In order to understand what the legal actions that may be conducted in response to emerging rumors regarding unionization are, it is essential to comprehend the concept of a union. As reckoned by Mathis, Jackson, Valentine, and Meglich (2017), a union is an alliance of employees, who want to act through the collective action in relation to one or another workplace issue. Basically, the phenomenon of unionization emerges as a result of employees’ intent to receive higher remuneration and enhance working conditions. In the given case, the inability of the company to provide annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) evokes thoughts about unionization. It is possible to suggest that employees want to struggle for their rights to social benefits that are to be guaranteed by law.
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To respond to rumors about unionization, one should design specific guidelines for supervisors. In particular, according to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), supervisors may tell employees about the issues that should not interfere with the free choice of the latter. Considering that unionization may target increased wages that will be above the average market price, such initiative may decrease business effectiveness. In this regard, supervisors should tell that the company understands employees’ concerns and explain the drawbacks of joining unions compared to abstaining from it (Mathis et al., 2017). For example, the facts that the law provides free choice for either joining or refraining unions, and it may be difficult to follow an individual approach to each of the employees should be clarified. The necessity of due payments and possibility of fines as well as the potential requirement to picket other employees are also to be discussed with employees. In general, employee retention should be the goal of supervisors.
An appropriate response to the possibility of unionization is critical to keep employees loyal to the company. The Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) prescribes respect for unions and prohibits any actions that may violate the rights of its members. In this regard, an employer and supervisors should act according to legal regulations (Stone & Arthurs, 2013). Proper communication and leadership should be utilized as guidelines to establish proper employee attitudes towards the problem with COLA. In particular, it seems essential to explain the fact that the company will try to do its best to provide additional benefits to employees within a certain period of time to reimburse their losses, as noted by Stone and Arthurs (2013). At the same time, conversations with employees should be consistent and comparative, focusing on benefits the organization can provide and disadvantages that unions may bring.
It should also be noted that inions should not be considered as something hostile to the company. Bennett (2013) claims that union-based education may be rather useful to equip employees with better knowledge and skills in their specific professional area. The author also argues that such an approach contributes to eliminating discrimination among employees and achieving greater cooperation between the company and personnel. Furthermore, union-based training is likely to address conflicts within an organization due to the increased understanding between employees and management (Bennett, 2013). Thus, guidelines for supervisors should clearly explain the expected attitude towards employees based on respect, transparency, and comparability with unions. While it is preferred to determine and present benefits and disadvantages of unionization to employees, union-led training may also be effective.
Bennett, T. (2013). Do union-management learning partnerships reduce workplace conflict?. Employee Relations, 36(1), 17-32.
Mathis, R. L., Jackson, J. H. Valentine, S. R., & Meglich, P. A. (2017). Human resource management (15th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Stone, K. V., & Arthurs, H. (Eds.). (2013). Rethinking workplace regulation: Beyond the standard contract of employment. New York, NY: Russell Sage Foundation.