Current Human Resources Trends
Rita Clark, Will Goble, Kimberly May, Christy Taper, Tampa Transou
University of Phoenix/HRM552
March 10, 2013
Current Human Resources Trends The relevance of the labor union has changed significantly over the last few decades. In the early ninetieth century, dangerous work environments caused many workplace injuries and created a need for increased safety regulations. The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 introduced collect bargaining and defined the relations of the union and management. The labor union movement was instrumental in developing workplace standards, such as the forty hour work week that benefit every American employee. Current economic conditions, such as outsourcing, have influenced the way the labor union affect the organizational culture. The globalized economy has influenced current human resources trends that affect union membership, legal issues with the labor union, and outsourcing. Union Membership Trends
In the past, union leaders demanded higher employee wages and increased benefits; however, with economic decline has influenced negotiations. Unions are forced to adhere to numerous concessional shifts, to secure member employment. This requires “thinking outside the box” in aligning strategically with the employer’s mission and objectives for profitability. United Automotive Workers president, Bob King, says compromising with the Big 3, Ford, GM and Chrysler, in their missions to eliminate thousands of jobs to combat escalating labor costs in healthcare and retirements, is needed to secure union workers jobs (Friedman, 2007).
Union Membership Growth
A 2006 labor study revealed that while sixty million non-union workers nationwide favor the benefits that union membership’s offer, fewer than seventy thousand non-union workers at the time of the study succeeded in forming a union via the National Labor Relations Board process (Sheldon, 2006). The United Workers of America (UAW) reported membership growth in 2011 for a second straight year despite its failure to organize U.S. auto plants operated by foreign automakers (Friedman, 2007). UAW reported a one percent membership increase, equating over four thousand new union members (Friedman, 2007). The new additions added to its nationwide total of over three hundred thousand union members in 2011. Still, a far cry from its 1979 membership total, when it peaked at 1.5 million members.
Labor Union Prior to a union entering a company, employees must request union presence. Labor Federation (2012) suggests that a business can unionize if the majority of employees petition through member sign up or card check. Employees are responsible for seeking out the desired union and requesting documentation of the union’s requirements. After meeting the requirements, employees conduct a vote to organize, and the union is invited into the company. Representatives of the union assist employees with completing the required paperwork to become officially organized. Office and Professional Employees International Union (2012) summarize the five major steps in creating a union as learning legal rights, gathering information, building the union, making the union official, and winning a strong union contract. It is important for employees to gather accurate information prior to requesting the union’s presence. Employees should communicate with unions that have knowledge of organizing companies in their industry to ensure legal requirements are met.
Legal Affects Changing laws have created new precedence’s that empower both the company and union. Byars and Rue (2008) state the union must allow members to vote and is required to abide by regulations without forcing or dictating the outcome of the vote. Companies are prohibited from persuading employees against the union and must not interfere with organizational proceedings once the union is established. The company