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(Solved) [on-screen text: UNION-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS GARY WHEELER, UPS] Union-Management Relations. The following section discusses union management...

Watch the video in Chapter 5 titled "UPS: Union Management."

At the end of the video, you are posed with the question: What can you do as HR Director?

Write a 700- to 1,050-word paper (in the third person voice) that addresses the question and issues presented in the video.

Demonstrate critical thinking skills while developing resolutions that effectively plan out what can be done. 

[on-screen text:
GARY WHEELER, UPS] Union-Management Relations.
The following section discusses union management relationships including the effect that they have on
the company, on employees not in the union, and the union members themselves. It is very important to
consider the effect that a union may have on employees when deciding whether to form or join a union.
A union fights for workers’ rights, safety and benefits. On the other end of the spectrum a union may
also stifle the growth of the company which could delay you in achieving your career goals. In the
extreme case, a union may lead to a loss of work by means of a lockout. Let’s see how Gary Wheeler,
former UPS SRHR Director and current President and CEO of the Virtual HR Director, and current
President and CEO of the Virtual HR Director, approaches these theories in practice. [on-screen text:
HOW UNIONS EFFECT THE BUSINESS] Well one of the advantages of having a union in place is there’s a lot of structure on what management
can and can’t do, what employees can and can’t do and that’s, and a part of that collective bargaining is
that it establishes some very concrete rules and guidelines in the workplace. One of the disadvantages of
that is that you’re not able to make changes and react and sometimes you have to hold to those
guidelines in a more stricter way and it can penalize the company but it also can penalize the
individualism of an employee meaning that they’re not able to do certain things on their own. If the
company is solid and the union is a respectful, you know, negotiator, then the benefits are usually pretty
good for a union employee [on-screen text:
HOW UNIONS EFFECT THE INDIVIDUAL] Salary or wage increases usually come pretty automatic and are not negotiated, which can be a positive
or negative but form a positive perspective usually there’s some increase in benefits or increase in
compensation over time throughout the collective bargaining. Another area is for an employee they have someone to represent them if they’re being mistreated by the employer. Some of the disadvantages of
that would be is individualism. If you are aggressive, a go-getter, you’re looking to aspire to something
more, sometimes there can be some restrictions on what you can do. Also, you know, in this day and
time where employees have an opportunity to negotiate based on their skills, it can be restricted to that.
You’re not able to demonstrate how good you are or your own creativity if it takes you out of the
confinement of what you’re allowed to do within the union guidelines. [on-screen text:
ENSURING A SENSE OF JOB SECRURITY] For the most part I think the sound practice that UPS has had is they’ve always run lean. Employees have
done a little bit more, you know, you’ve hear a lot about during the 90s and into the 2000s where
companies tightened their belt and they laid off workers and, you know, didn’t replace them and so now
people are doing more? I think the United Parcel Service’s case they have actually always had that
velocity and I think most people have felt protected that they worked very hard and was compensated
fairly for it. You can tend to do some cross training, give them other assignments explore some other
avenues, fluctuate your workdays, maybe have people work four days, you can reduce salary or reduce
the compensation level so that people continue to work. So it’s usually a much more secure opportunity
in the non-union work environment than it is in the union environment. [on-screen text:
COMPANY AND INDIVUDUAL GROWTH WITHIN UNIONS] The first thing I believe a union can do it definitely stifles company creativity. A lot of companies during
the 90s really looked at creating self-directed work teams. They looked at ways where they could
improve productivity, eliminate maybe that second level of management and by giving workers the
opportunity to make decisions on their own. Find ways for them to be productive or more productive
which would impact the company in a positive way and reward them. A problem with it is that it
definitely can stifle individual growth. A theory is within the union environment is that no other
employee is any better than any other employee and does not have the ability to evaluate, critique or
supervise another employee. The other piece is if you want to provide additional compensation for
working harder, working smarter, becoming more efficient and more creative the challenge is that has to
be approved by the union and if it doesn’t look like it’s going to be fair to others not in that group, that’s
something that the union is not going to support. [on-screen text:
