I conducted an interview with the Labor Relation Manager for Royal Circuits Corporation Mr. Milan Shah. In the interview, we discussed about his daily duties and functions and more importantly, how he managed his duties. We also talked about the kind of challenges his unionized workplace and the type of strategies he has put in place to overcome this kind of environmental challenge. We then discussed on the common encountered issues that surround the company workforce and the kind of policies and models that his department implements in an attempt to addressing those issues. We finalized by conversing about his choice of the model to solve the issues in addition to his experience and understanding of the issues happening often than not happening at all.
Some of the daily routine responsibilities and duties of a Labor Relation Manager are educating employees on all labor issues concerning the labor relation. These include efficiency, voice and equity. As Shah made it clear “ labor relations, therefore, must strike a balance between efficiency, equity and voice as they could be conflicting goals.” He farther explains that the labor relations require aims at bringing its issues of interest into the table for the sake of harmony and uniformity in achieving the corporation’s standards. Labor relations managers are also charged with the responsibility of putting into action the industrial labor relations programs. The managers translate the specific programs that are formulated by the industry into their specific corporations. These programs are formulated at the industry but are implemented at the corporation level and thus the manager at the Labor Relations department takes the charge of ensuring efficient and effective implementation. For instance, when a bargaining collective covenant is up for negotiation, specialists in the field of labor relation make prepared information for managers to utilize at the times of such negations. To prepare such information calls for clear and extensive understanding labor laws and regulations, familiarity with wage and economic data as well as collective trends for bargaining.
The Labor Relations Manager also serves to administer and interpret the contract in respect to the management practices, pensions, union, employee welfare, health care, pensions and associate benefits, wages and salaries, grievances as well as other contractual provisions. Tracking and maintenance of labor data as per the prescription of the governing bodies the union and the corporation’s stipulations. Essentially, the managers keep data about the specific details of the corporation’s workers. The common data on the Labor Relation’s Manager Database include the employees’ specific names, ethnicity, race and the level of various races, the wages and salaries paid out, gender and the commonly brought forward issues. The result being organization of information about the whole process and resources of the corporation such that any issues contra to the planned are raised and corrected thus facilitating the attainment of organizational goals and objectives. This will further facilitate the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization in that it will serve as both a measure of control and evaluation thus comparison of actual practice and the planned is ease (Gold 2013).
The working environment for Shah is unionized. The various challenges that a Labor Relations manager faces in a unionized workplace are diverse and significantly detrimental to the growth and operation of the entire organization. The biggest of all is rigidity or generally the lack of thereof. The schedule for union works is set and they are very punctual and loyal to their time when it comes to some compulsory breaks that they usually take despite the lightness or heaviness of the workload that may prevail. This makes it difficult for managers to factor in new ways of working since every change affecting workers need to be communicated and agreed with the union first (Gold 2013). It becomes also difficult to handle seasonal changes in work volumes, which might demand for necessary switching or having employees perform some other duties out of their job prescription. Unionized employees are rigid towards such switching of duties.
Communication is also a challenge as the chain of unionized workers is long as it includes representatives from the organizational level to their higher ranks officials who have to come into consensus on what is communicated. Issues of fairness in rewarding employees also are a problem (Gold 2013).
After the paper found out that the company is unionized, the benefits it enjoys from the labor unionization include; job security. The workers are sure of their work. This is because the union is there to fight for their right. The employees cannot be fired from work without valid reason. In case the employee is fired from the work, the union is there to fight for them. The workers union ensures that the employees get good employments’ terms and conditions. This benefits the employees as the employees get assurance of the job. The union ensures the workers have good working environment, and good working conditions. The union fights for the employees to work under the recommended number of hours per day. It ensures that the employers do not mistreat their employees. Assurance is given to employees about the terms conditions. Under the union’s rules and regulations, it states that the employer need to disclose the terms and conditions that apply to an employee’s job. The employer needs to disclose to the employee the salary at the time of employment. It should also state the remuneration benefits to the employee and other benefits. The union ensures that the employer provides this to the employee as far as his or her job security is concern.
The workers union also fights for the employees improved wages. In most cases, non-unionized workers earn less than unionized workers in the same field. This is because the union fights for salary improvement in unionized workers. The union negotiates for better salary and wages for their member’s employees. It ensures that the workers who do similar jobs get equal payment. This happens when the union negotiates for better salary of the employees who are members of the union. Thus, unionized workers have higher voice of addressing for their improved wages than non-unionized workers. (Gold 2013).
