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Labor Relations

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Part 1 Recognizing rights and responsibilities of unions and management.

Topic 1. Union-Management Relationships in Perspective.
Union-Management relationships needs to be built when there is a realization by both the parties that their association is complex and not-productive, and there is a need to improve the relationship for achieving the objectives of both the management and the unions. Further, as the relationship is challenged, there is a need for re-building the relationship. Each person must accept the responsibility for weaknesses in the relationship. If the relationship is to be improved, blame-letting should be reduced and each party must include the other party in relationship building.
Relationship building begins with recognition of the other party's rights. The management has the right to rung the work place. For instance the management has the right to set the starting time for work, fix pay, amount of work, conditions of work and introduce new methods of doing work. However, in each case there is a need to negotiate with union about these issues.
Topic 2. Evolution of Labor-management Relationships.
The basis of the labor-management relationship is the interdependence of labor on management and visa versa. The union gets its rights from the National Labor Relations Act of which Section 8 (d) says that to bargain collectively is the performance of the mutual obligation of the employer and the representative of the employees to meet at reasonable time. The starting of the labor-management relations commenced from the eighteenth century where industrial society drew workers from all aspects of life to work in newly defined roles. The initial organizations of semi-skilled labor became a starting ground for trade unions. By the end of 19th Century the Catholic Church recognized trade unions. The universal declaration of Human Rights states in article 20, subsection 2 that no worker may be compelled to belong to an association.
Topic 3. Labor Law: Background and Basic Principles.
The Labor law arose because of a conflict between two sets of demands. On one side the demand by workers for better working condition, improved wages, and the right to organize. On the other side the needs of the employers to control the powers of workers so that wages do not increase and lead to higher costs of production. The labor laws were enacted in a background of conflict of interest between the labor and the employers.
The basic principles on which labor laws were developed were to disallow the employers from discrimination, unfair dismissal, and use of child labor. Further, the labor laws in principle laid down the minimum wages, the working time and conditions that would ensure the health and safety of the workers. Finally, the labor laws laid down the principles for the formation, administration, and growth of trade unions.
Topic 4. Unions and Management: Key Participants in the Labor Relations Process.
The role of the union is to bargain on behalf of its members and negotiate labor contracts with employers. The unions play a key role in negotiation of wages, work rules, recruitment, dismissal, promotions, safety policies, and benefits of its members.
On the other hand the management is concerned about the performance of employees, the labor cost, making the firm and its products competitive, employee recruitment, training, discipline, and removal of employees.
We can understand that there are common issues on which the management and unions discuss, negotiate, and enter into agreement so that the firm can function profitably and the benefits of industrialization accrue to both the workers and firm owners. Without a meaningful interaction between unions and management it may become impossible for a firm to ...

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