should honor the terms as stipulated in their contractual agreements concerning the payment. Players also wanted to have as many games as possible since their salaries would be prorated.

The negotiations took several months, and even though the situation warranted the extended leave of absence from the sport, both the MLB and the players won. However, the situation favored the MLB more since they got to earn a lot of money with delays and postponed matches and the overall reduced number of games, which meant reduced salaries for the players. Nevertheless, MLB was never close to “busting the union.” There were no attempts to sabotage the players’ union. Part of the union’s responsibility is representing members and pushing for higher wages for the members (Carrell & Heavrin, 2014). Any other approach such as sabotaging the union would have complicated an already tense situation without yielding any benefit in the face of a ravaging pandemic that turned out worse than projected. In the long run, the players union ultimately won the short term, and the owners will make back all the profits in the long run.

References:

Anderson, R. J., Acquavella, K., Snyder, M., Perry, D., & Axisa, M. (2020). MLB 2020 season: Timeline of how testy negotiations led to Rob Manfred mandating a 60-game schedule. CBS Sports Digital. https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/batting-around-where-will-carlos-correa-and-trevor-story-sign-when-the-mlb-lockout-ends/

Baer, J. (2020). Timeline: How MLB reached an agreement for a 2020 season after three frustrating months. Yahoo Sports. https://sports.yahoo.com/timeline-on-how-mlb-season-has-been-pushed-to-the-brink-coronavirus-013338726.html

Carrell, M., R. & Heavrin, C. (2014). Introduction to labor relations. In. Carrell, M., R. & Heavrin, C. Labor relations and collective bargaining: Private and public sectors. Pearson.

Fucillo, D. (2020). Report: MLB players reject owners’ proposal, league to implement 60-game schedule. Draft Kings Nation. https://dknation.draftkings.com/mlb/2020/6/22/21299770/mlb-season-start-date-2020-length-players-vote-owners-proposal.

Rogers, J. (2020). Fewer games? Salary deferrals? Where MLB players and owners could find middle ground on 2020 season. ESPN. https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/29252350/fewer-games-salary-deferrals-where-mlb-players-owners-find-middle-ground-2020-season.

Reply to Jason

Jason Jonson posted Feb 10, 2022 2:05 PM

The success of unions improving working conditions, better wages, fewer working hours, quality of life for workers, and freedom of speech all have positively influenced workers’ decision to join a union. According to Carrell and Heavrin (2013), wages and benefits is the “bread and butter” of issues that many workers expect to be negotiated with their employer. Unions are more important today than they ever were. More workers are joining unions because they understand that they have more power in a union and can effect real change. A record number of workers are angry, fed up, want something better, and want labor leaders to act. And, when employees have seen the effectiveness of strikes then more strikes are likely to occur.

Albergotti, R. (2021), wrote about Cher Scarlett, an Apple employee who decided to speak out against Apple. Scarlett is leading a worker uprising at Apple. It started when Scarlett was brutally honest on her Twitter account, where she openly spoke about the working conditions at Apple. More than 500 employees at more than 500 Apple stores, have accused the company of tolerating racism, sexism, discrimination, retaliation, bullying, sexual and other forms of harassment (Albergotti, R. 2021). Apple employees do not want to accept the way things are and want to do something about it. Scarlett during an interview said that Apple does not care about its employees and only cares about money. With today’s more sophisticated technology, more workers are able to stand up for themselves and speak out publicly. Another example how Scarlett used technology was when she noticed a wage gap among Apple employees, she then launched her own wage survey. Apple’s human resources department put a stop to the company’s wage survey, violating federal law that prohibits employers from barring their workers from discussing wages.

According to Carrell and Heavrin (2013), union issues are either “hard”- meaning economic gain (wages and benefits) and job security, or “soft”- meaning how employees are treated by management and coworkers ( Carell and Heavrin, 2013, p. 10). Most union members are primarily seeking to improve the hard issues. In Carrell and Heavrin (2013), union worker’s wages and salaries were $22.75 compared to non-union worker’s $19.04. A greater difference in benefits between union workers at $13.88 an hour and nonunion workers at $7.33 an hour (Carrell and Heavrin, 2013, p.10).

While labor strikes are becoming more and more common, employers and as well as employees are affected. Businesses suffer production and financial losses, and their reputation is negatively affected. Employees that belong to a union are obliged to strike when the union determines. This could result in job loss, medical insurance loss, and lost wages. Once the strike is over, feeling of hostility between the employer and employee can severely damage the relationship. Unions have always fought for workers’ rights and achieved milestones such as the 40-hour workweek, minimum wage, anti-discrimination laws, and other protections. Because of the negative effects of strikes on the economy, employers, and employees, strikes should be managed and avoided.

Jason

Albergotti, R. (2021). She pulled herself from addiction by learning to code. now she’s leading a worker uprising at apple.

Carrell, Michael R., & Heavrin, Christina (2013). Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining (10th ed.). Pearson.