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Case Analysis of Unfair Labour Practice
During the normal running of the day-day operations, employees, companies and labor unions may disagree over work-related disputes. In the current case, employees accuse the company of unfair labor practices which led to the murder of one sales assistant who was on duty at one of the company’s stores.
Definition of unfair labor practice
Unfair labor practices are any illegal actions, as specified in the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and other applicable labor laws, done by employers or unions regarding the interaction between employees, employers or the union (Tait, 2016). The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is a federal government agency whose mandate is to enforce the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by safeguarding employees’ rights against unfair labor practices. It also helps employees to come together under a union to improve their working conditions and wages.
|Unfair labor practice claim(s)||Union’s position for each||Company’s position for each|
|Long working hours||Members to work for less than 40 hours per week||At most 40-hour workweek implemented|
|Lack of breaks||Members need breaks||Not addressed|
|Lack of overtime payment||Members need overtime payment||Workers paid overtime wages|
|Poor lighting||Members need properly lit work environment||Canopy lights were installed at all the stores|
|Lonely working environment at night||Members should work in groups, no lone working||Policy adopted to prevent lone working|
|Poor working conditions||Need better vacation policy, improved health-care benefits, sick days, and change in holiday hours for pay, recognition of seniority ranks, and improved security systems.||Policy implemented.
Workers given improvements in life, major medical, and accident insurance plans, in addition to death and family benefits and a revised disciplinary appeal system.
|High insecurity||Company to provide enough security||Not addressed|
|Right to join unions||Needs workers to join union||Threatens workers from joining|
|Freedom to solicitation||Demands freedom of solicitation||Enforces a no solicitation policy|
Unfair labor practice claim(s)
The sales assistants working across the seven hundred stores complain of bad working conditions. The murder of one of their own is reminiscent of poor working conditions. One of the unfair labor practices is long working hours. The workers claim that they needed to work for less than 40 hours per week instead of being overworked. The workers also complain of lack of breaks and lack of payment for overtime. Furthermore, the workers allege that they work alone at night in poorly lit stores. Poor lighting and lack of company contribute to high insecurity which might have led to the murder of one sales assistant.
Union’s position for each claims
The work of the union is to defend the rights of the workers (Dawkins, 2016). The union sent representatives to sixty stores in the area where the murder had taken place and left union authorization cards. The union will accuse the company of intimidating the workers and prohibiting them from joining the union. By threatening to dismiss employees who joined the union, the company violated their rights. At the same time, the “no solicitation” policy is an infringement to the union’s oversight roles.
Company’s position for each claim
To answer to the litigation, the company will explain what it has done to address the issues raised by the workers and the union. Firstly, the company notified the union promptly of the injunction which had been issued prohibiting solicitation on company property. The company tool prompt action to address the workers’ issues (Howell, 2015). The company organized a meeting with the store managers and discussed on how to improve security while reminding them of the “no solicitation” policy. The company can defend itself by saying that it organized for a meeting with the sales assistants and asked them to voice their grievances. It also paid the sales assistants who attended the meeting, refuting claims that it does not pay them. Concerning the working hours, the company directed all regional personnel to ensure that the sales assistants a 40-hour workweek. The company installed canopy lights and enforced a policy disallowing lone workers at night. Furthermore, the sales assistants started receiving overtime wages. The company further organized a meeting with the workers, chose representatives and outlined contentious issues for discussion. The company also introduced favorable working conditions as demanded by the Employee Management Committee.
The company addresses all issues raised by the sales assistants to prevent any litigation. The workers have a right to demand for better working conditions and the right to join the union. The union also has a right to protect the needs of the workers by ensuring that they work in good environments (Hagedorn, Paras, Greenwich, & Hagopian, 2016). The workers still have a chance to fight for the rights to join unions.
Tait, V. (2016). Poor Worker’s Unions: Rebuilding Labor from Below (Completely Revised and Updated Edition). Haymarket Books.
Hagedorn, J., Paras, C. A., Greenwich, H., & Hagopian, A. (2016). The role of labor unions in creating working conditions that promotes public health. American journal of public health, 106(6), 989-995.
Dawkins, C. E. (2016). A test of labor union social responsibility: Effects on union member attachment. Business & Society, 55(2), 214-245.
Howell, C. (2015). The changing relationship between labor and the state in contemporary capitalism. Law, Culture and the Humanities, 11(1), 6-16.