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Disputes in a unionized workplace

Before you start this, be sure that you are familiar with the following:

Responsibilities of the National Labor Relations Board (Click on the link for an introductory overview.)

Grievance Management (Click on the link for a sample of the process from the union perspective.)

Unfair Labor Practices (Click on the link for recent developments in this area.)

Required Material

A hard landing American Airlines files for bankruptcy. (2011, Nov 30). Daily Herald, pp. 1. Retrieved November 30, 2012, from

Employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act, retrieved November 30, 2012, from

Esterl, M., & Carey, S. (2010, Mar 12). Labor tensions threaten airline recovery; as industry emerges from recession, unions aim to recoup wages cut over past decade. Wall Street Journal (Online), pp. n/a-n/a. Retrieved November 30, 2012, from

National Labor Relations Board, retrieved November 30, 2012, from

Verma, A. (2005). What do unions do to the workplace? Union impact on management and HRM. Retrieved November 30, 2012, from

Read the following scenario:

Jack and Eric are both hourly employees in the finishing department. They work under Phil, the first-shift finishing foreman. Steve is the second-shift foreman.

Jack has been complaining that Eric is trying to get him to quit so that Eric's friend can be employed in Jack's job. He says Eric has bullied and harassed him. Jack thinks it is because he helped in union organizing activities last year (Eric is anti-union).

Jack says that Eric complains about anything that he does and constantly badgers him to quit. Jack alleges that Eric deliberately does not pass on crucial information about day-to-day work, which then creates the impression that Jack is underperforming in his role.

Jack has raised concerns about this treatment from Eric on many occasions with Phil, his foreman, who has simply told him to deal with the matter himself.

Jack says he is stressed out and alleges that things came to a head when Eric spent a whole day picking on him and he (Jack) openly cried. Eric repeatedly told Jack that he was not wanted on the finishing team and should quit.

Jack couldn't afford to be without a job and did not see why he should be forced out. He went home and decided that he was too upset to go to work the following day. He called in that night and told the next shift's foreman, Steve, that he was too stressed to go to work the next day because he would be picked on.

Steve said he was aware of what had been alleged and thought it had been dealt with by Phil months ago. He advised Jack that he should not go to work the next day and that he (Steve) would speak to Phil.

Jack did as he was instructed, and missed the next day of work. When he returned the following day, Phil called him into the office to ask why he had not been at work and why he had not called in to speak to him directly to report his absence.

Jack was told that because he did not comply with the call-in policy he would get a "ding" on his attendance record. He explained that he called and talked to Steve who was aware of what had happened and had advised him not to go into work the next day.

Phil laughed and told Jack that the department had had bets on whether he would be at work the day after he had been crying and that because of his failure to attend, Phil and Steve had each won $50.

Jack told Phil that he was going to file a grievance with the union because he thought the way he was being treated was not right.

Phil told Jack that if he filed a grievance he would be fired for insubordination. Instead, he should just knuckle down and do his work.

Phil thinks that Jack is the problem, not anyone else.

Jack is very upset and decides that enough is enough. He files a formal grievance with the union about this situation.


What do you think will happen next? Why? Discuss the important steps that might take place to resolve this issue. If you were the HR manager in this plant, what would you do to get to the root of the issue? Why?

The paper should be 2-3 pages, not counting cover and reference pages.

Apply HRM terminology, HRM background reading, research, and business examples of HRM policies, practices, and procedures. Bring in other private sector employers' HRM activities, systems, practices, and procedures as examples that fit into your assignment discussion. Include the employers' names.

Demonstrate critical thinking and analysis of the relevant issues and HRM actions, drawing on your background reading and research.

Complement your Internet research with library research and be sure to use information from the background readings.

Information Literacy: Evaluate resources and select only library/Web-based resources that provide reliable, substantiated information.

Give authors credit for their work. Cite sources of borrowed information in the body of your text as footnotes or numbered end notes, or use APA style of referencing.

Prepare a paper that is professionally presented (including a cover page, a list of references headings/subheadings, and a strong introduction and conclusion). Proofread carefully for grammar, spelling and word-usage errors.

Solution Preview

In this case scenario, Jack is facing two very difficult situations. One situation involves harassment and bullying from co-workers for various reasons. His second issue involves a total lack of support from his supervisors which has left him very few options for resolving his problems. In order to better understand Jacks situation we will evaluate the two primary issues that Jack is facing and how these issues have resulted in his filing a grievance. In addition, this research will review what reasonable actions and outcomes can be expected from Jack's decision to file the grievance. By reviewing this case, this research should show a complete picture of how Jack's work situation should play out in the real world.

In evaluating Jacks situation, his first problem is his co-worker Eric. Eric has begun bullying Jack in the workplace. It has escalated to the point that Jack cannot properly function in the work environment due to the amount of stress it has caused him. Specifically, Eric made Jack cry in front of his co-workers and peers. The driving factor for Eric's abuse seems to stem from Jacks involvement in pro-union activities for which Eric is opposed to. Also, Jack suspects that Eric has a friend that he is trying to get hired and he is trying to sabotage Jack's work to get him fired.

The second major issue that Jack is facing is a total lack of support from his supervisors. His primary dayshift supervisor, Phil, is being very aggressive toward Jack and refuses to accept his complaints about Eric. On numerous occasions Phil has insinuated to Jack that it is his problem to manage with Eric and that he should just toughen up and stop complaining. In addition, Jack has confided in the second shift supervisor Steve about his issues and thought he was getting direction and support from Steve only to find out that it was all a lie.

So, after realizing that Eric is allowed to harass him in the workplace and his supervisors will not support him, Jack has decided to file a formal grievance with the union over this matter to complain about his work situation. Considering the serious nature of the charges, the union is expected to make a strong response. In this situation, it is expected that the union will exercise its rights under the National Labor Relations Board law ...

Solution Summary

A dispute in a unionized workplace are given. The responsibilities of the National Labor Relations Boards are given.