Article Critique Hurd, R. W. (2013). Moving beyond the critical synthesis: Does the law preclude a future for US unions? Labor History, 54(2), 193-200. This article is a reflective essay that assesses

Our papers are 100% unique and written following academic standards and provided requirements. Get perfect grades by consistently using our writing services. Place your order and get a quality paper today. Rely on us and be on schedule! With our help, you'll never have to worry about deadlines again. Take advantage of our current 20% discount by using the coupon code GET20

Order a Similar Paper Order a Different Paper

Article Critique

Hurd, R. W. (2013). Moving beyond the critical synthesis: Does the law preclude a future for US unions?

Labor History

, 54(2), 193-200.

This article is a reflective essay that assesses the strength of comments made by Christopher L. Tomlins in his book

The State and Unions

(1985), which looks back over the past quarter century. Various predictions were made concerning union decline and failed revival efforts as well as counterfeit rights offered to the U.S. working class.

Using all of the knowledge accumulated in this unit and in previous units, write a critique of the article. You may use other academic resources to support your points as necessary. Your critique must be at least three pages in length.

Your critique should address the questions below.

  • What are the author’s main points?
  • Do the arguments presented by the author support the main point?
  • What evidence supports the main point? For example, if Tomlin’s thesis that the New Deal offered only a counterfeit liberty to labor is true, what effect does that have on employee morale?
  • Briefly describe two collective bargaining strategies companies use when dealing with unions. How can these strategies affect employee morale?
  • What is your opinion of the article?
  • What evidence, either from the textbook or from additional sources, supports your opinion?

Be sure to follow the guidelines below.

  • Accurately identify the premise and supporting points from the article.
  • Provide an insightful and thorough analysis of the information from the article, including using evidence as well as reasonable and compelling interpretations.
  • Link material to course content and real-world situations.
  • Organize the material logically by using smooth transitions and by grouping similar material together.
  • Cite all sources used; paraphrased and quoted material must have accompanying citations in APA format.

