1. Identify and explain Collective Bargaining and Labor Relations.
Collective bargaining is a term that was coined to define the process of negotiation between the employers, employees and also the trade unions that such employees are affiliated (Hayter, 2011). It is an industrial relations mechanism used for maintaining the employment relationship. During the collective bargaining, the union of workers is the one that holds the collective interest because the negotiations are for the benefit of several employees. In the case where there is more than one employer, the mutual interest becomes the feature for the both parties to the bargaining process. It is a fundamental right for the workers that are rooted in the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) constitution and is also reaffirmed in the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work made in 1998 (Hayter, 2011). It is through the collective bargaining that the players that are the employees, their trade unions and also the employers establish fair wages and working conditions for all the parties involved. Collective bargaining is the primary reason why the workers formed unions. It is called collective because the opinions and also viewpoints of all the parties and the entire group are considered and results to fairness and equality. Each side has its representatives that negotiate on behalf of the group. It is also the basis for sound labor relations.
The labor relations are the ongoing relationships that exist between employers and union members or other groupings of employees. It may be demonstrated through the interactions that may be present between management of a company and the union that represent the employees who work in such a company (John, 2010). It is a sub-area within the industrial relations. It is also a subarea found within human resource management. The labor relations in the United States private sector are regulated by the National Labor Relations Act while the Public sector labor relations are governed by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 in combination with other state legislations (John, 2010). The labor regulations in other countries may be regulated through the law or even through traditions held.
2. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
It is the way parties solve disputes without seeing for, litigation and with or without the help of a third party. The parties that are in a form of disagreement may resolve their issues without trial or involving the legal processes. The four major processes that ADR may take include mediation, arbitration, collaborative law, Neutral Evaluation, and negotiation. The processes are better and also made by individuals because they are confidential, less stressful and also less formal as compared to the classical court proceedings (Lynch, 2001).
Within organizations, as the employees interact in their daily undertakings, they are bound to face some forms of conflicts amongst themselves and hence the need for the Human Resources to use the Alternative Dispute Resolutions to solve the emerging conflicts (Lynch, 2001). The conflicts may take a variety of forms ranging from professional or personal differences, differences in values, inappropriate behaviors and also difficulty in adapting to certain changes.
The first thing that any human resource would encourage among conflicting individuals is to have a sitting whereby they hear each other out and engage in fruitful negotiations. By negotiating, the individuals can speak out and also lay out their grievances amongst themselves, and this could be made possible by the human resource by allocating such time and place that offers the parties the confidentiality and openness (Lynch, 2001).
Organizations may use mediation in a case of individuals that may have proven unsolvable amongst themselves (Lynch, 2001). The organization outsources for a neutral individual from outside the organization who tries to assist the conflicting parties to negotiate their settlement. The mediator’s role is to facilitate mediation between the parties. They may also include their views in some cases on what might be fair or reasonable regarding the case.
If mediation fails for a particular conflict, there may be a need for arbitration. The arbitrator needs to be a professional (Lynch, 2001). The human resource department may outsource for a neutral person from outside the organization to hear the cases and also resolve the case by making a decision. The arbitrator may be an experienced lawyer or even a retired judge. The arbitration may be binding in that the outcome of the case as is presented by the arbitrator may not be challenged or may be nonbinding depending on what the parties agree and also on the organizational policies on such issues.
Some organizations may also have a place for neutral evaluations whereby a neural individual that may be a professional to the human resource department or even a neutral external person (Lynch, 2001). The individual needs to be an expert on the particular matter that is causing conflict, and they hear the arguments from the conflicting parties as we’ll as reviews the strength and weaknesses for each side. They then offer an evaluation of the likely outcomes if they decide to take the cases further than the point they are in, and it is intended to help the individuals decide and make a decision on the conflict before they can turn to other legal means. The evaluator may also provide a direction and settlement to the case if the parties agree to it mutually.
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