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Solution covering the Union and Collective Bargaining

1. What factors are contributing to the decline of union membership? Discuss.
2. What do you believe to be the pros and cons of union membership? Which do you believe to be more beneficial? Why?
3. Union membership has been on the decline. Do you believe this is a positive or negative trend? Why?
4. Employees still resist unions almost 60 years after the passage of the National Labor Relations Act. Why do you believe this to be the case?
5. If an employer has a good-faith reasonable doubt as to whether a majority of its employees support an incumbent union, what options are available to the employer? Which option do you think is in the employers best interest? Why?
6. Discuss the difference between an employer's support of and domination of a union.
7. Do you believe employee elections regulated by the NLRB are successful? Why or why not.
8. What actions can an employer take to try to discourage their workers from organizing? Do you believe this would ultimately benefit or hurt the employer? Why?
9. Explain the different styles used by negotiators, which do you think is the most effective? Why?
10. Compare and contrast commonly used methods for resolving a negotiation impasse.
11. Of the common methods used to resolve a negotiation impasse, which do you believe is the most effective? Why?
12. Describe how interest based bargaining is different from other techniques.
13. Explain the difference between profit-sharing plans and COLAs. Do you believe profit-sharing plans or COLAs are more beneficial to employees? Defend your answer.
14. There are many nuances to the design of an acceptable pension program. Design a model program to be offered to the union and explain your rationale.
15. During the past decade, employers and unions have moved away from the concept of Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) to Profit Sharing and Incentive style plans. Differentiate between the different styles of plans and defend or argue against the move to the new style plans.
16. In recent years, management negotiators have increased their resistance to increases in private pension funding. Do you foresee any changes in this trend moving forward? Why or why not?

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1. What factors are contributing to the decline of union membership? Discuss.
Over the last 10 years, the percentage of private sector employees who now belong to labor unions has declined to 7%, reaching an all-time low in the U.S. since 1910 according to economists (Haley, 2012). This continued decrease comes in the face of increasing amounts of money and support being offered by government and independent efforts to try and bring back the labor movement.
The data shows that some of the overall decline in union membership has to do with the general attitude changes in the American workforce. More simply stated, for many workers, unions seem to be a problem not a solution. The key factors contributing to this are that:
1- Unions are beginning to seem irrelevant with the passing of many modern day employment laws that protect workers such as EEOC and SOX laws. The general provisions and overall rules of the workplace remove many of the basic needs for representation. Additionally, the costs associated with a union have become a negative factor for many employees and companies who are trying to remain competitive.
2- The overall union structure promotes seniority not equality within the ranks; therefore, many employees in today's workforce deem the union a prohibitory factor for success, not an inhibitor for success as was the union's original position.
3- Traditionally, the union has aligned with the Democratic party and its philosophy, however, today's America is becoming more independent with at least half the country responding as independent to conservative and this is playing out in the union ranks as well. Employees are no longer aligning with union philosophy and doctrine (Macgillis, 2012).
Until labor movements find a way to remove many of these obstacles, the decline will continue.
2. What do you believe to be the pros and cons of union membership? Which do you believe to be more beneficial? Why?
Pros:
• Unions protect workers from employer abuses. When employees are unsafe, have been given unreasonable hours or work conditions, are fired without cause, etc... unions step in to help prevent this.
• Unions offer representative power via a mass majority voice. In other words, employees as part of a larger entity (the union) can speak up and fight back when they feel they have been treated badly or have issues with their employer.
• The power of collective bargaining through unions traditionally offers employees in a unionized facility better pay and better benefits than those without a union.
• Job security in a union facility tends to be more stable and intact which translates to more piece of mind for employees (Langbert, 2011).
Cons:
• Companies have to pass on the higher costs that unions demand to their consumers which can cause them to be uncompetitive and drive them out of business.
• Because of the global marketplace and the internet, the ability to maintain union demanded wages that continue to contractually increase regularly is almost impossible when competing with China, Mexico, India, etc.
• Unions base everything on seniority therefore, it stifles having the ability to hire, promote, and reward the best workers which leads to a less competitive work force.
• Unions force companies to pay millions of dollars each year in extra management and labor being needed to combat grievances, legal matters, disputes, and many other common union tactics that tie the hands of the company (Brown, 2012).
3. Union membership has been on the decline. Do you believe this is a positive or negative trend? Why?
The decline in unions in America in my opinion is a direct result of America's lack of policy to prevent the outsourcing of jobs and manufacturing goods to other countries. Because of the dependence on being cheap via superstores such as Wal-Mart and others, America has allowed China, India, and Mexico to become the primary supplier of American goods and services and ripped the soul out of the country. This has led to unions and their demand for workers higher pay and benefits to drive companies out of business to either get rid of the union or start over or simply sale out due to not being able to sustain union demands and compete (Swigert, 2013).
So, the question of union membership declining being positive or negative has to be answered two ways: yes its positive for businesses because it helps them remain competitive due to being forced to compete with outsourced labor and resources.
No it's negative for workers in America because the decline only means that America has slipped and declined so far economically that we are becoming China and India and Mexico instead of forcing them to increase their wages and become more like us. We once enjoyed a higher standard of living and kept those expectations high among our citizens in the U.S., however, greed and political corruption has driven the country into debt that is crushing the society as a whole and unions are an easy target to pick on but not the real root cause of the problem... government is (strictly my opinion, no reference needed).
4. Employees still resist unions almost 60 years after the passage of the National Labor Relations Act. Why do you believe this to be the case?
Employees typically resist unions because America promotes originality and individualism. Unions lump everyone into the same bucket which is not what many people want for their career. Additionally, unions mean money out of the employee's pockets. Most employees come to work and do the right things. They show up on time, work hard, stay out of trouble, etc.. Therefore, they see the union as only being necessary to protect the poor performers in the workplace. Thus, good employees do not associate or see the need for union help or representation (Haley, 2012).
I believe the other reasons that contribute to employees resisting unions is political influences and overall portrayal of the unions and their bosses over the past 60 years. From the Hoffa's and the corruption and crime within the Teamsters ranks to many other highly publicized union ...