Article Critique Hurd, R. W. (2013). Moving beyond the critical synthesis: Does the law preclude a future for US unions? Labor History, 54(2), 193-200. This article is a reflective essay that assesses
Moving beyond the critical synthesis: does the law preclude a future for US unions? Richard W. Hurd* Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA This retrospective essay on Tomlins’ The State and Unions assesses the durability of his observations in light of developments over the past quarter century. The decline of unions in the context of minimal protections offered under contemporary labor law seems to t Tomlins’ thesis that the New Deal offered only a counterfeit liberty to labor. A brief review of failed efforts at union revitalization demonstrates that labor’s waning fortunes are as much a sign of institutional rigidity and internal weakness as result of external constraints. Any current semblance of liberty offered to the U.S. working class is indeed counterfeit, but the source of fraud is the full set of neoliberal economic policies, not the narrow constraints of labor law alone. As Jean-Christian Vinel reminds us, when Christopher Tomlins’The State and Unionswas published in 1985 it was embraced by left academics as a ‘devastating analysis of the labor relations regime erected by Progressive and New Deal reformers.’ Indeed Tomlins’ portrayal of the original National Labor Relation Act (NLRA) as the foundation of a set of ‘legal rules and institutional constraints’ that would curb workers militance and ultimately weaken the labor movement was particularly pertinent in the mid-1980s. At that juncture, private sector union density was in sharp decline, and even prominent labor leaders seemed to be echoing Tomlins with their outspoken criticism of the law and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Vinel appropriately positions Tomlins contribution within an interdisciplinary paradigm that he labels the ‘critical synthesis’ encompassing New Left social scientists and Critical Legal scholars. Indeed those of us with roots in the New Left greeted Tomlins work as a vindication of our skepticism regarding the New Deal and its supposed left- progressive tilt, and as a piece of thorough scholarship that con rmed our own less well- framed arguments. 1 Of courseThe State and the Unionswas not met with universal praise, but like all good scholarship served as a catalyst for healthy debate. As noted by Vinel, among the critics was Melvyn Dubofsky, who questioned whether a militant labor movement would have emerged even if con ict had not been channeled into the bureaucratic procedures of the NLRB. Dubofsky went beyond this basic criticism (which was raised as well by others at the time) and also disagreed with Tomlins’ main thesis, arguing instead that the law and its administration can be understood only in the broader context of shifting economic and political power relations. 2The latter point has been developed more fully by James Gross q2013 Taylor & Francis *Email: [email protected] Labor History, 2013 Vol. 54, No. 2, 193–200, in his three-volume history of the NLRB, the rst two of which were published before Tomlins’ book. 3 Perhaps more intriguing as we look back on Tomlins’ contribution is the reaction of Craig Becker in a full-lengthHarvard Law Reviewarticle, relevant for both its content and its author. Parallel to Dubofsky, Becker argued that Tomlins failed to appreciate internal complexities of the labor movement and its responses to the NLRA. Furthermore, although agreeing that the New Deal ‘was hardly an unalloyed victory for unions,’ Becker chided Tomlins for dismissing ‘far too hastily the rights the NLRA afforded labor.’ 4Given Becker’s recent position on the NLRB (as an Obama recess appointee loudly condemned by the Republican right), a careful read of his reaction toThe State and the Unionsshould prove valuable for those who are monitoring the actions of the Board a quarter of a century later. Indeed, even those of us who praised Tomlins in the mid-1980s have cause to re- evaluate the ef cacy of his damning of the NLRA. Vinel captures this revised perspective in his thoughtful essay when he notes, ‘Thirty years of conservative rule have fundamentally changed the debate on the merits of the system created by the pluralists of the 1930s.’ The New Deal may have done less to create a just society than recalled by champions of Franklin Delano Roosevelt among historians and labor relations academics, but it most certainly offered more to workers and unions that the current neoliberalism that dominates the thinking and policies of both major political parties. To fully appreciate how a recasting of Tomlins may make sense in light of what has transpired over the succeeding quarter century, we need to go beyond Vinel’s rendering and consider developments in union strategy and practice, including the push for labor law reform that has dominated the political agenda of unions since before the Reagan era. Union transformation: the search for a militant working class As if on cue from Tomlins and the publication of his book, 1985 was a pivotal year for the labor movement with the release of the American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO’s) blueprint for revitalization,The Changing Situation of Workers and Their Unions. The culmination of a strategic planning process that involved the presidents of most major unions,The Changing Situation, offered ve sets of recommendations, two of which are relevant here: increase member participation/activism and improve organizing methods. 5 Initiatives to address members’ apathy were initially framed as internal organizing, then later as theorganizing modelthat was contrasted with theservicing model, or the traditional insurance agent approach to union representation. 6Most unions endorsed the organizing modelat least rhetorically, and several initiated broad-based efforts to inspire activism and militancy. For example, the Communications Workers of America devoted considerable resources to a mobilization structure that increased member involvement in both workplace actions and coalitions with other unions and community organizations. 7 Similarly, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) designed a contract campaign framework to increase militancy during contract negotiations, 8and encouraged locals to experiment with approaches to implement theorganizing modelin all aspects of their work. On the external organizing front, the AFL-CIO created the Organizing Institute (OI) to recruit, train, and place union organizers. The OI adopted a grassroots style that paralleledR.W. Hurd 194 the mobilization efforts being developed to increase member activism. This bottom-up organizing contrasted with the traditional method of selling union representation to prospective customers. By the mid-1990s there were hundreds of OI trained organizers working in the labor movement, and the OI method of member recruitment was accepted as the preferred ‘model’ of organizing. Perhaps because of the parallels to the mobilization of current members being promoted simultaneously, it became common for those in union circles to refer to the OI style as theorganizing model. Thus, for the past 15 plus years, the term has been used indiscriminately to refer to both internal and external organizing with an activist core. 9 In spite of nearly a decade of concerted efforts to build an activist culture, union density continued to decline into the mid-1990s. Frustration among the more engaged elements of the labor movement culminated in a successful effort to oust long time President Lane Kirkland and elect a new slate of AFL-CIO of cers in 1995: John Sweeney, Richard Trumka, and Linda Chavez-Thompson. This ‘New Voice’ team promised to ‘organize at a pace and scale that is unprecedented.’ 10 Under the strategic guidance of Richard Bensinger, who moved from the OI to become Organizing Director, a blueprint for growth was adopted and vigorously promoted as ‘Organizing for Change, Changing to Organize.’ 