What will be the role of labor unions in the twenty-first century? Some argue that the traditional role of the union in protecting the worker has been usurped by significant legislation protecting the worker against discrimination, unsafe work conditions, and unfair pay. Others point out that unions remain indispensable for several reasons; for example, because “at-will” employment is still the law of the land, meaning that most workers can be fired for any reason.
- How does the role and purpose of the modern union need to be redefined to effectively serve its membership?
- How does the presence of a union influence the job of the HR professional?
Analyze this case using the IRAC method in preparation for your assignment.
- National Labor Relations Board v. General Motors Corp., 373 U.S. 734 (1963).
- Focus area: Curbing the notion of closed shop.
These articles will give you background information on the types of union shops to help you analyze the case for your assignment.
- Otani, A. (2013, July 15). Hostess Twinkies return to stores, but unionized jobs disappear. Christian Science Monitor.
- A series of cost saving measures brings Hostess company back from bankruptcy, but at the cost of union jobs.
- Herbert, W. A. (2019). Janus v AFSCME, Council 31: Judges will haunt you in the second gilded age. Relations Industrielles, 74(1), 162–173.
- This article is about the serious changes for rules on public sector unions (such as government employers), and open, closed, union, and agency shops.
Key Labor Laws
These laws and a web page outline the legal rights and obligations of employers and unions.
- National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (Wagner Act).
- The Wagner Act helped address the causes of labor disputes and the obstruction of interstate and foreign commerce. Also, this act created the National Labor Relations Board.
- Labor Management Relations Act of 1947 (Taft-Hartley Act).
- Amended the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 to provide additional facilities for the mediation of labor disputes affecting commerce and to equalize legal responsibilities of labor organizations and employers.
- Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 (Landrum-Griffith Act).
- This act provides for the reporting and disclosure of certain financial transactions and administrative practices of labor organizations and employers to prevent abuses as well as provide standards for the election of officers to labor organizations.
- National Labor Relations Board. (n.d.). Employer/union rights and obligations. Retrieved from https://www.nlrb.gov/rights-we-protect/rights/employer-union-rights-and-obligations
- Web page with current descriptions of the rights and obligations of employers and unions.