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Labor relations knowledge enables the employee to know how best to cooperate with his employer. This is through the guiding ethics of labor laws that govern how the employee and employer should relate with each other. This makes it easier for the employer since the employee will follow these guidelines to avoid penalties. This ensures job efficiency and maximization of resources which in the long run promote maximization of company profits. It also enables the employee to solve or handle conflicts. On the other hand, labor relation law explains to the employees how they should behave themselves when problem arises in the workplace. (Barney et al 2009)
USA labor laws typically deal with employer and trade unions. Trade unions and their federations as well as the large business cooperates separately command an aggregate of power (Sinha et al 2006).The main struggle between these two, the employer and the trade unions is labor and capital. Trade unions are independent organizations with their own leadership. Hence when there are any negotiations taking place it is between the leaders of the union and the leaders of the business corporate involved. The workers bear the greatest burden in such a scenario (Barney et al 2009). So if it's an agreement that oppress them only they can feel it not the two powers that made it because it doesn't affect them directly. This confirms the Kenyan saying "when elephants fight it's the grass that suffers." (Sinha et al 2006)
The choice an employee makes on how to respond to work injustice is influenced by the trade union, employer and external environment. The trade union strategies are: seeking registration and recognition from the existing government, wining the confidence with the employer, employee and government by improving its bargaining power and positive outcomes of negotiations where both parties benefit, boosting the morale of its members, providing benefits which are enjoyed by the members if they join and enhancing its finances. (Barney et al 2009)
The employer strategies are: Putting job regulations, employing a substitutable work force, formation of alliances with other employers and ensuring there is a strong economic position of his enterprise. External environment influences through unemployment, prevailing economic climate, government policies and legal restrictions on strikes and penal clauses of the law have effect on the choice the employee makes. (Sinha et al 2006). The choice of a labor re not comfortable union depends with employee profession and the line of specialization. However although many entrepreneurs are not comfortable with the move, they justify their actions with an anti-union philosophy that the benefits accrued by members is of no importance to either employee or employers. Bob speaks from experience since he was a unionist and is aware of all the benefits and importance.
The bargaining strategies are vital in any negotiation especially when two parties with conflicting interests are involved. Every party desires to ripe the best from bargain. The employee should use these strategies to state the higher package as the starting point before the bargain. The best should form a base for negotiation on either side of the bargain so as to reach at an average benchmark where both parties will benefit from the bargain. Again, it's very paramount for the parties in a bargain to have an open mind in order to reach a consensus. These are some basic strategies that can be used in a bargain. A controversial issue of strike replacement has been employed by many employers who desire continuity in their production and services. They forms a fundamental component in a company since they ensure the going concern property in a company when there is a dispute between employee and employer. When they are engaged in a discussion to resolve the issues concerned, strike replacements are vital since there is continuity of operations in a company. NLRA should in fact strengthen the use temporary replacements in case of a dispute to ensure that third parties like clients are not adversely affected by the dispute (Lipset 1996).
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Individuals choose a labor union over other options for dealing with injustice because: Union share the values and beliefs with the individual, compulsion i.e. one must be a member in order to obtain a specific employment, union may be offering benefits such as retirement and health, education and training opportunities, moral concern in that those who benefit from the struggles the union have to show their loyalty by joining. (Butterworth 2007)
The seniority system advantages to the employee are: protection against layoffs, payment increment as the years go by and no need to increase knowledge of skills since. To the employer it reduces turnover cost, makes the job valuable to the worker, gives the employer greater disciplinary powers over the worker. Its disadvantages are: To the employee it hinders job advancement and improvement of skills. To the employer it reduces the incentive of senior workers to perform, most able workers are lost in layoffs and incase of a crisis the senior workers are retained and they are the highly paid becoming expensive for the employer to retain them. A balance can be struck between the two by: Senior employees are retained so long as they possess the minimum qualifications to perform the available work and the senior employee is retained over the junior employee if the posses the same qualifications to perform available work (Jon 1995).
America is a society profoundly rooted in law (Lipset 1996).The US law has failed to promote collective bargaining. It promotes individualism. This is also translated in the labor relations. Everyone fights for their own interests not for the good of all. Companies and trade unions promote adversarialism in that they compete among themselves so as to win over the workers. In summary we can say that labor relations are a vital aspect in the industrial growth.
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