11 These efforts at revitalization are relevant to an assessment of Tomlins’ enduring contribution because they offered the potential for radical change in organized labor even within constraints of the NLRA framework. Indeed speci c unions and groups of unions began to look tantalizingly like a left, militant labor movement. Many of us in scholarly circles reported, analyzed, and hailed the transformation in progress as the beginning of a new social movement unionism, or social justice unionism. 12 The enthusiasm was never fully justi ed. It became clear within relatively few years that the internal application of theorganizing modelwas proving to be dif cult except during the period immediately preceding the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement. Even then, mobilization required careful planning and intense efforts by staff and elected leaders. Burnout was a common problem, and rank-and- le enthusiasm was dif cult to sustain. It seemed that union members did not have a taste for perpetual warfare, preferring stability rather than class struggle. 13 External organizing seemed to offer more potential, especially with enthusiastic leadership from John Sweeney and the AFL-ICO. But the Changing to Organize agenda included not only a grassroots approach (which proved threatening to elected leaders at the local level) but also a substantial shift of resources. Individual national unions were happy to proclaim support for the organizing priority, but union of cers jealously guarded their authority over resource allocation, organizing strategy, target selection, and all decisions regarding coordination with other unions. Efforts by the AFL-CIO to take the strategic lead and build a movement wide growth agenda were effectively rejected. 14 The end result was continued decline, and growing frustration among those unions that were most committed to the organizing priority. Dissension came to a head in 2005 when the SEIU led the exodus of six key unions from the AFL-CIO to form Change to Win (CTW). Some saw the new federation as yet another sign that union revitalization was still vibrant, and indeed for the rst few years strategic coordination among CTW unions suggested potential vitality. But internal warfare at SEIU and UNITE-HERE undermined potential gains. Realistically, the split and subsequent events merely sealed the fate of a 24-year failed attempt to transform and revitalize a declining movement. 15 Labor History195 Could labor’s failure to rekindle the ames of rank-and- le militancy be blamed on the strictures of law, and therefore be interpreted as a con rmation of the durability of Tomlins thesis over time? Perhaps but other factors were clearly also at play. As Vinel reminds us, many scholars have expressed doubts that there was ever any real potential for a left- progressive labor movement in the USA. For these skeptics, it was not the law that de- radicalized unions in the 1940s and 1950s; labor de-radicalized itself. Similarly, over the past 20 years the inability to overcome institutional rigidity and build a more activist movement is as much a sign of internal weakness as of external constraints. Unions and the law: labor’s campaign to restore the promise of the Wagner Act Vinel presents us with two complementary interpretations of labor’s view of the law. First, based on public posturing by two prominent labor leaders in the 1980s, Vinel asserts that ‘Tomlins’ conclusions gained particular favor. Second, Vinel proclaims that in recent years labor has pursued a ‘new progressive statist agenda’ with its campaign for the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA). A careful review of criticisms of the NLRB in the 1980s, and of the labor movement’s political program reveals neither an embrace of Tomlins nor anewprogressive agenda. Regarding labor’s supposed endorsement of Tomlins’ thesis, Vinel relies on quotes from AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland and United Mineworkers of America President Richard Trumka. Kirkland’s call for a return to ‘the law of the jungle’ (repeated several times during the 1980s) should be interpreted in light of his reputation for bombast and rhetorical ourish. Samuel Estreicher and Matthew Bodie appropriately suggest that Kirkland made this proclamation ‘with tongue rmly implanted in cheek.’ 16Kirkland’s wrath was aimed not at the law itself, but at the Reagan presidency (which he described as ‘guided doggedly by myth and fallacy’), and particularly at the decisions of the NLRB during the Reagan years. As for the New Deal, Kirkland was an enthusiast and particularly fond of Senator Wagner. 17 Vinel’s claim that Trumka ‘rejected the Progressive ideal of administrative government through experts and agencies’ is also misleading. Indeed Trumka did write ‘abolish the Act’ in a law review article, but as with Kirkland this was to drive home his criticism of the Reagan NLRB. In the same article he was explicit about this distinction, arguing that ‘labor law has become a dangerous farce’ because ‘the National Labor Relations Board has transformed itself under Ronald Regan into an active and conscious proponent of the destruction of unions.’ In contrast, he praised NLRB decisions during the Ford and Carter administrations. It was the NLRB headed by Reagan appointee Donald Dotson that Trumka condemned, not the Wagner Act itself, whose underpinnings he described as ‘fairness, rights of employees, and collective bargaining.’ 18 As this brief review of the essence of Kirkland’s and Trumka’s position regarding the NLRA should make clear, labor did not accept Tomlin’s perspective of the law as offering a ‘counterfeit liberty’ that had from the outset put unions ‘on a road of secular stagnation and decline.’ Rather, organized labor’s of cial position (and the personal views of most prominent labor leaders) consistently has been much closer to James Gross’s analysis: the intent of the Wagner Act was frustrated by the Taft-Hartley amendments, the politicization of the NLRB, and substantial intervention into labor policy by a conservative judiciary. 19 This perspective is even more obvious when we consider labor’s efforts to reform the law. Labor’s political program dating back to the Carter administration is most accurately de ned as an effort to return to the original purposes of the Wagner Act. In 1977, theR.W. Hurd 196 Carter Administration introduced a set of proposed amendments to the NLRA that was strongly supported by unions. The Labor Reform Act of 1977 would have accelerated the representation election process, increased penalties for unfair labor practice (ULP) violations related to illegal discharge for union activity, and provided for automatic wage increases based on a Bureau of Labor Statistics index in those rst contract negotiations in which employers refused to bargain. Testifying before the Senate on behalf of the AFL- CIO, Lane Kirkland expressed regret that the proposal did not provide for the repeal of key anti-labor provisions of Taft-Hartley, but nonetheless praised the bill because it would further ‘the effective pursuit of the basic purpose of the Act, which is to assure the worker the right to be represented.’ 20 The bill passed the House but fell two votes short of the super majority required to stop debate in the Senate. Sixteen years later, during the Clinton administration, reform again seemed possible when the Secretary of Labor appointed the Dunlop Commission (of cially the Commission on the Future of Worker – Management Relations). Testifying before the Commission, Lane Kirkland explicitly endorsed yet again the ‘policy embedded in the NLRA,’ which he described as promoting ‘private dispute resolution and labor- management cooperation.’ He went on to complain that this policy had been undermined by Congressional amendments and ‘sixty years of judicial interpretation.’ 21The AFL-CIO submitted to the Commission a detailed set of proposals that included repeal of many of the provisions of Taft-Hartley, plus these familiar changes in the representation process: increased penalties for ULP violations during union organizing campaigns, card-check certi cation, and rst contract arbitration. 