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Labor Unions and Collective Bargaining

HRM Incident 2: Break down the Barrier:

Yesterday Bill Brown was offered a job as an operator trainee with GEM Manufacturing. He had recently graduated from Milford High School in a small town in the Midwest. Bill had no college aspirations, so on graduation he moved to Chicago to look for a job.
Bill's immediate supervisor spent only a short time with him before turning over Bill to Gaylord Rader, an experienced operator, for training. After they had talked for a short time, Gaylord asked, "Have you given any thought to joining our union? You'll like all of our members."
Bill had not considered this. Moreover, he had never associated with union members, and his parents had never been members either. At Milford High, his teachers had never really talked about unions. The fact that this union operated as an open shop meant nothing to him. Bill replied, "I don't know. Maybe. Maybe not."
The day progressed much the same way, with several people asking Bill the same question. They were all friendly, but there seemed to be a barrier that separated Bill from the other workers. One worker looked Bill right in the eyes and said, "You're going to join, aren't you?" Bill still did not know, but he was beginning to lean in that direction.
After the buzzer rang to end the shift, Bill went to the washroom. Just as he entered, David Clements, the union steward, also walked in. After they exchanged greetings, David said, "I hear that you're not sure about wanting to join our union. You and everyone else reap the benefits of the work we've done in the past. It doesn't seem fair for you to be rewarded for what others have done. Tell you what, why don't you join us down at the union hall tonight for our beer bust? We'll discuss it more then."
Bill nodded yes and finished cleaning up. "That might be fun," he thought.

1. Why does Bill have the option of joining or not joining the union?

2. How are the other workers likely to react toward Bill if he chooses not to join? Discuss.

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Solution Preview

Since the union is open shop, which means that there is neither a union present nor an effort by management to keep the union out, Bill, and the other employees there are free to decide whether or not they want a union. If he decides not to join the union, he will not have to pay union dues. There are types of shops that would require ...

Solution Summary

Issues dealing with Open Shop