Written Assignment 1
(25 points) 3-4 pages, not including cover or References pages
Locate an article describing a collective bargaining situation that has arisen within this year (2019). This article should be from a newspaper, an academic journal, or a credible online news source. Attach the article or give the link. Use a minimum of two additional references from the course materials to support your discussion and to respond to the questions in the assignment.
a. Using APA guidelines, state the proper citation for the article.
Then, summarize the situation, including:
b. What type of collective bargaining is this? (https://businessjargons.com/types-of-collective-bargaining.html)
c. What are the underlying causes of the dispute?
e. If there is any evidence of any illegal or unethical conduct on either side, describe it in detail.
f. Was the dispute resolved? If so, how?
g. In retrospect, could this dispute have been resolved in a more constructive fashion? If so, how?
The Nature of the Collective Bargaining Dispute
Verizon workers’ participated in a strike in 2016. Verizon Wireless is an American telecommunication company based in New Jersey. The complaints in the dispute by the workers were that the company was outsourcing jobs locking them from opportunities. Other complaints were that the company was cutting cost by hiring low-wage workers who are not unionized. All these, the striking workers pointed out, were done despite the increasing profits in the company. The division which was mostly affected was the wireline business. The management maintained that the changes were due to the declining profits in the division. The wireless division was getting more business and profits for its services than the wireline one (Scheiber, 2016).
The Underlying Causes of Dispute
The dispute between the workers at Verizon and the company was caused by many complaints including the outsourced jobs to countries like Philippines and Mexico. Other issues which caused the disputes were the cap put on the pensions and the cuts in the employee benefits package. The striking workers further alleged that the Verizon wireline business has not received contracts for almost a year as the organization seems to cut investment in the division which has worsened their problems. This had threatened job security and reduced career prospects. The compensation given to the employees was also not enough according to the dispute allegations (Scheiber & Chen, 2016).
The Economic and Ethical Pressure Each Side Attempted to Use to Prevail in the Dispute
The strike which was organized by two trade unions; Communications Workers of America and Trade Unions International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers led to job boycott. Forty thousand workers from the wireline division; Verizon Communications Landline and Verizon Fios boycotted work to participate in the industrial action. The company, on the other hand, opted to look for a replacement for the striking workforce. The financial loss which was caused by the striking was estimated to amount to 200 million dollars. Political pressure was also used by the unions to push for their demands. Politicians came out to defend the workers. Taking away jobs from the company through outsourcing was taken as unethical to the American public.
Evidence of Any Illegal or Unethical Conduct on Either Side
The strike was characterized by job boycotts by workers. The workers were seen picketing on the streets and around the premises of the company. These led to clashes with strikebreakers during the six weeks of the strike. More severe was the financial loss in Verizon business. An estimated 200 million dollars was lost in profits as a result of the strike. The company acted in an unethical manner on its side as well. It took long before it could agree to negotiate with the workers. The strike could have been resolved through a faster collective bargaining agreement which could have avoided these consequences.
As To Whether the Dispute Was Resolved
The dispute which led to six weeks of strike was resolved through a series of tentative agreements between the company and the unions. The two sides struck a balance to address the underlying issues. The first resolution was that the company agreed to improve the workers’ compensation package. The company agreed to adjust the benefits and adopted a flexible stance on the issue of outsourcing. The company agreed to a four-year contract given to its workers on top of an eleven percent increase in compensation. Another resolution was the creation of one thousand five hundred positions in the two striking divisions.
The Role Played By Third Parties in Resolving the Bargaining Dispute
The two parties to the dispute at Verizon were the unionized workers and the company. The workers were represented by two unions; Communications Workers of America and Trade Unions International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. The political class was the third party which helped in putting pressure to the unions’ demands (Goldman & Smith, 2016). The Democratic Party presidential aspirants came in defense of the workers’ demands. The office of the US department of labor was also another party who played a role in working to resolve the dispute. The secretary of Labor Mr. Tom Perez brought the leaders of the two disputing parties to a negotiating table.
Goldman, D. and Smith, A. (2016). 36,000 Verizon Workers Go on Strike. CNNTech. Retrieved from: http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/13/technology/verizon-strike/index.html
Scheiber, N. (2016). Verizon and Unions Reach an Agreement That May End Strike. The New York Times. Retrieved form: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/28/business/verizon-strike-unions-accord.html?mcubz=3
Scheiber, N. and Chen, B., X. (2016). In Verizon Strike, Blue-Collar Stress Hits the Sidewalks. The New York Times. Retrieved from: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/14/business/verizon-workers-strike.html?mcubz=3