22 Although the latter proposals were included (in modi ed form) in the Dunlop Commission’s recommendations, other aspects of its nal report were unsavory to the labor movement. This proved irrelevant when Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives in the 1994 elections which erased any chance of Congressional action. Ironically, the 1994 election defeat of labor- backed candidates also paved the way for the ouster of Land Kirkland at the AFL-CIO. Labor law reform was not a priority during the early years of the ‘New Voice’ leaders at the AFL-CIO, who were convinced that aggressive organizing could reverse labor’s fortunes even given the weak protections afforded by the law (especially with help from a labor friendly NLRB headed by William Gould). But the organizing program faltered as noted, and by 2000 the pursuit of labor law reform was renewed. Now the AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer, Richard Trumka, became a leading voice in the campaign. He argued that in order to succeed with the organizing priority, labor had to support the Democratic Party: ‘We can’t organize new workers unless we are successful politically…We should and must win labor law reform.’ 23 Although it had not yet been drafted, the 10-year campaign for the EFCA effectively began with the 2000 presidential elections. And what would EFCA have changed? Like the Carter amendments, it was restricted to securing representation rights; its provisions were similar to Carter’s and identical to the relevant portions of the AFL-CIO recommendations to the Dunlop Commission: EFCA would have eased union organizing by allowing card-check certi cation to replace elections in most cases, it would have increased penalties for management of ULPs, and it would have provided for arbitration of rst contracts if bargaining failed after certi cation. These modest proposals, patterned after Canadian practice, were designednotto replace the New Deal framework but to improve its effectiveness. There was not even an effort to repeal the more pernicious provisions of the Taft-Hartley amendments, such as restrictions or secondary boycotts and organizing strikes and those weakening union security.Labor History197 In contrast to Vinel’s presentation, then, the campaign for EFCA did not signify a new progressive statist agenda, but rather the continuation of labor’s long-term acceptance of the general framework of labor relations established by the Wagner Act. Had EFCA been enacted, some of the original promise of the Act would have been restored and it is possible that private sector union density would have increased modestly, but the Taft- Hartley restrictions on militance and state Right-to-Work laws would have remained, as would the inherent weakness in the duty-to-bargain provisions along with employers’ right to permanently replace striking workers. It is worth noting that the Obama NLRB is endeavoring to uphold recent member Becker’s 25-year-old assertion that the NLRA confers important rights for workers and unions. New rules proposed by the board would speed the certi cation process much like the Carter bill of old, and are being vigorously supported by the AFL-CIO. 24 Also the Board’s decisions have tilted in labor’s direction (consistent with Gross’s framework of a political process), including a rebuke of Boeing for relocating work from a unionized facility in Washington to a nonunion plant in South Carolina. 25 But alas, labor had a friendly board during the Clinton years as well, but was unable to overcome internal inertia and external economic hurdles to mount effective revitalization. Does the law preclude a future for US unions? With the failure of the campaign for EFCA and the continuing decline of unions in the private sector, the future of US labor appears to be bleak. As one leading union strategist proclaimed in a conversation withAmerican Prospecteditor Harold Meyerson, ‘It’s Over.’ 26Does this mean that the law as currently amended, interpreted and applied dooms labor to oblivion? It is easy to see how advocates for Tomlins’ basic analysis could make a strong case that his original conclusions have stood the test of time and have been con rmed by the disappearing US labor movement. Indeed, there is little doubt that in the early twenty- rst century any semblance of liberty offered to the US working class is counterfeit, much as Tomlins asserted regarding the New Deal policies of the 1930s. But the source of the contemporary fraud is the full set of neoliberal economic policies, not the narrow construct of labor law alone. Richard Trumka, now President of the AFL-CIO, explicitly recognizes the threat posed by neoliberalism, noting that ‘Workers voices have been silenced in the workplace.’ Although this recognition is paired with an overly sanguine portrayal of Roosevelt’s New Deal as ‘characterized by imagination and vision and a focus on the plight of the public,’ 27this is understandable given the dismal prospects faced by the movement he leads. In reality, of course, unions clearly share the blame for their own decline, and the limitations of labor law (including the Wagner Act and subsequent amendments) have certainly contributed. But in the current era it is deregulation, global free trade, privatization, and nancial market speculation that have combined to reshape labor and product markets, and thereby to undermine the potential of collective action and union power. It is in this vein that Vinel’s most salient observations are offered in his concluding section regarding the ‘Right Nation.’ Neoliberal ideas with roots in the Austrian school of economics now dominate the thinking of the Republican right, and inexplicably in uence even ‘left leaning’ Democrats and social democratic parties globally. It is only in this context that the EFCA campaign appeared to represent a new progressive agenda, although in reality it was little more that an effort to recapture a semblance of what theR.W. Hurd 198 New Deal promised. In retrospect, then, the Wagner Act may have offered a constrained liberty, but that liberty was far more real than what seems possible in the contemporary political wasteland. Notes on contributor Richard W. Hurd is Professor of Labor Studies at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He works closely with labor organizations on strategic issues including organizational change, internal and external organizing, and leadership development. A regular contributor to labor relations academic journals, he also has co-edited four volumes, three published by Cornell University Press –Rekindling the Movement(2001),Beyond the Organizing Model (1998), andRestoring the Promise of American Labor Law(1994), and one by Edward Elgar Publishing –International Handbook on Labour Unions – Responses to Neoliberalism(2011). Notes 1. See for example this author’s modest contribution published a decade earlier, Hurd, “New Deal Labor Policy.” 2. Dubofsky, “Review ofThe State and the Unions.” 3. Gross, The Making of the National Labor Relations Board; The Reshaping of the National Labor Relations Board; Broken Promises. 4. Becker, “Individual Rights and Collective Action,” 684. 5. AFL-CIO, The Changing Station of Workers and Their Unions, 23 – 4, 27 – 9. 6. AFL-CIO, Numbers That Count: a Manual on Internal Organizing, 6 – 7. 7. Communications Workers of America,Mobilization to Build Power. 8. Service Employees International Union,Contract Campaign Manual. 9. Hurd, “Rise and Fall of the Organizing Model,” 194 – 6. 10. Sweeney, Trumka, and Chavez-Thompson,A New Voice. 11. AFL-CIO, “Organizing for Change.” 12. Turner, Katz, and Hurd,Rekindling the Movement. 13. Hurd, “Rise and Fall of the Organizing Model,” 199. 14. Hurd, “The Failure of Organizing,” 10. 15. Milkman, “Divided We Stand”; Hurd, “US Labor 2006,” 318 – 9. 16. Estreicher and Bodie, “Administrative Delay at the NLRB,” 87. 17. Kirkland, “The Class of 1930 Fellowship,” 6. 18. Trumka, “Why Labor Law has Failed,” 871, 874, 877. 19. Gross, “The Demise of the National Labor Policy,” 46, 47, 49. 20. Kirkland, Statement of Lane Kirkland, Secretary Treasurer, 1589. 21. Kirkland, “Statement of Lane Kirkland,” 9, 20. 22. AFL-CIO, Recommendations of the AFL-CIO, 6, 10, 13. 