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Different Roles: Employee versus Union Member

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The case study addresses:

Active union members often have two roles to play: (1) employee and (2) union member. Please explain the difference between the two roles. Is it difficult to do both jobs effectively?

The solution thoroughly explains the two roles and the difficulty that may arise in having both. Union members may not agree with the actions of a majority of their membership and as an employee, may have differing views. But in simply belonging to a union, the single voice is no longer heard. Individual employees may agree with an employer viewpoint, but have the union advising in support of a contradictory action. This can create difficulty for the employee who wants to support their employer or even protect their personal interests; but must abide by their union.

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Employees typically have a workplace role that is hierarchical in nature, such as reporting to a manager or supervisor. In this scenario, the employee has performance standards that are monitored by the supervisor; often one person. The manager is also the person they report to in the majority of all employment related tasks.
Unions serve the purpose of collective bargaining for a group of employees with similar job duties in regards to ...

Solution Summary

In over 250 words, the solution addresses the different rolls of being an employee and union member. Employees typically have a manager or supervisor they report to. However, employment decisions are not made soley by the employee when that person is also a union member. Unions serve to collective bargain hours, wages and working conditions. This means the employee no longer has a roll of negotiating such items for themselves.

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Need help with 2 assignments

For an overview of labor relations and laws associated with the employer-union process, please see "HR Fundamentals Employee and Labor Relations, retrieved February 20, 2011, from http://ucsfhr.ucsf.edu/files/HR101-4_LERpartI.pdf

This assignment takes a look at some of the major laws in the employer-union relationship, including the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Labor Management Relations Act, and the Railway Labor Act.
A good place to start is by looking over the National Labor Relations Board website,
After you have reviewed the purpose, coverage and requirements of each act, discuss the following:

Discuss the labor law or laws that have the most impact on a unionized workplace in the U.S. Do any of these laws impact the union-free workplace? Discuss.

Are the current federal laws pro-labor or pro-business? Provide specific examples.

The number of employees belonging to unions in the U.S. is dropping. Why is this? Analyze our government's role in the success or lack of success of labor union's power. Back up your opinion with research.

If a currently unionized employer has set a goal to achieve union-free status in three years, what action steps will be needed to achieve this result? As an HRM professional, what would you recommend?


We have looked at the major union relations laws that apply to the private sector (the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act, the National Labor Relations Act the Labor Management Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act).

Bringing in your background readings and your research--
1. Please discuss how the employment at-will doctrine, Occupational Safety and Health Act, and Workers' Compensation laws each might apply and/or be enforced in a unionized workplace. Might enforcement be different in a union environment than in a union-free environment? Discuss and provide examples.

Continuing on with the same reference organization chosen in Module 1 (WALGREENS), look at the industry/business category your organization (WALGREENS) is involved in (perhaps it is the hospitality industry, retail foods, financial industry, transportation and so forth)--

a. Discuss how unionization has impacted this industry/business category overall. Discuss the role of labor unions in helping to shape the industry/business category and current business conditions for your organization (WALGREENS). If possible, give specific union examples (by name).
b. Has this industry trend affected WALGREENS' business abroad? In the U.S.? Please discuss and provide examples.

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