Source: Leisha DeHart-Davis, Randall S. Davis and Zachary Mohr, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Volume 25 Issue 3, July 2015
From the abstract:
Organizational rules are the backdrop of public employee life, with research suggesting both beneficial and harmful effects to employee morale. In contrast to the traditional approach of comparing employee morale in workplaces with higher versus lower levels of rules, this study examines the relationship between specific attributes of organizational rules and job satisfaction. A combination of three organizational rule attributes is expected to increase job satisfaction: consistent rule application (which conveys procedural fairness), optimal rule control (which suggests elements of self-determination), and rule formalization (pertaining to the written quality of organizational rules). Applying structural equation modeling to survey data collected from the employees of two local government organizations (n = 1,655), we observe a significant and positive relationship between consistent rule application, optimal control, and job satisfaction, but no direct relationship between rule formalization and job satisfaction. These results suggest that job satisfaction depends more on how rules are designed and implemented rather than the extent of rules in organizational structure. Future studies will need to account for specific attributes of organizational rules to fully understand the effects on public employee morale.
Source: Steven Greenhouse, The Atlantic, June 8, 2015
How America’s largest private employer convinces its employees that they shouldn’t unionize. …. With 1.3 million U.S. employees—more than the population of Vermont and Wyoming combined—Walmart is by far the nation’s largest private-sector employer. It’s also one of the nation’s most aggressive anti-union companies, with a long history of trying to squelch unionization efforts. ….
Source: Scott Hochberg, OnLabor blog, May 20, 2015
The NLRB’s power to remedy violations of §8 of the NLRA is usually quite limited: it can issue cease and desist letters, order the parties to bargain in good faith, and require reinstatement and backpay for individual employees (along with several less common remedies). The Board’s authority derives from §10 of the NLRA, which the Supreme Court has interpreted as being entirely remedial; under the Court’s caselaw, the Board is not empowered to issue punitive remedies. Some have criticized this remedial scheme as overly circumscribed, allowing for little flexibility to deter willful or repeat violations of the Act. In Fallbrook Hospital Corporation v. NLRB, the DC Circuit recently opened the door for unions to recover the costs incurred while dealing with an employer that has negotiated in bad faith—at least if the violations were repeated and egregious. A discussion of the case and its meaning for labor-management negotiations follows.
Source: Tony Dundon, Tony Dobbins, Work Employment & Society, Published online before print March 9, 2015
From the abstract:
The sociological understandings of both cooperation and resistance at work are complex. This article contributes to knowledge about dialectic tensions concerning both collaborative and conflictual workforce orientations in the context of a ‘pre-arranged’ union-management partnership agreement. It reports unofficial workforce militancy in opposition to both management and union policy regarding a socially constructed cooperative work regime. The article advances a ‘radical pluralist’ analysis to understand the formation of worker interests and attendant workforce orientations within capitalism.
Source: Dionne M. Pohler, Andrew A. Luchak, Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 67 No. 4, October 2014
From the abstract:
Theory and research surrounding employee voice in organizations have often treated high-involvement work practices (HIWPs) as substitutes for unions. Drawing on recent theoretical developments in the field of industrial relations, specifically the collective voice/institutional response model of union impact and research on HIWPs in organizations, the authors propose that these institutions are better seen as complements whereby greater balance is achieved between efficiency, equity, and voice when HIWPs are implemented in the presence of unions. Based on a national sample of Canadian organizations, they find employees covered by a union experience fewer intensification pressures under higher levels of diffusion of HIWPs such that they work less unpaid overtime, have fewer grievances, and take fewer paid sick days. Job satisfaction is maximized under the combination of unions and HIWPs.
Source: Chris Maisano, In These Times, Working in These Times blog, January 12, 2015
As late as 2008, it was not unreasonable to think that the stars were aligning for a long-awaited revitalization of the U.S. labor movement. The financial crisis focused popular anger on the Wall Street financiers whose speculative activities brought the global economy to the brink of collapse. The election of Barack Obama and Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress raised labor’s hopes for the passage of an economic recovery program and long-sought labor law reforms. …. It didn’t happen. Labor law reform was sidelined in favor of health care reform, and the Republicans rolled up big electoral wins at all levels in 2010 and 2014. Despite widespread popular anger at the multi-trillion-dollar bank bailouts, the financial sector has come out of the crisis stronger, and corporate profits are at record levels. Economic inequality has continued its upward path. …. But what if the labor movement gave up on the practice of exclusive representation and embraced members-only unionism, as was common through the 1940s? What if it scrapped the winner-take-all approach and organized workers even when they didn’t have majority support? Doing so would relieve unions of the requirement to represent everybody and allow them to bargain for only those workers who voluntarily chose to be members…..
Source: Douglas Williams, In These Times, Working in These Times blog, December 15, 2014
…There’s absolutely no doubt that if workers are going to ultimately make their own destiny that a new model or approach is needed for unions. One that has been proposed, separately by the UAW at the much-discussed Chattanooga, Tennessee, Volkwagen plant, by Harvard Law School professor Benjamin Sachs, and by labor lawyer and writer Tom Geoghegan is the implementation of works councils in the United States.
The works council model is one that is used across Europe, with the most prominent examples being in Germany, although such councils also exist in the United Kingdom, France, and Belgium. There, employees are elected to four-year terms on the works council, where they negotiate the terms of employment and workplace conditions with the employer….
Source: Charley Richardson, Labor Notes, August 1, 2014
The union should approach every meeting of a Labor-Management Committee with the same mindset that it would bring to contract bargaining, never forgetting that management’s goals and the union’s are distinct.
Source: Carl Ratner, Grassroots Economic Organizing (GEO), GEO Newsletter, August 20, 2014
…A recent conflict between management and employees at North Coast illustrates how corporate cooperativism can harm genuine cooperation between management and workers….
Source: Heather Kerrigan, Governing, August 21, 2014
In an unusual approach to boosting employee engagement, the state is bringing in the unions to solve problems before they happen.