Evaluate the various claims made by the union and counterclaims made by the company regarding the charges of unfair labor practices. Which of the arguments are most persuasive? Was the statement by Nord to Snow on the date of the representational election a threat or a legitimate prediction and personal opinion protected by the free speech provisions of the act? Why, or why not?
Was the company obligated to accept the union’s majority status claim on the basis of the authorization cards submitted by the union? Explain your answer.
If the company is found to have violated the act, what would be the appropriate remedy: a bargaining order or a new election? Explain your answer……….
From the claims made by both the union and the company l believe that the union had a stronger case than the company since some of the claims they had against the company were in line with the LMRA act under the section of unfair labor practices section 8(a). They claimed the following had been done:
The company repeatedly interrogated the employees concerning their union activities; this is evidenced in the case when the company’s maintenance supervisor talked to some o the employees asking them about the union’s visit. He telephoned George Thompson, talked to Alice Coleman, he interrogated Theo Ewing and also Gloria Greer. While doing this he violated the National Labor Relations Act Section 8(a) (1). Which states it shall be an unfair labor practice for an employer “to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed by section 7” (Fortado, n.d)
The supervisor also threatened Mr. Theo Ewing that he had everything because he had given him and that he had the last chance to tell him what was happening with the union. The threatening of employees is also evidenced when the new supervisor Leo Nord told Cecil Snow on the day o the elections that if the union won then the employer would take away the free rent apartments from the janitor’s help and charge the head janitor for the second bedroom in their apartments.” (Ivancevich, 2010).
The employers also promised the employees that it was going to improve their sickness and health benefit program including a new benefit to cover maternity expenses for employees and their spouses. Even though the company claimed that it was part of their annual review which comes during the Christmas season, it still sounds like a payoff to the employees so that they would not sign with the union. Since if they wanted to improve their employees’ health cover they should not have waited until the union offered to represent the employees for them say that they are reviewing it.
The company tried on their part to say that it had not violated any right since it did not know what their former supervisor Larry Melton was doing. This is lie since it is very unlikely that the owner of the company did not know what their own supervisor did yet he was the one in charge of the company on their behalf. It is a fact when sitting on the supervisor’s chair one is meant to sit in for the employers and everything one does will be with the approval or the knowledge of the employer.
Concerning Melton’s statement to Ewing there was nothing vague about it and anyone would conclude that it was meant to be a warning or a threat. Even though the company said that by the time the elections were held Melton had no influence over the employees was a bit wrong since Melton was just but an employee for the company and he had no authority to come up with policies without the employer’s approval so regardless of him being there or not he was just delivering the message of his superiors which could be done by any other person who will hold the same position.
When Nord talked to Cecil Snow on the day of the election he was threatening the employees since he specifically told her that “if the union were to win the elections then the employer would take the rent free apartments away from the janitor’s help and charge the head janitors for the second bedroom in their apartments.” (Ivancevich, 2010).This statement clearly is a threat that if the employees voted for the union then the employers they will start charging them rent for their houses.
The company was obligated to accept the authorization cards form the union since this authorization cards came on the day the union had the meeting with the employees. To add to the matter the authorization cards were signed by the employees so there is no way that the union could have gotten the employees to sign without their approval. The signing by the employee signified their acceptance to deal with the union. This was like a contract between the two parties that they had accepted to have a relationship together. Furthermore the company had no evidence that the employees had been coerced into signing the authorization by the union so it is ok to state that they signed the authorization on their own free will and hence had entered a contract that was binding between them and the union.
I believe if the company was found to have violated the act it would be only fair for the union to be granted a bargaining order ordering the company to acknowledge the union since it had authorization cards from 6 out of 4 employees because there is no telling if the company will not use its influence again to coerce the employees not to sign with the union by threatening them or offering them rewards so that they won’t sign with the union to be represented with them
Fortado B. Unfair Labor Practices (ULPs) MAN 4401/6411 Labor Relations University of North
Ivancevich, J. M. (2010). Human resource management 11th edition, New York, NY: McGraw- Hill. Pg 503-505
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