Case Study Analysis
The case presents Local 974 of the United Tire workers of America who have gone on strike because of negotiation failure on their wages with the management of North America Tire plant in Bailey Georgia. Two issues are arising from the case making the union workers feel mistreated by the administration. First, the management is paying their wages based on the geographical region of Bailey, Georgia which the union workers feel that it is below the industrial standards. Second, the management started hiring workers to replace the striking union members.
Question 1: Pros and Cons of the Strategy of hire and replace
One advantage of the strategy is that it will maintain company production while workers are on strike as it continues to negotiate. The strike may last for many days making the company lose customers and make losses. Replacement of workers temporarily will solve the problems. Replacement will also favor the management in negotiations with workers since they will feel that their job positions face a threat. The workers will lower their demands to avoid losing their jobs. One of the disadvantages of the strategy is that the company loses more money and time in training the hired employees than it could have with the permanent employees on strike. Also, there will be conflicts between the hired temporal workers and the permanent ones because their wages are not the same with similar job positions leading to low productivity.
The management behavior is ethical since it is maintaining its market share through continuous production as it negotiates with the striking workers. The company does not have an intended unlawful purpose to replace or break the union. It aims at ensuring that there is no loss caused by its disagreement with the workers. If the company loses customers and closes as a result of the strike, even the striking employees will lose their jobs, and therefore, their move to replace is justified.
Question 2: Disadvantages and Advantages of using the Strategy to Break the Union
The strategy involves creating higher demands for workers and failing to accept their applications to show that they are not willing to work and then replace them. Some of the workers will feel that the union is not representing them well and decide to go back to work on their own. The company will end up having employees without a union since the hired employees together with the ones who will feel that the union is failing them will have individual contracts.
One advantage of the strategy is that the public and labor forces will not assume that the company aimed at firing striking workers. It is a hidden way that does not expose the company’s intention which would make it face the law. Firing striking workers without a proper reason which the tire plant did not have is unethical, and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) prohibits it. Another advantage is that the company will not appear as if it aimed at ending the union to have nonunion workers like the other plants. Employees are allowed to form unions to have higher bargaining power. It is unethical and unlawful to deny them the right to form a union according to the NLRB. One disadvantage of the strategy is that the North America Tire will be seen by the labor force to threaten its striking employees and the union and therefore lose trust from the potential workers. It is unethical for the company to threaten striking employees while they negotiate their terms. Employees strike ethical as it is the only weapon at their disposal for negotiations.
Question 3: Standard which the firm should use in setting the wages
The firm should use industrial standard because the amount of work the workers are doing is the same regardless of the location of other plants. Whether the cost of living in Bailey Georgia is low compared to other areas, the work input is the same, and therefore the workers should have equal compensation. By using geographical standard, the company is taking advantage of the poverty in the area to make more returns which is not ethical. Industrial standards ensure firms pay workers according to the work output and returns made by firms hence proper compensation for the work done.
The scriptural principle of equality in wages can be used to determine salaries for the employees in the firm. Jesus in Mathew 20: 1-16 gives the parable of workers in the vineyard where everyone was to receive equal pay regardless of the time of reporting. Jesus argues that all people have similar needs no matter where they live or what they do. The same case applies to those in Bailey Georgia who have the same needs with those from rich locations and therefore deserve equal pay. Deuteronomy 24:14-15 warns employees against oppressing servants by poverty. The principle is applicable in the firm to use industrial pay standard which does not discriminate against regional wealth.
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