Negotiation Few Days Ago Term Paper

Pages: 10 (3841 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 7  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business

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[. . .] (Steel workers set to negotiate on behalf of 28,000 Across Ontario and Atlantic Canada)

The total number of workers involved in this group was over 4,000. In certain cases, the settlement into new agreements is not smooth as was the case at Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation in Whitby, where there was a 13-week strike at the end of the previous contract that the 534 workers had with the company earlier, which was then known as Co-Steel Lasco. The agreement had expired at the end of February last year. There are also contracts expiring at Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie which will expire on 31st July, and these contracts affect thousands of workers in the two unions working in the units there. (Steel workers set to negotiate on behalf of 28,000 Across Ontario and Atlantic Canada)

Thus we can see that there are professional negotiators who represent a large number of workers in different companies, in different industries, spread over certain areas of the country. To become a member of these unions, the workers concerned have to pay certain fees and accept the commands of the union, and the commands of the union are the biggest reasons for settlement of any worker trouble.

Now let us see how the unions are chosen by the workers in a certain industry and unit. The union that is referred by us in the discussions for the negotiations in the original case has a control over a hotel, Flamingo Hilton-Laughlin. This control was received after the union won a second election in April 1999, and this was at the end of their six-year long effort to become the representatives of the 829 eligible workers in the hotel and casino. The difficulty for the union to gain recognition was from the government and not from the workers it says it represents. The union now represents all the full-time and regular part time workers, in uniform in the departments of housekeeping, food and beverage, warehousing, front desk, bell, valet parking, retail sales and cash departments. Certain sectors of the workers in the hotel are not represented by this union and they are in the area of the casino, security and administration. The owners of the hotel are the Park Place Entertainment Corporation of Las Vegas, and the owners of the hotel did not like to provide the investigators with any comments on the entire issue of the union. (Steelworkers try negotiating first contract with Laughlin resort)

The hotel workers were not very keen initially on being represented by this union and the first round of voting on the issue was held in 1993. In that election, there was a vote of 495 to 389 through which the workers refused to be represented by this union. In spite of the decision of the workers, the authorities in the government, the National labor Relations Board gave a declaration that the union had won the elections and that the fair elections could not be held in the hotel due to the conditions that were imposed on the hotel by the management which made fair elections impossible. In turn, the management appealed to the United States court of Appeals in Washington DC, and the court of appeals ruled finally that the board had not provided adequate justification for its order on the hotel management for the recognition of the union. By the time the decision came, a lot of time had passed and the superior court felt that it was then possible to hold another election. (Steelworkers try negotiating first contract with Laughlin resort)

This decision of the court led to the second election in 199 which led to the selection of the union in April 1999 and the votes in favor of having the union was then 469 for and 304 against. The management now complained against the conduct of the union during the second election to the National Labor Relation Board, but the board found the management's objections untenable. The board then declared this union as the official representatives of the employees of the hotel-casino for collective bargaining under the relevant laws. This gives the union exclusive rights of collective bargaining. (Steelworkers try negotiating first contract with Laughlin resort) Thus it is clear that there are certain interests in the bargaining for workers in their union disputes with the management and often the decisions are taken totally by the unions. They normally do not give this information to the people outside as this will harm their own interest.

Now let us look at the procedure how the unions enter the different companies as representatives of their workers. The first step is to get employees of the company as their members even though the union may not be the official representatives for the workers. Let us take the case of Chart Industries in New Prague of Minnesota. Chart Industries is among the largest manufacturers of cryogenic products and has manufacturing facilities in many locations across the United States as also in several countries, including China and the Czech Republic. The union decided to take up the case of the workers and the first step that they undertook was to organize a protest at the annual meeting of the shareholders of the company that was being held in the town. According to the representative of the union, the union and the company had earlier met some 17 times, but there was no settlement that was reached. (New Prague workers to protest at Cleveland shareholders meeting)

This led the union to instruct the members of the local unit in the organization to finish their work at the factory and drive throughout the night to reach the venue of the meeting which was scheduled outside. The union then was claiming that it was the representative for 250 of the workers in two factories of the company in New Prague and Lonsdale. These factories were being used for the production of storage tanks for a number of uses including bio-medics, industry and commerce. The total number of workers at the production unit was 400 till 1997 when the unit was called Minnesota Valley Engineering, and these employees had voted for representation by the union. When the representation by the union was about to start, the factory was bought by Chart Industries and this also laid to the removal of a 100 workers. (New Prague workers to protest at Cleveland shareholders meeting)

In spite of getting the recognition, the bargaining between the management and the union lasted a long time of two years and a total of 50 meetings of bargaining before any contract of the union was accepted by the management. In the meantime, the management tried to get the union de-certified in February 2002 and then began a second round of talks between the management and the union. The objective of the union for this second round was to make further improvements in the working conditions of the workers. At the same time, the management was very conscious of the financial difficulties of the organization. The attempt of the union was not to get any immediate financial benefits, but get the right to be informed of any changes in the terms of the pensions or 401(k).

The union wanted to now make the issue of retirement as its priority in the discussions with the company. The other changes that the workers are seeing are some modest benefits for the wage and related benefits, and the most important changes are languages in the terms of the contract. To put additional pressure on the management, the union was getting its other members from the area to take part in the movement. The protest outside the hall of the meeting was followed by the entry of the union members into the meeting of the shareholders and aired their concerns. (New Prague workers to protest at Cleveland shareholders meeting)

Thus the clear strategy followed by the unions is to try and get some benefits for the workers through a process of embarrassment of the management, especially during their special sessions. The strategy followed is different in the case of each union and each company and depends mostly on the situation that the company is in. The worse the position of the company, the stronger will be the attitude taken by the union. In the case of the company that was taken for our reference, the situation of the company can be termed as reasonable, and there was also not a long history of trouble. Thus the method followed was mainly of discussions. These are available in the records of the company and the union, and will not be divulged by them to others.

Alternatives:

The discussions with the management and the union are a process that is being followed for a long time, and has become a tradition in the history of the United States. It is unlikely that this… [end of preview; READ MORE]

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