The response must be 250 words and use at least 2 scholarly citation(s) in APA format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. Acceptable sources include texts, articles, presentations, the Bible, blogs, videos, etc.
Textbook: Raines, S. (2020). Conflict Management for Managers: Resolving Workplace, Client, and Policy Disputes (2nd ed.). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN: 9781538119938
Conflict Management in Unionized Environments
Unions and management/labor in the workplace in the United States have shared a volatile relationship in the United States. Beginning in the 1830’s labor unions were established to protect workers from the abuses of management that were the norm throughout the 19thand 20th centuries—the ability to form alliances such as those found in labor unions allowed employees to voice their concerns in one concise voice. Many employees felt safety and wages precipitate conflicts between management employees and union representatives. Raines (2020) claims wrongful termination, unfair treatment, harassment, workplace safety concerns, discrimination, intra-team dispute, personality conflicts, and so forth (p. 194).
The Establishment of Labor Unions
Historically, the Unionized workplaces owe their lineage to the period following the Black Plague in Europe. The plague disseminated the labor force in Europe; in addition to the growing economic stagnation, a decrease in production increased to force the price of goods to rise, creating a demand for labor. Labor in this situation was able to demand a living wage and improved working conditions. In their need to produce, the ruling class members found themselves forced to provide the mandated salaries and improved work conditions. Both parties understood that one party needed to make money, and the other had a commodity in demand. Both parties understood that they needed each other to have a successful enterprise. The concept of a symbiotic relationship between labor and management would last for centuries.
During the Middle Ages, the fallout of the plague caused a significant portion of the European population to die, leaving the demand for individuals to work the fields. The shortage of work forced Surfs to work longer hours. The extended hours combined with the labor shortage, provided the conditions for re-bargaining between the lords and the surfs. The ability to negotiate from the position of strength served as the earliest form of collective bargaining implemented in labor negotiations.
Post-industrial American, Labor Unions, and the Great Depression
In the post-industrialized society, labor unions emerged as a tool for collective bargaining in the 1920s-1930s during the Great Depression, when unemployment in America reached 14%. During this period, America was transforming from a predominantly agricultural society to a mechanized industry leading to the need for a specialized labor force, the challenge of child labor, and the acceptance of unskilled labor as the backbone of the industrialized workforce. During this period, management unthought the concept of federally mandated minimum wage.
The concept of labor protections founded its roots in the heavily industrialized Northern Eastern states, which demonstrated the improvement of the importance of unions and their connection to greater economic prosperity. According to Ahlquist (2017), in rich democracies, Unionization also correlates with redistribution of both income, and financial risk, demonstrating that unions can be political actors. To the extent that unions tend to mobilize citizens further down the income distribution (P. 41).
Collective bargaining among the interested participants is utilized in the conflict resolution process to reach an agreement. The external environment plays a significant role in the process and can affect collective bargaining. According to Katz et al. (2017), the external environment includes five key elements: the economic climate (micro and macro), law and public, the demographic context, social attitudes, and the technological context (p. 9). The concept lends itself to controlling when and where negotiations should occur in a favorable setting.
Christian World View
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention (Proverbs 15:18, ESV).
Ahlquist, J. S. (2017). Labor Unions, Political Representation, and Economic Inequality.
Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 20, 20(1)
Katz, Harry. C., Kochan T. A., & Colvin, A. J. S. (2017). An Introduction to U.S. Collective Bargaining and Labor Relations. (5th Ed).
Cornell University Press
Raines, S. S. (2020). Conflict
Management for Managers: Resolving Workplace, Client, and Policy Disputes.
Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.