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Management's Obligation to Meet the Cost of Living Increase

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The cost of living in Alderdale, California, has gone up 10 percent during the year, and Steve's union has been negotiating with the management of the plant where he works for a 15 percent raise to cover the present cost of living plus an additional expected increase. The plant, however, has not had a good year, and management and the union decide upon an 8 percent raise, which a majority of the members, not including Steve, agrees to. Steve decides that because he has been shorted 2 to 7 percent of his raise money, he will try to make up for it by taking some expensive tools, some small pieces of equipment, and some supplies home from the plant in order to remodel his workshop at home. He was planning to do this remodeling with some of the raise money anyway, and he feels he was cheated out of this money unfairly because he didn't wote for the raise that was accepted by the union.

Is Steve justified in his actions? Why, or why not? Does management have any obligation to meet the cost of living? Because Steve voted against the smaller raise, is he under any obligation to accept it? Why, or why not? Is he justified in making up the difference between the raise he got and the cost of living by taking things from the plant? Why, or why not?

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Solution Preview

Hello? Has anyone ever heard about theft?

Let's go through this one carefully. Consider the following:

1. The Union was trying to negotiate a 15% increase. This was not something that the company was planning on at all. It was not something that Steve was promised. It was merely something that his Union was trying to get for its members.

2. Apparently, Steve assumed that just because the Union was negotiating for a 15% increase, that he had somehow earned that 15% increase. Not only that, but perhaps Steve assumed that it would be his.

3. The fact of the matter is that Steve was not cheated out of 2-7%. This judgment is based solely on Steve's misunderstanding of the "proposed" 15% increase. He ...

Solution Summary

This job contemplates management's obligation to meet the cost of living increase.