Disputes in a unionized workplace
Before you start this assignment, be sure that you are familiar with the following:
National Labor Relations Board (n.d.) Rights We Protect. Retrieved from https://www.nlrb.gov/rights-we-protect
National Labor Relations Board (n.d.) Unfair Labor Practice Process Charts. Retrieved from https://www.nlrb.gov/resources/nlrb-process/unfair-labor-practice-process-chart
Sultan, M. (2012) Managing Grievance Process (slideshow). Retrieved from https://www.nlrb.gov/resources/nlrb-process/unfair... https://www.slideshare.net/mohdhanifah/grievance-procedure-13512386
Read the following scenario:
Jim and Ted are both hourly employees working as forklift drivers in a large grocery chain’s central California warehouse. Their workplace is unionized. They work in the same warehouse section under Bob, the second shift supervisor.
Jim has always found the job difficult, because the job was fast-paced, but repetitive and even though the forklifts, the machines, do the heavy lifting and moving, there were situations in which a driver had to deal with slightly misplaced palates or otherwise use ingenuity and “muscle” to keep things moving smoothly through the shift. Jim was small in stature and obviously not as physically strong as his co-workers. Ted made a point of never helping Jim with these adjustments, even though he helped other drivers when such situations arose. Jim was gay, and he thought Ted resented having him there – Ted never seemed to want to talk with Jim on breaks, for example.
Jim thought Ted was being a bad colleague, especially on those days when Jim could have really used Ted’s help. Jim mentioned to Bob, the supervisor, that he sure wished that Ted would be willing to help hin once in a while. After all, he would be willing to help Ted if he asked. Bob replied that he didn’t think that was going to happen.
It wasn’t only Ted who wouldn’t ever help Jim. All of the other forklift drivers seemed to look the other way when Jim found himself in a situation where there was “muscle” needed to keep things going.
Recently, the company implemented a new stacking protocol. Soon thereafter, Jim wasn’t meeting his production numbers on some days. He thought it was because he couldn’t get any help from his colleagues when needed and his supervisor, Bob, didn’t seem to care.
Bob, his supervisor, did carefully record Jim’s production numbers to highlight the shifts when he had underperformed. After a while, Jim started skipping breaks and shortening his lunch break on some days so he could spend a little more time on the forklift and try to meet his production for the shift. No one seemed to care or notice.
As Jim came to realize that he was going to get a bad performance evaluation if the situation continued, he asked Bob if he couldn’t order his co-workers to help him when situations arose where he needed help. Bob said he couldn’t give Jim any special treatment.
Jim grew more frustrated, especially by the lack of communication and what he considered to be the stubbornness of his co-workers in refusing to help him when he needed it. He reasoned that he had a family to feed, just as they did, and he had to do something about the unfair treatment he was receiving.
Jim told Bob that he was going to tell the union that he wanted to file a grievance, because he thought the way he was being treated was not right.
Bob told Jim that he’d never known a grievance to work out for the person who filed it, but Jim should do what he thought he needed to do.
Jim felt very upset about what he perceived as Bob’s indifference. He filed a formal grievance with the union about the situation.
Prepare a 2- to 3-page (not counting title and reference pages) paper that addresses the following questions:
What do you think will happen next? Why? Discuss the important steps that might take place to resolve this issue. If you were the HR manager in this warehouse, what would you do to get to the root of the issue? Why?