Chapter 19: Effective Employer/Employee Relations

Part 2 of Chapter 19

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  • Effective Employer / Employee Relations
    • Problems of Industrial Action
      • Employees
        • reduced or lost earnings
        • closure of the business and redundancies
        • stress and friction between levels of hierarchy
        • if unsuccessful, workers are in a weaker position
        • support from public may decline if action affects them
        • must conform to legislation or be liable for damages
      • Employers
        • lost production, reduced revenue, lower profits
        • harms the firm's reputation with its customers
        • shifts management's focus away from strategic planning for the future
        • continuing poor relationships and grievances with employees, that lead to poor motivation and communication
    • Benefits of Industrial Action
      • often leads to new rules about which all agree
      • resolves on-going grievances and improves the atmosphere
      • leads to greater understanding of employer / employee postions
    • Factors influencing success of Industrial Action
      • nature and strength of union
      • public support
      • economic and legal climate
      • management tactics
      • workforce concentration
    • Types of Industrial Action
      • Work-to-Rule
        • employees refuse to undertake any work that is outside the precise terms of their employment contract
        • stops overtime, communication, employee participation
        • still able to get basic pay
      • Go-Slow
        • employees keep on working, but at the absolute minimum pace required to avoid being subject to legitimate disciplinary action
        • loses employees bonuses
      • Overtime Ban
        • attempts to disrupt the employer while keeping employees' basic wages unaffected
        • only likely to occur in seasonal production peaks
    • Methods of avoiding and resolving Industrial Action
      • Single Union agreement
        • recognition of only one trade union for collective bargaining
      • No Strike agreements
        • contract signed which prevents the trade unions in a particular firm from calling a strike
      • ACAS
        • aims to improve organisations and working life through better employment relations
        • non-governmental body that is fully independent, impartial and confidential
        • only gets involved if both sides believe that ACAS can help them make progress in the dispute
        • provides mediation, conciliation and arbitration services
      • Trade Union Congress
        • national organisation that represents trade unions in the UK
        • role is to bring UKs unions together to draw up common policies, helping unions avoid clashes with each other, lobbying the government to implement policies that will benefit people at work
      • Employers' Associations
        • express the views and interests of the companies whitin a sector or industry
        • especially useful for small firms negotiating with large trade unions


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