Week 3 Case Scenario: Unionization of Workers


Unionization of workers has become problematic to various industries because the collective bargaining requires too much from employers. As a result, employers cannot sustain their operations in the long run due to numerous benefits and high wages demanded by the unions. This paper will provide alternatives and recommendations for each of the four scenarios on how the top management of each firm should respond to unionization attempts.

Acme Auto Parts

Informing the workers that they are not required to sign petitions or union cards presented by union officials is the first alternative. Such information is advantageous as it can help employees understand their duties and responsibilities pertaining to union formation. The disadvantage of this alternative is that it may lead to legal action, when the management is not cautious of how to communicate with the workers. In turn, it may lead to the contravention of regulations.

Apart from communicating with the employees, the second alternative would require the management to elaborate that the company’s customers have chosen to cooperate because it is not unionized. Therefore, the disadvantages of joining a union would be loss of business from the three automakers because the cost of doing business would rise. The management should explain to the workers that the loss of business from such customers would lead to loss of jobs since the company may no longer require the employees. The outcome of joining the unions reflects the systems theory, which views an organization as a system made up of different subsystems. When a subsystem is negatively affected by any factor, the whole system suffers because they are interconnected. The increase in labor wages may lead to loss of customers and eventually, loss of jobs because they are all connected. The advantage of this choice is that it is more convincing to the workers because it relates to their job security. The disadvantage is that they may interpret the alternative as a move to prevent them from joining the union.

Arising from the two alternatives discussed above, the one likely to be effective is the second one because it outlines the disadvantages of a union and possible consequences of the process. It leaves the workers in a dilemma on whether to unionize and risk losing their jobs as a result of losing customers. Such dilemma is likely to make employees choose a more certain outcome, which is remaining without the union. Therefore, the management should pursue it as a viable course of action that may restrict unionization.

The Zinnia

The hotel’s first alternative should outline the demerits of unionization, especially to the non-documented workers. The hotel management should highlight that it would not be beneficial to vote for unionization because the process would expose the undocumented immigrants to scrutiny by the government. The fear of government scrutiny presents a dissatisfaction factor as explained by Herzberg’s motivational theory. The absence of job security leads to a dissatisfaction, which is a factor of dissatisfaction, according to Herzberg’s theory of motivation. The employees are worried about their job security and can do everything within their power to ensure that their jobs are secure. Therefore, they are likely to voluntarily initiate an anti-union campaign to protect themselves from possible legal action for being undocumented.

In addition to the consequences of unionization regarding the non-documented workers, second alternative is to underscore the competitive wages paid by Zinnia. The management can emphasize the benefits the workers currently enjoy such as not paying the union officials and having the freedom to make decisions.

The discussion of the two alternatives leads to the conclusion that the first alternative is better than the second and thus, it should be implemented. The undocumented workers are likely to immensely suffer from the unionization. Therefore, there is a high possibility that they would do everything possible to ensure that the government does not initiate an investigation of their citizenship and employment status. Additionally, the dangers of unionization to them are so imminent that they are likely to appeal to their colleagues to vote against unionization. The willingness of the undocumented workers to thwart unionization efforts makes this alternative the best for the management to adopt.

School District 273

The case of School District 274 is based on the union’s claim that it has received 70% support from the teachers through the authorization cards. The first alternative for the board would entail confirming that the 70% of the teachers have signed the cards. In case the claim is not true, the school board should state some of the disadvantages of joining the union by the teachers. Among the vital disadvantages that should be communicated to the teachers is the increased cost that would accompany their input in educational processes. The disadvantage of this alternative is that it can only work if the union does not gain the claimed 70% support.

In addition to confirming the 70% support, the second alternative is to discuss their demands. According to the human relations theory, the involvement of workers in decisions affecting their work can boost their morale and increase productivity (Budd & Scoville, 2005). This theory supports the inclusion of the teachers’ input in decisions affecting the curriculum and educational standards. The advantage of this alternative is that agreeing to discuss with the union limits the level of conflict because the board is seen as friendly. On the other hand, the alternative can compromise education due to reduced number of teachers through layoffs.

From the analysis of the two alternatives, the most preferable is the second one because the teachers have already signed the authorization cards. The signing of the cards constitutes a contract, in which the teachers and the union have entered (Blanpain & Baker, 2004). Therefore, convincing the teachers would not help. The second alternative provides a friendly platform that may yield compromises from both parties. Additionally, the board should adopt the second alternative because it has chances of meeting the teachers’ demands and increasing the quality of education because the teachers will be motivated.