The first step in a collective bargaining process is to prepare for a negotiation. Both the union and the employer’s representatives will develop issues and determine whether there is a need to negotiate. The process entails forming a negotiating team. Moreover, negotiation is explained as the process whereby two parties try to reach an agreement on matters where they differ in goals, interest, belief or values (National Labor Relation Board, n.d). The negotiators have the role of building credibility with the other team to find a common ground, learn the other person’s stand and share information that will persuade them to settle for an agreed outcome. Besides, the teams should have vast knowledge and skills for negotiation.
The case about bankruptcy raised by Mr. Carty attempted to replace the old contract. The details of the new contract were to lower the cost and have the opportunity to work with flexibility. However, before the negotiation process, the management or the company will have to review their current contract. The management should identify contract issues they wish to address during the negotiation process. Such issues include the provisions in the contract that are ambiguous and might limit the plans of the company (National Labor Relation Board, n.d). Precisely, the board should examine the short-term and long-term goals and the company’s priorities. Similarly, they should study carefully about the labor union with which they are to bargain. The company will research and understand the union’s background, contract with other industries and also the personal traits of the union negotiators.
Also, the company will have to study what other organization with similar case do in such a situation. They should compare the salaries and benefits of employees from other similar institutions. What kind of raises or pay cuts do the groups set? Therefore, by getting a comparative data, they can put the unions’ demand into perspective. They should also know what to anticipate from the economy in the future. Moreover, the company should have a vivid explanation of what it can expect the union to ask. It means that the company should have a comprehensive and accurate record of what transpired. Lastly, the company should adjust its bargaining strategy to equal the bargaining power of the union.
The Taft-Hartley Act came into practice after the Congress revised the Wagner Act in the year 1947 (National Labor Relation Board, n.d). The Taft-Hartley Act has the same clauses as the Wagner Act, but it only added a few changes. Whereas the Wagner Act emphasized on the right to participate in labor union activities, the Taft-Hartley was passed to benefit all parties to a labor agreement. The Act required parties involved in a labor contract to bargain collectively and in good faith (National Labor Relation Board, n.d). In this scenario, Mr. Carty was referring to National Mediation Board (NMB) as the government agency that involved in labor relations.
The federal agency has the role in providing labor management guidance to the railway and airline industries. I chose this government agency because Mr. Carty was working with American Airlines and the National Mediation Board is an independent federal government agency that facilitate interstate commerce within railroad and airline industries. The National Mediation Board settles labor-management disputes through mediation, representation, and arbitration (United States Department of Labor, n.d). First, it promotes mediation of collective bargaining disputes. The Railway Labor Act requires the parties involved to ensure that they maintain collective bargaining agreement. Therefore, the NMB has been assigned the task to mediate disputes in case the parties fail to reach the agreement. Second, through representation, the NMB holds elections to determine unions employees would like to be represented (United States Department of Labor, n.d). Similarly, the federal agency ensures that the election is conducted in a free and fair manner without interference or influence. Lastly, NMB offers Arbitration of cases relating to collective bargaining and were not resolved through mediation. Moreover, it also provides funds for specific types of railroads employee-grievance arbitration case.
Mr. Carty’s comments on disclosing the executive benefits and convincing employees to take a pay cut are something that the unions representing American Airlines employees would totally disagree. The unions will have a negative response towards the comment; hence, they will react angrily to the actions taken by Mr. Carty. The work of the unions is to protect the interest of the employees. Also, the unions might respond and call for a new election on their shares. The union officials will consider starting the process for members to vote. In my opinion, I would expect the unions to react negatively to the actions taken by the American since it would not be fair to approve bonuses and payment of pension to executives while the workers take a deep pay cut. Moreover, Mr. Carty made a big mistake by not informing the workers sooner about the decision made. Also, the leaders of the unions would consider telling the president of the American Airlines not to sign the ratification papers. Besides, the decision on whether the president would sign the agreement depends on the best interests the American Airlines and the pilots.
National Labor Relation Board. (n.d). 1947 Taft-Hartley substantive provisions. Retrieved from https://www.nlrb.gov/who-we-are/our-history/1947-taft-hartley-substantive-provisions
United States Department of Labor. (n.d). Labor relations. Retrieved from http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/labor-relations/
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