UNION-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS CHALLENGE QUESTIONS] In this segment, Gary Wheeler says that there are some advantages to unionization including the
structure that unionization ejects into the workplace; however, the other side of the coin is that
unionization also reduces the employer’s ability to make changes and to react fast. In that regard, the
union definitely stifles company creativity. For example, it may make it more difficult for the company to
create self-directed workforces. Furthermore, the union may make it difficult to reward those employees
who are working harder or working smarter.
Based on what you saw in this segment and read in the chapter, form what you know about UPS, what
do you think would make the union believe that the company was right for being organized? Do you
agree that unions stifle creativity? Why or why not? [on-screen text:
1) Based on what you saw in this segment and read in the chapter, form what you know about UPS,
what do you think would make the union believe that the company was right for being
2) Do you agree that unions stifle creativity? Why or why not?
UNION VS. NON-UNION EARNINGS] Union workers in certain industries and in certain positions may earn a little bit more than a non-union
worker. It depends on the organization and it depends on the collective bargaining, it depends on how
long the organization has been around. Some union dues or initiation fees could be as much as $1,000 or
$2,000 and certain dues are typically a couple of hours per month so how does that offset what your
hourly wage would be or salary if being compensated by a union? So there’s so many depends on that
one but if you had to take it across the board, typically a person being paid by the union is going to be
paid slightly more than a non-union employee. Keep in mind all of the union employees at a certain
grade, certain level, certain seniority are going to make all the same. So, a person who’s in a non-union
environment who may excel in their field will actually be able to get a higher compensation than the rest
of the group that they may be working with. Now most professional jobs or are not organized, because
again, people have a latitude to and an educational background and they have flexibility in their jobs,
you know, anyone in management, full or part-time is not represented by a union. You’re going to find
more union representation where there are specific duties, responsibilities in a job that are repetitive. At
the United Parcel Service anyone who handled a package for the most part is a union employee: loaders,
unloaders, delivery drivers, anyone who worked on equipment or machinery such as mechanics and, of
course, the pilots, International Pilots Association. The American economy has been moving away from a
union-type structure for several years now and I don’t think that momentum is going to change unless
the laws in the US change. What is a replacement for that? There’s actually a couple of things out there
and some companies have it what’s referred to as an alternative dispute resolution process. That gives employees an opportunity to if they’re not being treated fairly or if they’re impacted in a negative way to
bring those concerns to the company. The first step in that is to have some type of open door policy
where employees are able to go in and talk with their manager or supervisor about their concerns or
issues. They sit down and try to work through those so that it’s the best satisfaction of the employee and
the company, and I think that’s really what needs to take place and continue to take place and then if the
employee feels that they’re being mistreated have a process in place where the employee can present
that to a higher level of management within the organization. If that doesn’t work, maybe with a peer
group. If that doesn’t work, maybe through a mediation process and many companies have embraced
that and that seems to work very well for those organizations.
In this segment, Gary points out than an employee in a non-union company who excels may find it easier
to get higher compensation. He also points out that the American economy has been moving away from
a union-type structure for many years partly because there are other replacements for unions such as
alternative dispute resolution processes. Based on what you saw in this segment and have read in the
chapter, do you agree that employees who excel in non-union environments earn more than they would
in unionized companies? Why? According to the chapter, what other replacements for unions have
helped reduce union membership? [on-screen text:
HYPOTHETICAL QUESTION] Now let’s take a moment to consider the following hypothetical situation. As a human resources
representative, how would you approach the following?
All right, so you are in an organization and you’ve had a unionization attempt that’s been successful, the
union has been certified, you have bargained in good faith. After the bargaining agreement has been in
place for six months some of your employees come to you and ask, “We don’t really like the union, what
can we do to get rid of it?” What can you do as the HR director? [on-screen text: PRODUCED FOR PEARSON EDUCATION, INC. BY CAMPUS MOVIEFEST]


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