How could Campbell Soup have prevented the problem of dispute with migrant farm workers?
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Just like any other organization, employees, employers, and labor unions relationships in Campbell Soup is essential for its success (Mondy & Gowan 2005, p. 4). According to the case study, the company’s reputation and productivity could have been affected if the industrial disputes persisted. In this regard, the company’s management team should have prevented this problem way before it materialized.
After being pressurized by the Farm Labor organizing Committee (FLOC), the company agreed to conduct an election to determine whether the farm workers could be allowed to be represented by the committee. It is alleged that during the Election Day, the company brought in some local laborers to participate in the voting process. Similarly, the company prevented some of its labors from participating in the process. Therefore, if the company had not meddled with the voting process credible election results could have been obtained. As such, FLOC could have known whether the farm workers preferred them or not to be their representative. Since this group aggravated the current disputes, it is apparent that the company could have prevented these disputes if it had not meddled with the election process.
Similarly, the company could have avoided the industrial disputes if it had employed a neutral third party to mediate between the antagonizing parties when the disagreements emerged (Aswathappa 2005, p. 34). Through this, a third party group could have listened to both parties’ grievances and come up with appropriate recommendations.
Equally, the company should have adopted codes of discipline in their operations. Codes of discipline require both the employees and the employers to abide by certain norms. If these norms could have been adhered to, incidences of child labor could not have arisen. Similarly, if the norms could have been adhered to the company could have made some effort to improve the deplorable status of its farm workers.
Internal and external stakeholders in this situation
This industrial dispute affected both internal and external stakeholders. The internal stakeholders affected by the disputes were the shareholders, management team, and the employees. On the other hand, the external workers affected by these disputes were FLOC, human rights organizations, government, ministry of labor, and consumers.
In the case study, the shareholders annual meeting was going to be disrupted by members of FLOC. This implies that the effectiveness of planned meeting was going to be compromised by the disputes. On the other hand, the management team has to work relentlessly to end the disputes as they undermine their reputation. If the management team fails to end or solve these disputes, other competent individuals might have to be brought in to solve the disputes at their expense (Kahn 2004, p. 67). Although the Protestants and FLOC members are advocating for the employees’ grievances, employees might be advised to strike and engage in the ongoing process. In the event of this, the operations in the company will come to a halt. As a result, the employees would have to live without incomes, as they would not be paid during their striking days.
For the human rights groups and FLOC, these disputes would ultimately force the company to give in to some of their grievances. In the event of this, their reputation would significantly improve attracting more workers to join these groups. Similarly, by engaging the company to improve on its workers’ welfare, the two groups are fulfilling their mandates. By law, the two groups exist to champion for workers’ rights. The government would suffer if the disputes persist. Increase in disputes is harmful to the country’s economy. If a country’s economy drops, the government operation would be affected. Since these disputes affect the operations of the company, the number of products produced would decrease. This implies that the consumers would have to be forced to buy these limited products at a higher price or purchase other products.
Which ethical approach is the best for dealing with this situation?
To deal with this situation in the short term, the company should allow its farm workers to enroll in a trade union of their choice. Thereafter, the management team and officials from the trade union should come up with an in-house dispute settlement system and a committee. This system should be designed to tackle with the problems that led to the disputes. As such, the system should allow the two groups to reach a compromise. During the process of reconciliation, all parties involved should be ready to accept the results of the committee. The committee should be mandated to enhance actions for securing and preserving trust among all the stakeholders.
Ultimately, the company should allow the farm workers to exercise their rights. Similarly, the company should improve the deplorable state of farm workers. It is unjust for the company to pay its farm workers $2 per hour. Equally, it is saddening to note that some of these workers live in houses with no toilets and electricity.
In what ways could the Campbell Soup issue damage it as a company?
The current industrial issue at Campbell Soup could damage the organization in a number of ways. If the disputes carry on, the company’s operations, reputation, and productivity would be affected.
Because of the dispute, the relationship between the company’s management and the employees would be compromised. Given the fact that the relationship between the two parties is essential for the smooth functioning of the company, its operation would be slowed down (Braun 2011, p. 12). Similarly, with a poor relationship between the two parties the productivity of the employees would be reduced decreasing on the company’s output.
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In addition, if the disputes persist the company would eventually lose some of its trained staff to competitor firms. Equally, the company turnover rate would increase. With the company losing some of its staff and increase in turnover, the company would be forced to recruit some staff once it returns to normalcy. The cost of recruiting new staff and training them would cost the company extra expenses that could have been avoided if the company could have prevented the issue from escalating.
Equally, if the industrial disputes endure the company’s reputation would be compromised. If the company’s reputation is affected, its sales will reduce the much-needed returns. In addition, angry demonstrators and protestors might damage the company’s properties. After the end of the disputes, the company would have to meet the extra costs of repairing and purchasing the damaged and stolen property. In general, all companies should note that industrial disputes are costly and results in unnecessary inconveniences. Therefore, they should be avoided.
Aswathappa, K 2005. Human resource and personnel management: text and cases. Tata McGraw-Hill. New Delhi.
Braun, K 2011. The settlement of industrial disputes. The Blakiston Co. Philadelphia.
Kahn, P 2004. Picketing industrial disputes, tactics, and the law. Routledge & Kegan Paul. London.
Mondy, R. W. & Gowan, M 2005. Human resource management. Pearson Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River, N.J.