Response to an organizing drive, HR Management

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After reading through the Zinnia and ACME scenarios presented on page 225 of the John Budd text (Labor Relations: Striking a Balance), outline an employer strategic level (organizing) response to the organizing drive. Be detailed about the tactics you would use and the issues you would address in response to both organizing drives. Also, in the second part of your essay critique the current organizing drive and develop your own union organizing drive for both the Zinnia and ACME scenarios. Be sure to include specific tactics and issues you would address.

Scenario #1 ACME AUTO PARTS: Acme Auto Parts is a small nonunion manufacturer of auto parts located in a small town in the South. The work is repetitive and routine. There are no particular skill or educational requirements for the production employees. Acme sells nearly all its parts to the Big Three automakers (Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler) according to the specifications they provide. The highly unionized Big Three have largely outsourced the manufacturing of parts. Many of their traditional parts suppliers have closed their unionized operations in Michigan and opened nonunion plants in the South and in Mexico. The Big Three, however, continue to face competitive cost pressures from the Japanese car companies and therefore are continually trying to wring cost concessions from their suppliers. The parts workers at various companies that are still represented by the United Auto Workers (UAW) face demands for concessions during every contract negotiation. The UAW is therefore trying to organize the nonunion parts factories. You have seen UAW organizers in town trying to contact Acme workers for the past few weeks. This morning you overheard two workers talking about the UAW.

Scenario #2 THE ZINNIA: The Zinnia is a 300-room hotel in the central business district of a major Midwestern metropolitan area. This is a full-service hotel—a hotel providing a wide variety of services including food and beverage facilities and meeting rooms—that caters to individual business travelers, convention attendees, and local business people who need meeting space. The Zinnia emphasizes outstanding service and amenities and is owned by a prominent local real estate magnate, Ms. Lucy Balder- cash, who closely monitors the management and financial performance of her diversified properties. Many of this city’s major hotels are unionized, and the Zinnia’s wage rates are equal to the local union wage scale. You feel that while the Zinnia’s employee benefit package is modest compared to what the union has been able to extract from your unionized competitors, it is competitive with other low-skilled occupations in the area—and is particularly generous for the undocumented immigrants that you have quietly hired to fill the dishwashing and room cleaning positions. You also feel that your unionized competitors are saddled with myriad work rules that restrict flexibility. The local union organizes aggressively and isn’t afraid to have public marches and demonstrations in support of its goal of social justice. But you thought your workers were content, and you were astonished to learn this morning that Zinnia workers have been quietly signing authorization cards. You received no- tice from the NLRB that a petition was filed by the local hotel union requesting an election covering back- of-the-house workers (kitchen, laundry, and room cleaning employees—not front-of-the-house employees like bellhops, bartenders, and waitresses) and that this petition was supported by signed authorization cards from 40 percent of the workers.

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