23. Trumka, “Building to Win.” 24. Greenhouse, “NLRB Rules would Streamline Unionizing.” 25. Johnson and Snell, “Sparks Fly on NLRB’s Modest Proposal.” 26. Meyerson, “Labor’s Hail Mary Pass.” 27. Trumka, “The Crisis of Neo-liberlism,” 255, 264. References AFL-CIO, Committee on the Evolution of Work.The Changing Station of Workers and Their Unions. Washington, DC: AFL-CIO, February 1985. AFL-CIO, Department of Organization and Field Services.Numbers That Count: A Manual on Internal Organizing. Washington, DC: AFL-CIO, June 1988. AFL-CIO, Elected Leaders Task Force on Organizing.Organizing for Change, Changing to Organize!Washington, DC: AFL-CIO, 1996. Labor History199 AFL-CIO.Recommendations of the AFL-CIO to the Commission of the future of Worker – Management Relations Concerning Changes In the National Labor Relations Act and Related Laws. Washington, DC, September 8 AFL-CIO, 1994. Becker, Craig. “Individual Rights and Collective Action: the Legal History of Trade Unions in America.”Harvard Law Review100 (1987): 672 – 89. Communications Workers of America.Mobilizing to Build Power. Washington, DC: CWA, 1988. Dubofsky, Melvin. “Review ofThe State and the Unions, by Christopher Tomlins.”Law and History Review4 (1986): 470 – 3. Estreicher, Samuel, and Matthew Bodie. “Administrative Delay at the NLRB: Some Modest Proposals.”Journal of Labor ResearchXXIII (2002): 87 – 104. Greenhouse, Steven. “NLRB Rules Would Streamline Unionizing.”New York Times, June 21 (2011). Gross, James.Broken Promises: The Subversion of U.S. Labor Relations Policy. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 1995. Gross, James. “The Demise of the National Labor Policy: A Question of Social Justice.” InRestoring the Promise of American Labor Law, edited by Sheldon Friedman, Richard Hurd, Rudolph Oswald, and Ronald Seeber, 45 – 58. Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, 1994. Gross, James.The Making of the National Labor Relations Board. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1974. Gross, James.The Reshaping of the National Labor Relations Board. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1981. Hurd, Richard. “New Deal Labor Policy and the Containment of Radical Union Activity.”Review of Radical Political Economics8 (1976): 32 – 43. Hurd, Richard. “The Failure of Organizing, the New Unity Partnership and the Future of the Labor Movement.”Working USA8 (2004): 5 – 25. Hurd, Richard. “The Rise and Fall of the Organizing Model.” InTrade Unions and Democracy, edited by Mark Harcourt, and Geoffrey Wood, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2004. Hurd, Richard. “US Labor 2006: Strategic Developments Across the Divide.”Journal of Labor ResearchXXVII (2007): 313 – 25. Johnson, Fawn, and Kelsey Snell. “Fly on NLRB’s Modest Proposal.”National Journal Daily, June 21 (2011). Kirkland, Land.Statement of Lane Kirkland Before the Commission on the Future of Worker Management Relations. Washington, DC: Federal Publications, November 8 AFL-CIO, 1993. Kirkland, Lane. “Statement of Lane Kirkland, Secretary Treasurer, AFL-CIO.”Labor Reform Act of 1977, Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Labor of the Committee on Human Resources,Part 2, 1582 – 96. Washington, DC, November 4 US Senate, 1977. Ninety-Fifth Congress, First Session, Hearings on S. 1883. U.S. Government Printing Of ce. Kirkland, Lane.The Class of 1930 Fellowship: Public Lecture. Hanover, NH, October 4 Dartmouth College, 1982. Meyerson, Harold. “Labor’s Hail Mary Pass.”Washington Post, May 24 (2011). Milkman, Ruth. “Divided We Stand.”New Labor Forum15 (2006): 38 – 46. Service Employees International Union.Contract Campaign Manual. Washington, DC: SEIU, 1988. Sweeney, John, Trumka Richard, and Chavez-Thompson Linda.Rebuilding the American Labor Movement. Washington, DC: A New Voice for American Workers, 1995. Trumka, Richard. “Building to Win, Building to Last; A Response to Kazin and Singh.”New Labor Forum6 (2000): 44 – 6. Trumka, Richard. “The Crisis of Neo-Liberalism and the American Labor Movement.” InThe International Handbook of Labour Unions: Responses to New-Liberalism, edited by Gregor Gall, Adrian Wilkinson, and Richard Hurd, 249 – 69. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011. Trumka, Richard. “Why Labor Law has Failed.”West Virginia Law Review89 (1987): 871 – 82. Turner, Lowell, Katz Harry, and Hurd Richard.Rekindling the Movement: Labor’s Quest for Relevancy in the 21st Century. Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, 2001. R.W. Hurd 200 Copyright of Labor History is the property of Routledge and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.
Article Critique Hurd, R. W. (2013). Moving beyond the critical synthesis: Does the law preclude a future for US unions? Labor History, 54(2), 193-200. This article is a reflective essay that assesses
MHR 6451, Human Resource Management Methods 1 Cou rse Learning Outcomes for Unit VI Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to: 8. Analyze the impact of different collective bargaining strategies on employee morale. Reading Assignment In addition to the articles and videos listed directly in the Unit VI Lesson, the following items are also required. In order to access the following resources, click the links below. Hurd, R. W. (2013). Moving beyond the critical synthesis: Does the law preclude a future for US unions? Labor History , 54 (2), 193 -200. Retrieved from .aspx?direc t=true&db=bth&AN=87786622&site=ehost -live&scope=site Wachter, M. L. (2014). The striking success of the National Labor Relations Act. Regulation, 37 (1), 20 -26. Retrieved from t=true&db=bth&AN=9 5528882&site=ehost -live&scope=site Unit Lesson In order to access the following resource, click the link below. College of Business – CSU. (2016, September 1). Collective bargaining [Video file]. Retrieved from To view the transcripts for this video, click here . Collective Bargaining and Employee Morale This unit begins with a rapid look back at the history of American trade unions and how the first friendly societies in the 18th century evolved and later began to tackle important issues such as minimum wage, health and safety conditions, discrimination, benefits, job security, strikes, and even challenges posed by new technologies of the 1980s and 1990s. As you watch the following archival footage, veterans of the labor struggles along with business and government officials reveal fascinating personal i nsights into labor’s sometimes violent origins and how it has altered the workplace over the past 200 years. This film can be viewed in the Films on Demand database within the CSU Online Library. You are encouraged to watch Segments 2 (Immigrant Labor), 3 (Labor Unions: A.F.L. and the I.W.W.), and 8 (Change in the Labor Market) in the video linked below. Gardner, E. T. (Producer), Angel, C. (Producer), & Boyd, K. (Director). (1994). Organizing America: The history of trade unions [Video file] . Retrieved fr om ylists.a spx?wID=273866&xtid=8049 To view the transcript of the video above, click here . Hopefully, after watching the video, you have learned a little more about the beginnings of the labor unions UNIT VI STUDY GUIDE Collective Bargaining and Employee Morale MHR 6451, Human Resource Management Methods 2 and have an appreciation for the sacrifices endured by all during those tough economic times. Today, the American Bar Association (1997) and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) (n.d.) remind us that labor law is still linked to three significant federal statues:  the 1935 W agner Act, also known as the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA);  the 1947 Taft -Hartley Act, also known as the Labor Man agement Relations Act (LMRA); and  the 1959 Landrum -Griffin Act, also known as the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA). The Wagner Act is a federal law that grants employees the right to form and join a union, promote and aid unions, sele ct a union to act for them as their collective bargaining representative, and help them regarding workplace issues. Additionally, employees have a right to not engage in concerted activities