Labor Relations and Globalization Argue Term Paper

Pages: 16 (5251 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 16  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Careers

Clark, R.T. (1988). Privatization, Outsourcing and Subcontracting: United States Experience: A Management Viewpoint. Retrieved May 30, 2012 from

Helper, Sue (1990) "Subcontracting: Innovative Labor Strategies," Labor Research Review: (1)15:1, Retrieved May 30, 2012 from:

5. What serious misconduct offenses should always result in discharge? Defend your position.

"Misconduct" under the law of unemployment compensation is basically something that the claimant did or failed to do that 1) caused a problem for the company, 2) was in violation of a rule, a policy, or a law, and 3) was within the claimant's power to control or avoid (Riddle, 2008). This can include attendance problems, poor work performance, problematic conduct, or off job-site conduct. Behavioral issues may include unprofessional manners, repeated insubordination, inability to work with others, or sleeping on the job (Carrell & Heavrin, 2007). With these conduct problems, most discharges fall at the tail end of a "progressive step" process, meaning the employee be warned and given an opportunity to improve before more severe measures are taken.Get full Download Microsoft Word File access
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Term Paper on Labor Relations & Globalization Argue Assignment

Most union contracts specify the offenses that are sufficient grounds for immediate discharge, but they also grant appeal procedures for such events (Carrell & Heavrin, 2007). In my opinion, the gross misconduct offenses that should lead to immediate firing without any further warning include resume fraud; physical fighting at work; sexual or racial harassment of other employees; violations of employer policies such as the use of illegal drugs or being intoxicated on the job; chronic absenteeism or tardiness; damaging company property or equipment deliberately or through negligence; engaging in illegal activities on the job; or cheating the employer out of wages by dishonesty. Assuming that the employer has drafted its policies and no discrimination is present, immediate discharge in these cases seems appropriate. These are serious offenses that can also impact not only the morale and/or safety of coworkers, but also decrease company efficiency and profits.


Carrell, M.R., & Heavrin, C. (2007). Labor relations and collective bargaining: Cases, practice, and law (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Riddle, D., & Bales, R. (2008). Disability Claims for Alcohol-Related Misconduct. St. John's Law Review, 82(2), 699-734.

6. Do you believe grievance mediation is necessary? Why or why not? What other options might be more effective, if any? Defend your answer.

Most collective bargaining agreements provide for grievance mediation -- a completely voluntary step prior to arbitration that allows an unbiased third-party to assist the parties in reaching their own resolution of the dispute (Guerin, 2004). In grievance mediation, the parties are completely responsible for designing their own solution. It is "a vehicle to achieve quick, creative win-win solutions, thereby helping the parties maintain relationships necessary for working together" (Goldman, 2005).

I am in favor of grievance mediation and believe it to be a necessary and effective means of guiding disputing parties to develop mutually-acceptable resolutions. Instead of creating winners and losers, the grievance mediation process encourages cooperative problem-solving between labor and management. Grievance mediation is not always a substitute for contractual grievance procedures (another option), but rather a supplement to contractual grievance procedures in collective bargaining agreements. It should be offered as part of a larger program to help labor and management focus on joint interests (Carrell & Heavrin, 2007).

More than in other alternative dispute resolutions, mediation seems to allow for faster continuation of work once the dispute is resolved. Also, the costs savings are significant vs. litigation. "It is estimated that an average of 50% of advanced legal cases transferred to mediation are resolved in less than one day" (Guerin, 2004). Because mediation can also be used to obtain non-monetary compensation, such as an apology, I feel that it is the best process for ensuring a positive effect on the employer/employee relationship once mediation has ceased.


Carrell, M.R., & Heavrin, C. (2007). Labor relations and collective bargaining: Cases, practice, and law (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Goldman, L., & Lewis, J. (2005). More equal than others. Occupational Health, 57(8), 10-12.

Guerin, Lisa and Peter Lovenheim. (2004). Mediate, Don't Litigate. Los Angeles, California: Nolo.

