HRM 586 Labor Relations Final Exam Set 1
1. (TCO A) You are the new leader of the local union at your company. There are many new employees who have joined the union in the past year, and they have questions about the way union membership works. These new employees are not sure about how to be in the union and still interact with the boss. It seems to some of them that in their non-union jobs, they would just say and do what it took to get their questions answered, and they did not see much difference between themselves and the boss. Others want to run to the union steward every time the boss says something they don t like. The questions involve management rights and employee rights. Your job is to develop a summary sheet which lists the content for a union meeting. Your summary should include the basics of how unions operate and specifics on management rights and employee rights in the union environment. (Points : 34)
2. (TCO B) There are a number of social, economic, and business factors that are either helping or slowing down the development of the union movement. Describe the changes in the political climate that have helped or hindered growth of unions. Identify key legislation that has changed the way in which unions or companies operate in a union setting. (Points : 34)
3. (TCO C) Labor Management relations have been affected by political and legal forces since the mid 1900s. Describe laws that are relevant to negotiations. Which laws favor employers, and which favor unions? Close out with a discussion of the importance of these laws within the scope of the negotiating teams. (Points : 34)
4. (TCO D) Describe the differences of operations between the local unions and national unions. How are each involved in helping union employees? Describe the interactions between employees and representatives at both levels. (Points : 34)
5. (TCO E) The AFL-CIO and its leaders from the past help define the labor movement in the U.S. and help define where the union movement is today. How have the AFL-CIO (federation) national and local unions been involved politically? What impact has this had on unions and legislation passed? (Points : 34)
6. (TCO I) When you examine a negotiated agreement, you will find a variety of issues that can be put into the category of wages or economic concerns. However, the contract is not limited to these issues. There are a variety of issues that go beyond economic concerns, such as the union obligations. It is not just that management is required to perform a certain way according to the requirements of the contract. It is often felt by management that they are giving up everything in order to live by the contract. From a management point of view, the union has taken control without obligation through the function of the contract. (a) Evaluate the obligations that the union might have under the contract in terms of what they mean to the functioning of the union and management. (b) Lay out a plan to help management implement its options if the union does not meet its obligations. (Points : 34)
7. (TCO G) Two industries (Industry X and Industry Y) are run by labor unions. Even though the unions overseeing these industries are considered honest and conscientious, we have seen a large disparity in pay between the industries. In fact, the wages in Industry X are now three times the rate as those of Industry Y. What factors account for the differences in these two industries? (Points : 34)
8. (TCO F) The centerpiece of almost every negotiation is the issue of wages. The topic has become complex and is typically the catalyst for a strike. Of course, the topic of wages is multidimensional. It’s not just the salary that union member are making that impacts the profitability of the organization or the cost of products and services on the market. There are other costs that go into making up the total reward paid to any employee, including the union worker. It is this bigger picture of labor costs that concerns management during negotiations. While the union is focusing on what they can get in terms of total income to the union member, management is looking at the impact of these cost on the total business picture. (a) Compare the methods available for the adjustment of wages during the effective period of the labor agreement. Make this comparison in light of the organization in which you currently work or recently worked. (b) From a management perspective, defend what you would judge to be the most desirable arrangement for your organization. Be sure to include other factors around the wage issue that might impact your decision. (Points : 38)
9. (TCO H) If the collective bargaining process is to be successful, it is important that both sides come prepared to bargain. This means that both management and labor must make plans and develop a strategy before they even look across the table at the other party. It is often this preparation that determines to what extent one side gets its way more than the other side. It is impossible to walk into negotiations without knowing the costs that are potentially involved in the new contract arrangement. Clearly the union is well-prepared with their wish list and with as many facts and figures as they can find to bolster their position. Management does much the same thing to trade off items on the table. (a) Select what you consider to be the key pre-negotiation preparation steps that can be taken by the union. (b) Select what you consider to be the key pre-negotiation preparation steps that can be taken by management. (c) Compare and contrast the historical elements that help us understand the current structure of the union. (Points : 34)
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