under this act. These rights are provided to employees working fo r employers in the private sector who are covered by the NLRA. This excludes employees of airlines, railways, independent contractors, farmworkers, domestic workers, supervisors, and managers. The National Labor Relations Board administers the W agner Act a nd investigates charges of unfair labor practices by employers and unions (American Bar Association, 1997; Industrial Workers of the World, n.d.; Ivancevich, 2010). Congress amended the NLRA, also known as the Wagner Act, with the Taft -Hartley Act. This a ct has two purposes: to reduce industrial arguments and to restrict the power of labor unions. It establishes guidelines for employee and employer relationships and protects employees from unfair labor practices by unions (National Labor Relations Board, n .d.). Congress passed the Landrum -Griffin Act, also known as the LMRDA, to protect individual members from illegal practices by the unions and by employers as well. It gives union members rights such as the right to nominate individuals for union office, vote in the elections, and attend union meetings. It ensures that union accounts and records are available to all union members. In an effort to eliminate what was referred to as sweetheart contracts, where union and management agreed to terms that benefi tted their own interests but allowed poor working conditions for the workers, the union must submit an annual financial report to the Secretary of Labor. Additionally, the employer is required to report any payments or loans given to the union, union offic ials, or employees (American Bar Association, 1997). Collective Bargaining: What is it? At the center of the employer -employee relations hip is the collective bargaining process. As the exclusive agent for the employees, it is the union’s duty to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with the employer. The employer and union are required by the NLRA to bargain in good faith concerning employee wages, benefits, hours, and terms and conditions of their employment in order to reach an agreement. Refusing to bargain in good faith violates the law. Once the union has been elected, the employer cannot negotiate with anyone else —not directly with employees or with another union (American Bar Association, 1997; Carrell & Heavrin, 2010). Rather than negotiating each time an issue occurs, the terms and conditions of employment are set down in a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Ideally, bot h management and the union agree on the duties, rules, and benefits that will govern the workplace relationship between management and employees for a set period of time (e.g., three years) (American Bar Association, 1997). Since the agreement will be in use over a period of time, it is imperative that both parties, management and union, bargain in good faith and understand their role in the collective bargaining process. There are several phases of the bargaining process. The first is preparation; it is e xtremely important that both parties do their homework by analyzing the data for their proposals, anticipating the other’s proposals, selecting their bargaining items, and planning their strategy. Next is the actual bargaining stage, where ground rules are established and an exchange of demands, proposals, and counterproposals are made. The resolution stage is where an agreement is reached. The union members ratify the contract, or if the parties find themselves at an impasse over the terms and conditions o f employment, then it is often resolved through mediation or arbitration. When these measures fail, a lockout or strike may occur, and even hiring replacement employees may happen until a resolution can be reached. Having a unified strategy and being prepa red usually keeps this worst -case scenario from happening (Carrell & Heavrin, 2010). MHR 6451, Human Resource Management Methods 3 One industrial relations professional describes collective bargaining as having four phases: planning, face -to- face negotiations, coming to agreement, and implementing t he agreement (Queen’s IRC, 2014). In the following short video, Ann Grant of Queen’s Industrial Relations Centre (IRC) talks about the collective bargaining process, and she describes what parties should expect when trying to reach a collective agreement. Queen’s IRC. (2014, February 25). What are the four phases of collective bargaining? [Video file] Retrieved from To view the transcript of the video above, click here . Collective Bargaining: What’s Discussed at the Bargaining Table? The National Labor Relations Board established mandatory subjects that must be discussed if brought up by either party during collective bargaining. It is the duty of management and the union to negotiate mandatory issues such as wages, hours, benefits, vacations, profit sharing, drug testing, layoffs, transfers , and recalls (American Bar Association, 1997; Carrell & Heavrin, 2010; National Labor Relations Board, n.d.). Nonmandatory or volunteer subjects can be discussed only if both parties agree to discuss them; there is no duty to negotiate issues such as what products the company will offer, how much will be spent for advertising, or how much will be put into the marketing budget . However, if the company and union enter into a negotiation and agree on a nonmandatory subject under the CBA, they must adhere to the conditions. The last categories are illegal subjects, and even if both parties agree to discuss them, they cannot be negotiated. These would include topics such as discriminatory treatment, whistleblowing, and closed shop. The CBA includes three provisions: just cause clauses, grievance and arbitration clauses, and union security clauses (American Bar Association, 1997; C arrell & Heavrin, 2010; National Labor Relations Board, n.d.). Let’s hear what Stephen Cabot , a management -labor expert, says about the permissive and mandatory subjects in collecti ve bargaining. As you listen to Cabot’s advice, be thinking critically about the approach or type of strategy he is suggesting. Cabot, S. J. (2009, November 9). Stephen Cabot’s labor strategy survival seminar – Bargaining subjects [Video file]. Retrieved from To view the transcript of the video above, click here . Collective Bargaining: Types of Strategies There are commonly two types of strategies used in collective bargaining: distributive bargaining and interest – based bargaining (IBB) . When selecting which type of s trategy to use, it is most important to review the specific issues to be negotiated, the people involved, and the context of the discussions. If only one issue will be negotiated, then a distributive bargaining process would probably be used. If there are multiple issues and there is a positive bargaining relationship between the parties, a more collaborative approach, such as IBB (also referred to as a win -win approach), would be used. Distributive bargaining is defined as a negotiation process that has t he goal of coming to an agreement over how resources should be allocated. There are three components to this win -lose approach:  Each party is trying to get as much as they can of a limited resource,  each party views the other as an opponent in the collec tive bargaining process, and  each party is mostly concerned about the immediate interaction and negotiation, with little concern for past or future relationships. In collective bargaining, the reality is that both parties are fully aware that they may b e negotiating in the future and want to accomplish their goals in good faith. They do, however, start the process with different strategies. IBB is a mutual gains or win -win approach that looks for logical trade -offs and is referred to as an expanded – pie approach, whereas the distributive bargaining is a fixed -pie approach . IBB, also called integrative MHR 6451, Human Resource Management Methods 4 bargaining , strives to create value for both sides and claim as much value as possible for personal interests . IBB pursues principled negotiation and strive s to separate the people from the problem, focuses on interests rather than positions, and creates options for mutual gain. For examples of this and other differences between distributive and IBB, view the following video: Professional Development Training. (2013, September 24). Negotiation -2 strategies [Video file]. Retrieved from To view the transcript of the video above, click here . Most collective bargaining has elements of both types of bargaining. It is important to stay focused and not become too greedy; those who are negotiating for the employees or the company have reputations to uphold. Here is some good advice from a veteran negotiator; watch the short video indicated below. 