Many labor relations practices are adversarial—organizing, bargaining over wages, disputing contract interpretations, and the like. But many argue that both unions and managements can achieve improved outcomes through cooperation. The catalyst for cooperation is often the financial exigency of the employer and the specter of potentially large job losses.
This chapter explores variations in union-management cooperation and their effects, including interest-based bargaining, community-based labor-management committees, employee involvement programs, gainsharing, and work and organization redesign. In reading this chapter, consider the following questions:
After a contract is negotiated and ratified, the parties are bound by its terms. But contract clauses may be violated or interpreted differently, so disputes often arise. Almost all contracts contain a grievance procedure to resolve intracontractual disputes. This chapter identifies types and causes of disputes and the contractual means used for resolving them.
As noted in Chapter 13, team-based work designs have reduced the use of first-line supervisors. In these types of work situations, grievances or problems in implementing the contract are increasingly resolved within the work team in consultation with management.
In reading this chapter, keep the following questions in mind:
This chapter covers the procedure used to render a decision about the merits of a grievance when the parties cannot reach agreement. Arbitration is not solely a labor relations process, and within labor relations it does not deal solely with grievances. The chapter covers the definition of arbitration, its legal place in labor relations, the process itself, difficulties associated with its practice, and results associated with arbitration of employee discharge and discipline cases.
In reading this chapter, consider the following questions:
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