Basic Assumptions Underlying U.S. Labor Relations
The first assumption is that a capitalist economic system may cause conflict between the employer and the employee. This is due to both parties seeking to benefit each of their own best interests. I do agree with this assumption. At times, it may be hard for the employee to see which direction the firm is moving in and what it takes to get there. The employee may feel as if the company does not have them in their best interest. On the flip side of things, the employer may feel as if the employee is not loyal or productive in trying to reach the goals or move in the same direction as the company’s core values. The second assumption is that an employee has the right to pursue their employment interest by use of lawful means. As well, I am in agreement with this assumption, as long as the pursuit is legal. The third assumption describes collective bargaining which I am in favor of. Again, being part of a union and understanding my employee rights and how both management and unions work together allows me to agree with all three assumptions. When both work harmoniously and the synergy flows, it is beneficial to all parties involved.
Determine how your response to the previous discussion might differ depending on whether you are an employer or an employee.
My response would not differ at all. If the employer understands the employees’ perspectives and the employee can do the same, harmony across the board makes for a well-oiled machine. I can only say this because I was on both sides of the fence with my last company. As a union member for five years and a manager for the other five, it has helped me understand both point of views.
It is very true that both the employee and the employer have their own best interests in mind. I think that would be a very fair assumption. However, I think it is important to understand each opposition in order to create harmony amongst both parties. It is logical that employees would seek counsel and guidance from management. Unfortunately, not all management has the required skills or training to provide such guidance. It would only be in the employees’ best interest to be part of a union to protect their rights. I do not think that unions complicate issues. In my opinion, they are set in place to provide guidance, mediate, and help both the employer and employee see eye to eye and work towards achieving the core values of the company as a whole.