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Unions and Collective Bargaining

HRM Incident 1: You Are out of What?

Marcus Ned eagerly drove his new company pickup onto the construction site. He had just been assigned by his employer, Kelso Construction Company, to supervise a crew of 16 equipment operators, oilers, and mechanics. This was the first unionized crew Marcus had supervised, and he was unaware of the labor agreement in effect that carefully defined and limited the role of supervisors. As he approached his work area, he noticed one of the cherry pickers (a type of mobile crane with an extendable boom) standing idle with the operator beside it. Marcus pulled up beside the operator and asked, "Whatâ??s going on here?"
"Out of gas," the operator said.
"Well, go and get some," Marcus said.
The operator reached to get his thermos jug out of the toolbox on the side of the crane and said, "The oiler's on break right now. He'll be back in a few minutes."
Marcus remembered that he had a five-gallon can of gasoline in the back of his pickup. So he quickly got the gasoline, climbed on the cherry picker, and started to pour it into the gas tank. As he did so, he heard the other machines shutting down in unison. He looked around and saw all the other operators climbing down from their equipment and standing to watch him pour the gasoline. A moment later, he saw the union steward approaching.

1. Why did all the operators shut down their machines?

2. If you were Marcus, what would you do now? Explain.

Solution Preview

The operators shut down their machines in solidarity of the union. By Marcus Ned filling the cherry picker gas tank, he was breaking the union rules and taking the oiler's job away from him. As a result the other operators reacted by shutting down. ...

Solution Summary

This solution deals with a case study in which Marcus Ned must deal with the union employees at a construction site. It answers questions and gives explanations.