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This bad news has serious implications for most unions, putting them in a position of hard choices. On one hand, union leaders need to look after members’ welfare but on the other hand, they have to face some harsh realities. The truth of the matter is that state government coffers are facing a “fiscal emergency” as what Gov. Linda Lingle said and everyone must put their share of carrying the burden equally to keep things afloat. The government of Hawai’i had laid off some 900 to 1,100 government workers earlier in November and more lay-offs might be forthcoming, she had warned. In the end, everybody got what they wanted out of the deal which shows everyone concerned was willing to compromise and sacrifice.
The current recession had highlighted the need for some concessions from the union, in particular work rules concerning compensation. State workers had overwhelmingly approved to take 42 furlough days, to be distributed into 18 days this fiscal year, 12 next year and another 12 for year 2011 (Sample in “Hawaii’s largest…”). Union leaders had to face the reality of the situation and taking furlough is better than private-sector employees who took a pay cut and are working still the same hours for less pay as what Paul Brewbaker said.
In another article on the same issue regarding union acceptance of the new contract, the Honolulu Advertiser mentioned that six of the seven bargaining units of Hawaii’s biggest public-sector union had ratified the new contract. Some 60% to 95% of the members had voted in support of the furlough days, roughly the equivalent to an 8% pay cut. For some of the union members, this concession may represent or symbolize the futility of being members. This is because the union had failed to protect their compensation benefits by eventually agreeing to furloughs although this is also dictated by the harsh reality of budget shortfalls.
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According to Silvia (1996), collective bargaining entails negotiations that relate to the terms of employment and the working conditions between an employer and representative workers’ organizations or unions with an aim of reaching an agreement. The workers or employees in a particular organization usually have some groups or unions through which they can air their views, opinions and even grievances.
It can be noted that even the most successful organizations will face problems when managing unionized environments as the employees feel that they cannot be touched and if they are given a job that is not in their job description they have aright not to do it.
Unions play a significant role in conducting communication between workers and employers of an organization. There has been a significant change in the way union used to operate in the past. Different kinds of employers think differently about having an organization which is unionized, certain employers are positive about unions, while others have a negative view of unions.
The management of the organization has been facing various challenges like high number of staff and less productivity. It has been observed that there is lack of implementation of a well defined performance management system in LCU which can enhance the productivity of the employees.
However, unionization of labor became prominent during the time of civil war but unionization at that time was temporary in nature. For example, some printers formed group during 1778 in New York City in order to create pressure on printing press owners to increase wages but the group was disbanded after few months (Murray, 2011).
The need to rally around or organize into groups to have more say for workers was, however a common feature. There were unions for a specific class of workers e.g. craft unions or unions representing a cross section of society - these negotiated more for ensuring better working conditions.
As such, concerted efforts are made by all the stakeholders - workers, employers, union representatives, and to a large extent the government to maintain positive union relations. This is obviously for the benefit of all stakeholders. In this regard, efforts are being made to erase the deep-seated mistrust, outright hostility, and entrenched interests that exist between the workers, management, and the union officials.
It is believed by modern managers that the Human Resource Management department is sufficiently equipped to address employee concerns and grievances that no other form of representation is needed. But empirical
Management should also inform the employees that even top management had already accepted a greater salary cut to reduce labor costs.
Hopefully, the above compromised settlement will be acceptable to both management and the labor union.
Bradford (1985) in his article, expresses the fact its effects were felt years later on. While the death toll was officially reported to have been 2,259, it’s the effect that it left on those who survived that was even more devastating. Bradford explains that for
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