Human Resource Management Persuasive
- Pages: 7
- Word count: 1685
- Category: Employment
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1. Evaluate the various claims made by the union and counterclaims made by the company regarding the charges of unfair labor practices. Which of the arguments are most persuasive?
2. Was the statement by Nord to Snow on the date of the representational election a threat or a legitimate prediction and personal opinion protected by the free speech provisions of the act? Why, or why not? 3. Was the company obligated to accept the union’s majority status claim on the basis of the authorization cards submitted by the union? Explain your answer. 4. If the company is found to have violated the act, what would be the appropriate remedy: a bargaining order or a new election? Explain your answer.
I begin my discussion with question number one.
1) Evaluate the various claims made by the union and counterclaims made by the company regarding the charges of unfair labor practices. Which of the arguments are most persuasive?
From the claims made by both the union and the company, l believe that the union had a stronger case than the company since some of the claims they had against the company were in line with the LMRA act under the section of unfair labor practices section 8(a). They claimed the following had been done:
The company repeatedly interrogated the employees concerning their union activities; this is evidenced in the case when the company’s maintenance supervisor talked to some of the employees asking them about the union’s visit. He telephoned George Thompson, talked to Alice Coleman, he interrogated Theo Ewing and also Gloria Greer. Indirect threats were made to the employees regarding deprivation of benefits with the words: “you got a nice job, you got an apartment…this is your last chance.” Employee Theodore Ewing was asked to keep his ears and eyes open and to let his Supervisor know if he heard anything about unionization. While doing this he violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) Section 8(a) (1). Which states it shall be an unfair labor practice for an employer “to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed by section 7” (Fortado, n.d)
The threatening of employees is also evidenced when the new supervisor Leo Nord told Cecil Snow on the day of the elections that if the union won, then the employer would take away the free rent apartments from the janitor’s help and charge the head janitor for the second bedroom in their apartments.” (Ivancevich, 2010).
The employers also promised the employees that it was going to improve their sickness and health benefit program including a new benefit to cover maternity expenses for employees and their spouses. Even though the company claimed that it was part of their annual review which comes during the Christmas season, it still sounds like a payoff to the employees so that they would not sign with the union. Since if they wanted to improve their employees’ health cover they should not have waited until the union offered to represent the employees for them say that they are reviewing it. The company announcement of ‘improving its sickness and health benefits program for employees, including a new benefit to cover maternity medical expenses for employees and their spouses’, is equivalent to “giving an unscheduled raise shortly before a representation election”, is a violation of the National Labor Relation Act Section 8(a)(1);
The Act states: It shall be an unfair labor practice for an employer “to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the
rights guaranteed by section 7.”
What does this passage refer to?
Threatening to terminate or otherwise harm employees if they should join or vote for a union
Threatening to close down the plant if the union prevails in an election
Questioning employees about their union sympathies and activities under threatening circumstances
Spying on union members and/or organizers, or giving the impression of spying.
Giving an unscheduled raise shortly before a representation election
Withholding a raise that normally would have been given (Fortado, n.d)
From the company prospective, I believed that the management was unaware of the phone calls and questioning of employees by its former supervisor Larry Melton. Concerning Melton’s statement to Ewing there was nothing vague about it and anyone would conclude that it was meant to be a warning or a threat. Even though the company said that by the time the elections were held Melton had no influence over the employees was a bit wrong since Melton was just but an employee for the company and he had no authority to come up with policies without the employer’s approval so regardless of him being there or not he was just delivering the message of his superiors which could be done by any other person who will hold the same position. The rest of their arguments or claims cannot be validated, especially the claim that the improved benefits were part of the company’s annual review of it benefit program. And also the new supervisor Leo Nord statement to Cecil Snow on the day of the election concerning what unionization would bring to the company was not his personal opinion, rather it reflected the view of most serving in management.
2. Was the statement by Nord to Snow on the date of the representational election a threat or a legitimate prediction and personal opinion protected by the free speech provisions of the act?
When Nord talked to Cecil Snow on the day of the election he was threatening the employees since he specifically told her that “if the union were to win the elections then the employer would take the rent free apartments away from the janitor’s help and charge the head janitors for the second bedroom in their apartments.”). I strongly believed that supervisor Leo Nord statement to employee Cecil Snow was in fact a threat to all the janitors. He expressed to her what made have been discussed by some senior management. Mr. Nord spoken with confidence that ‘if the union won the representational election, the employer would take the rent-free apartments away from the janitors helpers, and charge the head janitors the second bedroom in their apartments’ (Ivancevich, 2010). He was very explicit in his words; if you want your benefits to stay the ways they are then the union better not win the election.
3. Was the company obligated to accept the union’s majority status claim on the basis of the authorization cards submitted by the union? Explain your answer.
The company was obligated to accept the authorization cards form the union since this authorization cards came on the day the union had the meeting with the employees. To add to the matter the authorization cards were signed by the employees so there is no way that the union could have gotten the employees signatures without their approval. The signing by the employee signified their acceptance to deal with the union. This was like a contract between the two parties that they had accepted to have a relationship together.
Furthermore the company had no evidence that the employees had been coerced into signing the authorization by the union so it is ok to state that they signed the authorization on their own free will and hence had entered a contract that was binding between them and the union.
Chief Justice Warren alluded to accepting alternative route to a union’s majority status by means of signed authorization cards. In this court case of 395 U.S. 575 (89 S.Ct. 1918, 23 L.Ed.2d 547) NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD, Petitioner, v. GISSEL PACKING CO., Inc., et al. FOOD STORE EMPLOYEES UNION, LOCAL NO. 347, AMALGAMATED MEAT CUTTERS AND BUTCHER WORKMEN OF NORTH AMERICA, AFL—CIO, Petitioner, v. GISSEL PACKING CO., Inc. The SINCLAIR COMPANY, Petitioner, v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD.
Mr. Chief Justice WARREN delivered the opinion of the Court.
These cases involve the extent of an employer’s duty under the National Labor Relations Act to recognize a union that bases its claim to representative status solely on the possession of union authorization cards, and the steps an employer may take, particularly with regard to the scope and content of statements he may make, in legitimately resisting such card-based recognition. The specific questions facing us here are whether the duty to bargain can arise without a Board election under the Act; whether union authorization cards, if obtained from a majority of employees without misrepresentation or coercion, are reliable enough generally to provide a valid, alternate route to majority status; whether a bargaining order is an appropriate and authorized remedy where an employer rejects a card majority while at the same time committing unfair practices that tend to undermine the union’s majority and make a fair election an unlikely possibility; and whether certain specific statements made by an employer to his employees constituted such an election-voiding unfair labor practice and thus fell outside the protection of the First Amendment and § 8(c) of the Act, 49 Stat. 452, as amended, 29 U.S.C. 158(c). For reasons given below, we answer each of these questions in the affirmative.
4. If the company is found to have violated the act, what would be the appropriate remedy: a bargaining order or a new election?
I believed if the company was found to have violated the act it would be only fair for the union to be granted a bargaining order, ordering the company to acknowledge the union since it had authorization cards from employees, because there is no guarantee if the company will not use its influence again to coerce the employees not to sign with the union by threatening them or offering them rewards so that they won’t sign with the union to be represented with them
Fortado B. Unfair Labor Practices (ULPs) MAN 4401/6411 Labor Relations University of North
Ivancevich, J. M. (2010). Human resource management 11th edition, New York, NY: McGraw- Hill. Pg 503-505