101therealest. (2015, December 3). 7.Distributive bargaining and the dangers of being greedy [Video file] . Retrieved from To view the transcript of the video above, click here . Collective Bargaining: The Opening Session and Recognizing Bargaining Tactics The opening session of collective bargaining establishes the details of the process, and if the parties have not bargained before, more time is spent introducing members, designating leaders, and setting the ground rules. If the parties have negotiated formerly, a general conversation and introductions take place, and each party states their intention to use a traditional or collaborative process (Carrell & Heavrin, 2010). The following brief article, which you can access by clicking t he link in the reference below, provides a glimpse into tactics used by members of management who are intending to use the traditional process of collective bargaining: Outsmarting the “stealth” union organizer. (2010). Management Report for Nonunion Org anizations (Wiley) , 33 (8), 5. Retrieved from https://libraryresources.columbiasouthern. edu/login?url= t=true&db=bth&AN=52427363&site=ehost -live&scope=site The importance of an opening statement when preparing an interest -based strategy should not be underestimated. Both parties need to paint the big picture of the negotiation, the past relationship, current issues, intentions, and ground rules, and parties should exchange the key economic and non -economic issues that must be resolved to reach a settlement (Queen’s IRC, 2013). To see how understanding the dynamics and skills for negotiating a collective agreement can impact the outcome of the collective bargai ning process, watch Queen’s IRC facilitator Gary Furlong discuss this issue. Queens IRC. (2013, August 12). How can the dynamics of collective bargaining impact the outcome of your negotiations? [Video file]. Retrieved from To view the transcript of the video above, click here . Unfortunately, if distributive bargaining is used by one party, the other party must follow suit, or they stand to lose it all. If distributive bargaining is used, the other party should anticipate some bargaining tactics in case conflict arises. It is goo d to show patience and to remember that goals are interdependent, and neither side can be successful without a future healthy relationship. Another tactic is the packaging of issues to be negotiated, and this tactic can establish trust and will allow for g ains on both sides. The same is true of throwaway items; some may have value to one side but may not have value to the other side. Caucusing, flexibility, compromise, and saving face are all important as well; however, they can take up valuable time and mu st be carefully executed (Carrell & Heavrin, 2010). To be better prepared for any traditional bargaining you may find yourself in, watch the quick video indicated below. Arden, D. (2013, August 11). The 7 mistakes people make when they negotiate [Video file]. Retrieved from MHR 6451, Human Resource Management Methods 5 To view the transcript of the video above, click here . Sometimes, tactic s reach the general population and have lasting effects on both parties. For an example of this, watch Segments 4 and 5 in the video linked below. Moyers, B. (Writer), Winship, M. (Writer), & Diego, K (Director). (2009). United Steelworkers’ Leo Gerard/ea rmark abuse [Television series episode]. In T. Casciato (Executive Producer), Bill Moyers Journal . Retrieved from ylists.aspx? wID=273866&xtid=40177 To view the transcript of the video above, click here . For an appreciation of what slows down negotiations and to learn how each party can more effectiv ely negotiate by understanding the way the opposing party thinks at the bargaining table, watch the following video. Candian HR Reporter. (2012, April 16). Overcoming mental barriers in collective bargaining [Video file]. Retrieved from To view the transcript of the video above, click here . Collective Bargaining and Employee Morale In Reframing Organizations , Bolman and Deal (1997) stress the importance of having organizations build a thoughtful human resource (HR) philosophy that clearly explains how to treat people. They provide many examples of successful organizations that diligently enforce their philosophy into the corporate structure, provide incentives, and develop ways to measure the management of HR. This philosophy is achieved by investing in people —hiring the right people; paying the employees well; providing guidance and direction, jo b security, training, and education; promoting from within; and sharing the wealth through profit or gain (sharing or employee ownership). These are all necessary elements of an HR philosophy; however, it is the work itself that provides the opportunity for the autonomy, influence, and intrinsic rewards that skyrocket morale. By empowering employees with autonomy and participation and by rede signing their work with a focus on job enrichment and teamwork, equality and self -efficacy is ensured (Bolman & Deal, 1997). There have been many HR scholars; one such scholar is Frederick Herzberg due to his work on the importance of achievement, respons ibility, and recognition. Herzberg (1969) called these factors motivators , and his research showed that remarkable results can happen when people are given the authority to influence their working conditions. Bolman & Deal (1997) relate a classic study ca ptured by Whyte in 1955. In a reengineering process, a group of women who painted toy dolls manually in a toy factory were asked to use a new system where they took a toy from a tray, painted it, and then put it on a passing hook. They were given an hourly rate, a bonus for the group, and a learning bonus. Management had no expectation of a system problem, but the results were disappointing, and the employees’ morale was poor. The workers protested that the hooks moved too fast and the environment was too h ot. After hiring a consultant, the managers agreed to meet with the women face to face, and as a result of the meeting, management decided to bring in fans. To their surprise, morale improved. After several meetings, the women made a radical request: The y wanted to control the speed of the belt. Against the engineer’s objections, management decided to try the women’s suggestion. They prepared a production schedule that was logical to their work day. The belt was slow at the start of the shift, and as the employees warmed up, the speed of the belt increased; the speed of the belt slowed again right before lunch and so on and so forth. The results increased production beyond anyone’s expectations; the women’s bonuses were giving them more income than other e mployees who were more highly skilled. The women’s higher pay and production was disruptive, and other workers protested. To still the waters, management went MHR 6451, Human Resource Management Methods 6 back to the engineers’ fixed speed; production decreased, morale fell, and most of the women quit . This makes one wonder if the cost of redesigning other positions would have outweighed the benefits they would have gained? Research that extended Herzberg’s ideas on job enrichment was conducted by Hackman & Oldham (1980) and indicates that for redesig n to be successful, three factors need to be present. First, people need to identify their work as meaningful and worthwhile, and they must see it as a whole rather than seeing it as a part of something. They also need to be able to use discretion and judg ement and be accountable