Solution Summary

This solution is in depth with over 4000 words of text in APA format and focuses on research to help the student understand the following questions: 1. What factors are contributing to the decline of union membership? Discuss.
2. What do you believe to be the pros and cons of union membership? Which do you believe to be more beneficial? Why?
3. Union membership has been on the decline. Do you believe this is a positive or negative trend? Why?
4. Employees still resist unions almost 60 years after the passage of the National Labor Relations Act. Why do you believe this to be the case?
5. If an employer has a good-faith reasonable doubt as to whether a majority of its employees support an incumbent union, what options are available to the employer? Which option do you think is in the employers best interest? Why?
6. Discuss the difference between an employer's support of and domination of a union.
7. Do you believe employee elections regulated by the NLRB are successful? Why or why not.
8. What actions can an employer take to try to discourage their workers from organizing? Do you believe this would ultimately benefit or hurt the employer? Why?
9. Explain the different styles used by negotiators, which do you think is the most effective? Why?
10. Compare and contrast commonly used methods for resolving a negotiation impasse.
11. Of the common methods used to resolve a negotiation impasse, which do you believe is the most effective? Why?
12. Describe how interest based bargaining is different from other techniques.
13. Explain the difference between profit-sharing plans and COLAs. Do you believe profit-sharing plans or COLAs are more beneficial to employees? Defend your answer.
14. There are many nuances to the design of an acceptable pension program. Design a model program to be offered to the union and explain your rationale.
15. During the past decade, employers and unions have moved away from the concept of Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) to Profit Sharing and Incentive style plans. Differentiate between the different styles of plans and defend or argue against the move to the new style plans.
16. In recent years, management negotiators have increased their resistance to increases in private pension funding. Do you foresee any changes in this trend moving forward? Why or why not?

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