Disagreements between labor and employer are pervasive. Currently, there are numerous strikes, grievances, unfair labor practice allegations, lockouts, and other labor disputes occurring across the U.S.
Conduct an Internet search to find a current labor dispute occurring in the U.S.
Identify the parties involved in the dispute and provide the factual details of the dispute, presenting the arguments of both sides.
Describe the dispute using the vocabulary of Section 8 of the NLRA, such as unfair labor practice, strike, and collective bargaining.
Evaluate how you think the dispute will be resolved using NLRA vocabulary properly in support of your prediction.
Compare the ethical right and wrong you observe in this dispute, presenting both sides.
Labor Disputes in the US
The disagreements noted between labor and employer are widespread. Workplace environment in the U.S is featured by increased cases of unfair labor practice allegations, grievances, strikes, lockouts and disputes (Kotouza, 2017). The major focus of this essay is to examine one of the current labor disputes in the U.S. Specifically, the parties involved in the dispute will be outlined including the details and facts which led to the dispute. Additionally, the study will also examine what Section 8 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) states in relation to the dispute. Additionally, an ethical analysis will also be conducted to explore the ethical right and wrong observed from the perspective of both parties in argument.
Current Labor Dispute in the U.S
The year 2019 was considered as the decade’s worst period which included instances of job cuts in America (Heeb, 2020). Evidently, employers made a decision to do away with approximately 592,556 jobs in 2019, marking a 10% increase from the levels recorded in 2018 (Heeb, 2020). Most firms explained that restructuring or bankruptcy was the major factor which drove their decision to ensure job cuts.
Parties and Dispute and the Presenting Facts
In 2019, thousands of teachers based in Los Angeles went on strike for a week (Raimonde, 2019). The enthusiasm shown by the teacher to engage in a collective action seemed to provide the union leaders with the optimism that they required for a better workplace environment in the future. DeManuelle-Hall and DiMaggio (2019) show that the dispute was between the teachers and the privatizers in Los Angeles. During the strike, teachers showed up in large numbers to kick off the strike built by the union members. The outlined factor drew huge crowds of supporters focused on rallying up against privatization which was the major issue of concern being experienced. Notably, the major aim of the strike was to ensure that the funds were not sucked from public schools to support privatization. As a result, educators from eight charter schools participated in a wildcat strive to support public school teachers in their efforts. The strike was experienced in different parts of the U.S. such as West Virginia, Chicago, Oakland and Denver among others (DeManuelle-Hall & DiMaggio, 2019).
The Labor Dispute and Section 8 of the NLRA
According to Castillo-Muñoz (2016), the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) was established to protect the rights of the workers regardless of whether they were members of union. The fact that the privatizers were focused on preventing public schools from gaining funds with an aim of supporting privatization suggested that the privatizers were engaging in unfair labor practices which suggested that most teachers from public schools could lose their jobs in the long run. As a result, there was need for collective bargaining to ensure that the affected teachers could raise their concerns. As a result, different teachers in Los Angeles took part in strikes, an example of a collective bargaining effort focused on engaging the privatizers to prevent instances where funds are sucked from public schools.
Resolving the Dispute
The noted dispute in the U.S. can be resolved through collective bargaining efforts. According to Murphy (2019), the NLRA provides private sector workers with the right to establish or form a labor union which enables the members to engage in collective bargaining effort over different labor concerns (Winpisinger, 2019). However, to ensure a successful outcome, it is recommended that teachers should work under a certified union which is also recognized. This makes it possible for the parties to air their concerns in a way that is likely to be successful. Additionally, it is also evident that the NLRA suggests that all workers have a right of acting collectively. When employees join forces and engage in a collective bargaining effort, it is evident that the teachers and the privatizers can work together, hence engage in a negotiation process on a leveled ground. Servais (2019) shows that negotiating as a unit offers employees with more power to bargain as well as increased leverage while at the bargaining table. Notably, the major goal of the collective bargaining process is to ensure that the agreement between the employer and the employees is achieved. In the case of the teachers and the privatizers, the collective bargaining agreement will be effective in governing the relationship between the two parties regarding the privatization issue to ensure a successful outcome (Kheel, 2019).
Relying on collective bargaining efforts as recommended under the NLRA provides an insight into the fact that the process will turn out to be a success since it is a rule that the parties should bargain over what is considered as mandatory subjects of bargain (Watts, 2019). The fact that parties are not required to negotiate over the permissive topics suggests that more time will be allocated towards negotiating on the important issues associated with privatization which make it easier to reach a neutral agreement which works best for both parties.
Ethical Right/Wrong Comparison
In the case of the teacher’s strike regarding the privatization issue, it is ethically right that public schools should be provided with funding as this discourages privatization. This is regarded as an ethically upright factor based on the fact that the employees and the students available in public school setting will benefit from the derived conclusion. Evidently, in this case, the teachers available in public schools will not have to worry about job loss which is a future outcome of the privatization efforts. Only the privatizers will be affected in this case since they will not benefit from the privatization. On the contrary, denying the schools public funding would be an ethical wrong as it will be associated with drastic concerns to the learners and the teachers. For instance, this suggests the loss of employment opportunities due to the closure of public schools. With this, learners will be exposed to an environment whereby they have to study in private institutions which are more costly. Also, more teachers will be laid off, thus leaving them jobless while the privatizers benefit.
To conclude, 2019 is one of the decades featured by an increased job cuts from the employers. This has been featured by an increased number of teacher strikes in Los Angeles. Evidently, the unionized teachers have considered it their right to complain against the privatization as this will have drastic impacts on their jobs. The NLRA supports collective bargaining and encourages the workers to negotiate and come to an agreement with the employers on a leveled ground.
Castillo-Muñoz, V. (2016). Revolution, Labor Unions, and Land Reform in Baja California. Other California. Doi: 10.1525/california/9780520291638.003.0004
DeManuelle-Hall, J. & DiMaggio, D. (2019). 2019 Year in Review: Workers Strike Back, Labornotes, Retrieved from https://www.labornotes.org/2019/12/2019-year-review-workers-strike-back
Kheel, T. W. (2019). Collective Bargaining and Automation. Collective Bargaining: New Dimensions in Labor Relations, 35–42.
Kotouza, D. (2017). Practices of Labor Activism in Greece: Inside and Outside the Workplace. Journal of Labor and Society, 20(3), 379–397.
Murphy, R. (2019). Why Unions Survive: Understanding How Unions Overcome The Free-Rider Problem. Journal of Labor Economics. doi: 10.1086/706091
Raimonde, O. (2019). The number of workers on strike hits the highest since the 1980s. CNBC, Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/21/the-number-of-workers-on-strike-hits-the-highest-since-the-1980s.html
Servais, J.M. (2019). 3. Labor Law and Cross-Border Cooperation among Unions. Transnational Cooperation among Labor Unions, 44–59
Watts, G. E. (2019). Collective Bargaining and Inflation. Collective Bargaining: New Dimensions in Labor Relations, 43–47.