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ESSAY: Union contracts

1. With respect to large unions with a national presence, should prerogatives at the local or national level take higher priority when negotiating new agreements with employers? For example, if a new union were voted in to represent Walmart employees, would it be better if the union negotiated one big nation-wide contract for all stores and all employees? Or would it be better for the union to negotiate different terms at the individual store level (i.e. treating each store as a separate employer)? Explain your reasoning.

2. Insofar as impasses are concerned, do you think the rules concerning the use of strikes and lockouts are fair and balanced between unions and employers? Does either side have stronger leverage with respect to these tools? Why or why not?


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Question 1

The work of a labor union is important in as far as representing the interests of its members is concerned. In most cases, unions will have representation right from local level to the national level. The question however arises whether representation should be at local or national level when need for negotiation arises. I believe that it is more effective when a union negotiates on a national scale rather on a local since on a national scale, the voice of national officials is more commanding as compared to the voice of officials representing local levels.

Negotiating different terms of Walmart’s individual stores could be risky as federal court battles may refute any signed collective bargaining agreements. For the sake of making the negotiation more vibrant and more legally binding, unions should not treat Collective Bargaining Agreements’ on individual store level.

Question 2 Use of strikes and lockouts can be one of the effective ways that employers and employees can solve their grievances over collective bargaining agreements. Even though such options may disrupt the normal operations of a given organization, the interests of employees are protected in law and they have the right to picket, demonstrate and even go on strike as in most cases that is the only voice that most employers will adhere to (Ash, MacLeod, & Naidu, 2018). Furthermore, by the time unions opt to go on strike, chances are that a table negotiations was undertaken but their interests were still not addressed. While using these tools, unions will always have a stronger leverage as compared to the employer. The ball will have moved from the union seeking audience to the employer trying to get audience

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