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Human Resource

1. The attached article from BusinessWeek (February 13, 2006) describes the unionization of a WalMart store in Canada. Keep in mind that Canada's rules differ from those in the US. What did the union do right and wrong in their efforts at the Canadian store? What did local management do right and wrong? What did the workers do right and wrong? Were workers' rights violated by management? Any other observations about how WalMart's strategy on unionization has been implemented in the US?

2. Unionization has often followed episodes of serious worker abuse. The energy that led to unions was focused through some strong, influential leaders like Mary Harris "Mother" Jones. To see some of her influence, the next time you are traveling in southern Colorado on I-25, you might spot a historical interest sign about the "Ludlow Massacre Memorial" about 12 miles north of Trinidad. Take the time to visit (it's only about a mile off the interstate, and it's free). What can you find out about Mother Jones or other influential union leaders, and how might your firm deal with them? Are there any union-related issues you spot in today's news? What are the HR issues of these articles? The attached PPT gives you some of the Ludlow information.

3. Unions have gradually lost influence in the US labor market since their peak in the 1950's. The challenge of HR is how to deal with a union if it is in place or a unionization effort if it starts gaining momentum. Federal law is well structured on how to deal with a union, but many employers are reluctant to comply. Check out http://www.dol.gov/dol/audience/aud-labor.htm and http://www.bls.gov/ for data about unions. What experience have you had with unions, either as a union member or management dealing with union contracts?

4. The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) is a very controversial piece of legislation that moves through Congress from time to time. While currently on the back burner because of the economy, financial reform, deficits and elections, it has been a persistent topic for years. See the attached SHRM update on the issue. What are the implications of passage of EFCA? Why do you think that SHRM is opposed to EFCA?

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Human Resource

1. The attached article from BusinessWeek (February 13, 2006) describes the unionization of a Wal-Mart store in Canada. Keep in mind that Canada's rules differ from those in the US. What did the union do right and wrong in their efforts at the Canadian store? What did local management do right and wrong? What did the workers do right and wrong? Were workers' rights violated by management? Any other observations about how WalMart's strategy on unionization has been implemented in the US?
The union got the store unionized upon the request of Lavoie and Desbiens. This was what the union did right, however, what the union did not do right was the conflict that it entered into during negotiations. The union should not have pressed on working hours and schedule that was unacceptable to Wal-Mart. Adding, 30 extra workers to the payroll would nto have been acceptable to Wal-Mart.
The local management did wrong was that it disregarded the complaint of Lavoie about pay-inequality. further what the local management did wrong was that it did not grant a promotion that was due to Lavoie and Desbiens. This alienated them against Wal-Mart. It was right for the management to carry out mandatory anti-union meetings but it was wrong for the management to celebrate the victory for TV cameras and taunt union supporters.
The workers rights regarding equal pay and fairness in promotions was violated by management.
It appears that unions in the USA know that unionization of a Wal-Mart store would lead to the closure of that store. This is the reason why unionization of Wal-Mart in the US is avoided by the management. Because of the fear that unionization ...

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