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Labor Relations: Analysis of NLRB Ruling


The labor market is intricately multipart; this is because both the employers and employees operate in an environment sparked with paranoia and relentless suspicion. Mistrust thrives when the employees are convinced that they are not being treated fairly and that their remunerations are incongruous to their labor output. On the other hand employers feel insecure when their unionized employees stir up dissension at work place and fail to be obligated in their duties because of the cover they have from labor unions. Some labor unions stir up a working divergence between the employers and the employees by overstepping their mandates whereby they control, almost command how the employer should relate with the employee. Hence, a lot of tension and mistrust is hoarded calling for a third party to disentangle the two warring sides. NLRB board plays the arbitration role to make sure that both the employer and employee get a fair deal for their contribution at work place.

Case Study Highlight

Case name: Salts and Strikers case

This case encompasses two working scenarios comprising of employee complains in relation to the way employers stepped on their rights through discrimination and job termination. The first case by the name ‘salts’ addresses employee grievance whereby most employees were denied job offers because they were labor union members. Infact the unionized members bear the ‘salt’ name to distinguish them from non unionized members because the employers believe that the unionized members are noxious to the non unionized members. A great discrepancy crept gradually in the working arena whereby the employers opted to employ non unionized members. The fallacy was that the unionized members would stir trouble at work place since their rights are covered by the labor unions and that they were likely to pollute their work mates into joining labor forces. Hence unionized members lacked job offers because they were branded as boorish and arrogant.

The strikers’ case came under scrutiny because employers were broached by a major challenge after employees went on prolonged strikes. In the event of long strike, the employers would be obligated by labor laws to take in other temporary employee to replace the striking employees. In the event when the strikers came back the temporary employees were forced to leave so that the striking employees could resume their jobs. This happened because employers were duty-bound and obligated by contractual times to take in the offensive employees. In order for the NLRB to create accord in this case the employer had to be given a right to retain a temporary employers in a striking employee took longer than expected

Summary of the decision

In relations to the ‘salts’ the NLRB board ruled that if any employer suspected that a job applicant was a salt and refuse to hire him/her because of her trade union participation they could be accused of discriminating on the basis of union membership. It was ruled out that the applicants who suspect that they have been denied the chance to work on basis of anti union prejudice would be given a consideration whereby the potential employer will have to proof beyond reasonable doubts, backed with concrete evidence that the applicant did not want the job at all. This also applies to those who were sacked after joining labor union at work, if the board established that the employers sucked them after joining the labor unions, the employers would be compelled to reinstate them for work once more.

In relation to economic strikes it was ruled out that those who walked out to protest some aspect of their working conditions, wages, or hours can be permanently replaced and needn’t be reinstated when the strike is over. In order for the above ruling to have roots the employer and the replaced employee have to agree that the newly employed replacements are hired on permanent basis. The striking employees are not allowed to take long than necessary during their striking period because it affects the employer’s work output. Board members noted that all employees, including strikers, were hired at will, and permanent replacements shouldn’t be fired on the basis that the strikers had returned back.

Case relation To Course

In this case where we learn about labor relations, the above case holds relevance because it highlights what ails both the employers and the employees at work place requiring for a third party to do arbitration. Foremost, it comes imminently clear that the employers don’t want to meddle with labor unions which are extremely powerful and exerts a lot of demands on the employers. In order to escape the controlling nature of the labor unions most employers opt for non unionized employees in order to minimize the labor union’s ordeal. When the unionized employees are discriminated and fail to get jobs the labor market becomes unfair stifling egalitarianism at work place.

We are also drawn to the case of employers who have to wait for striking employees to return in order to re instate them back to their jobs at the expense of other temporarily employed workers. This case highlights how the labor unions stubbornly empower employees to exploit their employers. Long strikes affect the employers output hence the employer is supposed to have a right of replacing the long striking employee in order to minimize losses. In relation to this course, we are drawn to conclude that the working environment should be free from biases, abuses, and accusations and counter accusations. In order for the working milieu to remain harmonious, there must be a working rapport established between the employers and employees to make sure non side steps on the other’s rights.

Personal Opinion

Employers should not be petrified by the mere fact that there employees are in labor unions, they should create a room for the employees to express their grievances and problems because ultimately his premises benefit when working problems are solved. On the other hand unionized members should not be conceited at work place, polluting fellow employees and inciting them against the employer because this creates an erroneous belief amongst the employers that labor unions are hostile to employers and should therefore be avoided. NLRB hand in controlling labor discrimination helps to cement the rift between the employers and employees giving the employees confidence to join labor unions in order for their rights to be safeguarded. In the end when both the employer and the employee are contented, the working environment becomes cordial and the returns on both sides increase.

The employees should not use their labor union membership to alarm or exploit the employer as this contravenes their working relationship. The essence of good working relation is that the employer and the employee operate in a tranquil environment without exploiting each other for the ultimate good of them two.

Works Cited

HR BLR A Closer Look at New NLRB Rulings on Salts, Strikers, and Secret Ballots. Web.


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