An Experiential Approach
Edited by Suzanne C. de Janasz and Joanna Crossman
Chapter 10: Labor relations, employee relations and negotiation
In the early twentieth century, when employees began to speak out against unsafe or unfair work environments, unions began to emerge. These organizations advocated for the interests of employees – who felt (and often were) abused by managers and owners. Over time, while unions have in fact been instrumental in changing workplace conditions and legislation, there have also been instances of abuse of power and inequity within unions. Whether unions work with management or against management would be an interesting conversation. Union contracts have to be negotiated and renegotiated regularly, and not too infrequently we read news reports of strikes (work stoppages) used as a threat to move a negotiation along. However, negative implications of strikes affect more than just employees. The exercises which follow provide students with opportunities to learn more about unions and bargaining/negotiation.
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