7. Do you believe a typical grievance procedure is effective? Why or why not? Defend your answer.

Grievance procedures are critical in protecting labor and management from strikes and walkouts and encouraging employees to seek dispute resolution while continuing employment (Phillips, 2001). Mediation has proven to be effective nationwide in a variety of workplaces and industries. The ultimate goal, however, should be voluntary action. When mediation is imposed by the employer, there is a risk that the "quality and potential" of the mediation process will be reduced (Rooes, 2004). However, if implemented successfully, a mediation program can drastically benefit a workplace and its employees. The American Arbitration Association reports that 85% of its voluntary mediations nationwide result in settlement (Phillips, 2001).

I believe that mediation can be quite effective and used to resolve an issue quickly, whereas litigation often takes much longer. During this extended time, feelings of discontent increase making it difficult to continue a positive relationship between parties. The mediation process, where the parties ultimately design and agree to the resolution of their case, is often a far superior solution (Carrell & Heavrin, 2007). A thriving business needs employees that are happy with their working environment. A proper grievance procedure allows them to have a direct effect on the outcome of a dispute. Typically, most people are happier when they have a voice in establishing changes that directly impact them. Mediation allows an employee to have an effect on major business decisions that will shape their professional career at an organization.


Carrell, M.R., & Heavrin, C. (2007). Labor relations and collective bargaining: Cases, practice, and law (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Phillips, Barbara. (2001). The Mediation Field Guide. California: Jossey-Bass.

Rooes, Paul. (2004). "Process, Strategy & Tactics in Labor-Management Mediation" Dispute Resolution Journal of New York. 58(4): 24-33.

8. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of grievance mediation.

A grievance is defined as any perceived violation of a contract provision. When such violations occur, or are alleged, grievance mediation can be used as a voluntary last step before arbitration (Carrell & Heavrin, 2007). Most collective bargaining agreements include procedures to resolve grievances born within the life of the existing contract. Mediations involve neutral, third parties to assist employers and employees in reaching their own settlement.

Advantages include faster resolution of issues; the assistance of an unbiased outside party without the threat of losing as one would in a binding arbitration; the opportunity to identify and remedy flaws in a case prior to going into arbitration; and significant cost savings if an agreement can be reached (Cole, 2005). In general, participants tend to be more satisfied with this collaborative approach.

There are also drawbacks. Because grievance mediation processes are informal, there is no formal record taken during meetings (Carrell & Heavrin, 2007). This means that damaging statements given by either party during the mediation process cannot be used during arbitration should it occur. If the final result is arbitration, the parties must go through the expense of finding a suitable arbitrator. Sometimes, the employer is saddled with the entire expense of the arbitrator (which can be as much as $300 per hour) for all pre-hearing, hearing, and post-hearing matters (Cole, 2005). Finally, arbitrators have no authority to compel a resolution, they can only recommend and guide disputing parties towards compromise. They cannot always control unruly or unethical attorneys who skirt legal obligations during discovery or frivolously waste time. Further, mediation does not automatically protect an employer from the publication of highly inflammatory allegations. Sometimes, the end result of a more time-consuming, drawn out mediation may not always be pleasant.


Carrell, M.R., & Heavrin, C. (2007). Labor relations and collective bargaining: Cases, practice, and law (8th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Cole, S. (2005). Arbitration and State Action. Brigham Young University Law Review, 2005(1), 1-48.

9. Detail the process normally utilized in the selection of an arbitrator. How does the selected arbitrator interpret ambiguous contract provisions?

Arbitration is a much less formal process than litigation and is often the final step in handling grievances. Parties mutually agree upon the selection of a decision maker, securing someone with expertise that mirrors the nature of the dispute (Shamponi, 2005). Because arbitrator selection is pivotal to the quality and outcome of the proceeding, careful consideration should be given to how the arbitrator will be selected, how many are needed, and their specific qualifications (Carrell & Heavrin, 2007). Arbitrators are recognized for their standing and expertise in their fields, their integrity, and their dispute-resolution skills. By using an experienced arbitrator, the parties can avoid irrelevant matters and get to core issues much sooner, saving both time and money. Arbitrators are available from most industries and that expertise aids them in interpreting ambiguous contract provisions.

The American Arbitration Association has developed a process for selecting an arbitrator. A tribunal administrator send each party a specially prepared list of… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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