The workers union negotiates for health care, pension plans among other benefits. A union work place has higher chances of having better health care and pension schemes. This happens because the union fights for the right of their members employees. The union advocates for health schemes of their member employees. Invcase an employee falls sick at the course of the work, the employer should give him or her leave to go for medication. During such times when the employee is on sick leave, the employer will pay him or her full salary regardless of the employee’s sick leave. (Gold 2013).
The union also fights for the workers work scheduling hours. This is because it fights the recommended working hours. Normally the standard working hours for an employee is eight hours. If the union to fight for the employees working is not there the employers may overworked the employees. Thus, a unionized work place ensures there are standard working hours for the employees. Employees who have a union have strong collective bargaining power. This ensures that the employees present their grievances concerning their work place collectively. The workers who present their grievances through the union have better chances of negotiating with the employer than when problems are presented individually. The employer may take into consideration their grievance.
The issues affecting the workers include the accommodation in the work place. All the employers are expected to accommodate all the employees ‘ wants based on the human rights. The employer should take the employees’opinions concerning the work place into consideration. In case the employees have opinions on how the work place needs to be improved to suit, the employers should take their needs seriously. Needs of employees concerning their safety of work suggest changes in the work place. Employers therefore need to take into consideration such employees need.
Undue hardship is another issue affecting the employees in the work place. The employer is required to accommodate employee to undue hardship only. The employer is faced with problems when accommodating the employees to undue hardship only. Therefore, any disruption and inconvenience do not relieve the employer from accommodating the employees.
Other issues include the family obligations. The employers need to fulfill the employee’s family obligation. The employer should take care of the employee’s children, spouse and even the employee’s parents. These issue are found in the work place because they are part of the employees daily obligations.
Grievances are the procedures of dispute resolution applicable by a company in addressing complaints by parties that the business in liable to, for example, suppliers, employees, and competitors. In any existing organisation, there is always a matter or two that the staff will always have to grieve about. Most of the upcoming complains go unnoticed by the management especially if the subordinates do use the right format to present their complains or grievance to the top level managers.
Using an example of the Royal Circuits Corporation, the interviewee uses the grievance process to tackle their upcoming processes. The grievance process includes the following steps;
The scope that the situation at hand is affecting throughout the institution and its branches if any is the first key factor in this step. This mostly entails on what matters have led to the emergence of the current problem at hand(Gold 2013). Another thing that should be taken great care of is the matters that affect the overall personal dealings and relationship with the employees.
This step helps in saving the interviewer a great deal of time and resources as the questions asked at this steps from the few interviewees is enough to cover the other employees although it doesn’t mean it is perfectly accurate. It is always important for the parties to reconcile informally in case of disagreements instead of going formal with each of which it might cause an alarm and cause disciplinary action to be taken on the workers (Gold 2013).
On the other, any of the steps taken under this procedure should be prompt unless there is absolute reason for lateness or delay. As per the research, the manager who is dealing with the grievance may opt to differ or consent at his own discretion. It is at this point that the organisations policies apply in limiting the powers of the managers in making decisions to prevent bias that some managers might rule in favour and others.
An in-depth questioning of the manager revealed that communication is one of the major factors that determine the rate of communication and exchange of information around the organisations. Establishment of a free communication set up or pattern around the organisation greatly gives the subordinates a room and a chance to air their problems and makes it easier to control the operation of the business since the messages can flow easily, effectively and efficiently.
How does the managers handle reported complains issues? Since managers do receive complains throughout their operations in the businesses, they are prone to follow a certain set guideline to tackle or in other words provide a solution to the reported hardships. At first, to be a good instructor, one has to be an extremely careful listener so as to get the subject of the matter carefully.
Apologizing is one simple word that many find quit hard to mention despite of being the wrong doers. Many managers lack the use of empathy, sincerity and sympathy. On the contrary, it is advised for one to overdo the apology.
In managing, every time a sorry word comes into the light, it means that the manager is inferring to having messed up in his duties. The more the apologies become, the more incompetence the organization will seem to be. Thus precise
Gold, M. (2013). Labor Relations in New Democracies. East Asia, Latin America, and Europe by José A. Alemán Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, 196 pages+ xv, $89. 00;£ 60. 00. ISBN: 978‐0‐230‐62348‐4. Industrial Relations Journal, 44(1), 96-98.
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