Labor Relations Essay

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Labor Relations MGT/431 - Human Resources Management August 25, 2010 Labor Relations The economy of today limits the power of unions within an organization. Priorities of businesses focus on staying in business not the threat of unions. Open communication between businesses, employees, and labor relations is vital to the strategy of any company. This paper will define union and labor relations and the affect on organizations. This paper will also observe the effect of changes in employee relations strategies, policies, and practices on performance. Last, the paper discusses the question of if unions are still valid in the United States. Define union and labor relations and their impact on organization The definition of unions is “an organization of workers joined to protect their common interests and improve their working conditions” (Investors Word.com, 2010, p. 1). The definition of labor relations is “the interaction between a company's upper management and the rest of its employees” (Investors Word.com, 2010, p. 1). The difference between the two definitions is one is employee driven and the other is company driven. Employees form a union to speak with management. Management employs labor relations to speak with employees or unions. The effect on organizations from labor relations and unions is unclear about whether the consequence is more negative than positive. One side of the equation indicates unions are driving businesses to bankruptcy by restricting the flexibility of the company to make adjustments. For instance, in a unionized shop, union workers are paid more than non-union workers are. Benefits for union workers such as a pension may still be valid whereas a non-union worker has no pension. Instead, the non-union worker may have a different type of retirement benefit, such as a 401K, which greatly reduces the cost

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