for the results. Finally, they should be given feedback that will allow them to improve. One popular program of this time period that is still being used today is Total Quality Management (TQM), which combines Eastern and W estern philosophies and encourages bottom -up critical thinking. Another result of research done on job enrichment is that it has a stronger impact on quality than productivity, which makes sense if you think about the satisfaction one gets from a job well done versus just doing more work (Lawler, 1986). Most of the successes with teams come from self -managed, autonomous work groups who are given responsibility for a meaningful whole such as a product or a complete service. This was not always acceptable to mana gement or unions on many levels, mostly because they did not want to lose prerogatives they were currently enjoying, and they believed their involvement was essential to success. However, things are changing; one of the world’s first plants was built by Vo lvo in Kalmar, Sweden, to accommodate self -managing work groups (Bolman & Deal, 1997). When it comes to worker morale, they prefer autonomy and more power to less, and when they are allowed to gain influence, they want more. The question then remains, will management and union leaders bargain for and encourage the environment that provides employees with the highest morale? Collective Bargaining and its Future This unit closes with looking at where the union movement is today and the trends in labor laws for tomorrow. Union membership may be down; however, unions have been influential, although not successful, in pushing Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which allows employees to vote using authorization cards to have a union and to byp ass formal elections. Speculation as to what would have happened if the EFCA had been passed, as well as other failed efforts for union revitalization, is discussed in the Richard Hurd (2013) article, “Moving Beyond the Critical Synthesis: Does the Law Pre clude a Future for US Unions?,” which is listed in the required reading section of this unit. Another trend is creating new strategies for cooperative labor relations. These efforts can lead management to share information with unions, and this encourages unions to be more cooperative with management, which, consequently, ensures a more competitive organization. An excellent example of this can be seen in the following video. You are encouraged to watch Segments 1 and 2 in the video indicated below. Smith, H. (Producer). (1998). Management combines forces with unions -Northwest Airlines [Television series episode]. In Surviving the Bottom Line with Hedrick Smith . Retrieved from ylists.aspx?wID=273866&xtid=7827 To view the transcript of the video above, click here . For a different viewpoint, go to the General OneFile database, and read the article by M. L. Wachter, titled “The Striking Success of the National Labor Relations Act,” whi ch is listed in the required reading section for this unit. Despite a continuing decline of union membership in America, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez remains optimistic about the future of organized labor. Watch as the Labor Secretary reflects on the futu re of unions in this interview excerpt with PBS News Hour: PBS News Hour. (2013, September 2). Labor secretary reflects on the future of unions [Video file]. Retrieved from To view the transcript of the video above, click here . MHR 6451, Human Resource Management Methods 7 Another positive but varying perspective comes from Sara Horowitz, an international lawyer and founder of the Working Tod ay & Freelancer’s Union, a leading organization of independent workers. This labor expert sees a bold new role for unions in the new economy, and Horowitz shares her outlook by answering two interesting questions: W hat is the role of unions in the new econ omy? Does labor hamper industrial growth? Find out the answers in this short video: Big Think. (2012, April 23). Sara Horowitz envisions the future of unions [Video file]. Retrieved from To view the transcript of the video above, click here . References American Bar Association. (2006). The American Bar Association guide to workpl ace law (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Random House. Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2013). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership (5th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey -Bass. Carrell, M. R., & Heavrin, J. D. (2010). Labor relations and collective bargaining: Private and public sectors (10th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson. Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1980). Work redesign. Reading, MA: Addison -Wesley. Herzberg, F. (1969). W ork and the nature of man. New York, NY: Crowell. Hurd, R. W. (2013). Moving beyond the critical synthesis: Does the law preclude a future for US unions? Labor History , 54 (2), 193 -200. Industrial Workers of the World. (n.d.). The basic labor laws (United States of America). Retrieved from http://www.iww .org/organize/laborlaw/Lynd/Lynd3.shtml Ivancevich, J. (2010). Human resource management (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw -Hill Irwin. Lawler, E. E., III (1986). High involvement management: Participative strategies for improving organizational performanc e. San Francisco, CA: Jossey -Bass. National Labor Relations Board. (n.d.). National Labor Relations Act. Retrieved from -labor -relations -act Queens IRC. (2013, August 12). How can the dynamics of collective bargaini ng impact the outcome of your negotiations? [Video file]. Retrieved from Queen’s IRC. (2014, February 25). What are the four phases of collective bargaining? [Video file] Retrieved from Suggested Reading Unions can be a controversial subject. Some people are for them, and some are against them. In this video, economist Paul Krugman explains why he would like to see more peopl e supporting unions. Big Think. (2012, April 20). Paul Krugman on unions [Video file]. Retrieved from To view the transcript of the video above, click here . E-commerce is a quickly growing industry. This article looks at the challenges these workers face and the role that unions could play in this market. MHR 6451, Human Resource Management Methods 8 Birner, K. (2015). One click to empowerment? Opportunities and challenges for labour in the global value chain of e -commerce. International Journal of Labour Research, 7 (1/2), 55 -74. Retrieved from To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of labor unions, watch the video bel ow. Understanding these views can help you form an opinion on this subject. Mistakes Newbies Make. (2009, December 3). Advantages and disadvantages of unions [Video file]. Retrieved from To view the transcript of the video above, click here . The article below explores the topic of declining unions. It also looks at factors that may bring unions back to popularity in the near future. Van Brimmer, A. (2014). State of the unions: As workers’ wages fall, organized labor may experience a resurgence. HRMagazine, 59 (7), 33. Retrieved from oran95108 &v=2.1&it=r&id=GALE%7CA375218762&asid=77cf382eabb52bc6d8fa864268b3b5c7 Learning Activities (Nong raded) Non graded Learning Activities are provided to aid students in their course of study. You do not have to submit them. If you have questions, contact your instructor for further guidance and information. Check for Understanding: Word Search Puzzle Click here to download a word search puzzle that reinforces the terms covered in this unit. You can print it out or use the highlighting or drawing tools to circle the words directly on the PDF document.

We offer the best essay writing services to students who value great quality at a fair price. Let us exceed your expectations if you need help with this or a different assignment. Get your paper completed by a writing expert today. Nice to meet you! Want 15% OFF your first order? Use Promo Code: FIRST15. Place your order in a few easy steps. It will take you less than 5 minutes. Click one of the buttons below.

Order a Similar Paper Order a Different Paper