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Disputes in a Unionized Workplace

Disputes in a Unionized Workplace

Today’s globalized manner of business brings many changes into the work environment of different employees. Strict competition forces leaders and their subordinates to take drastic measures in relations with each other to achieve results. However, many official institutions create unions to help to deal with arising conflicts. On the other hand, not all subordinates are aware of their actual rights. Some workers may feel uncomfortable going to work day-by-day, but, at the same time, they feel helpless to make changes. This paper aims to analyze a case study of Jack, who works in the finishing department and experiences pressure on the side of his coworkers and leaders, and seeks to find possible solutions to the issue.

The Next Actions and Reasons for Them

Jack is a member of a union and helps in different activities associated with this official group. He acts frankly and speaks openly about his feelings with all colleagues. However, his supervisor does not value this quality and does not pay enough attention to Jack’s problem. For example, Steve promises to negotiate the issue with Phil and allows staying one day at home, but the next day, he abolishes his promise. Moreover, the former blames Jack for skipping his working day. The latter is going to file a grievance and ask for union’s assistance. This solution is the best decision that Jack can make, if he does not want to lose his work.

The National Labor Relations Board (2016) delivers services to all employees and assists in protecting their interests. Jack has stressful job conditions, and it prevents him from productive work. The Board has all possibilities to improve it. For example, it may help Jack to change his department or find a new supervisor. His grievance will raise awareness of the actual situation occurring in the finishing department. Jck has been silent for a long time about the conflict with Eric, and Steve has not made any effort to solve it. Steve considers only himself and does not listen to other parties. Moreover, he blames Jack for all mistakes and ruins his reputation. As a result, Jack’s leader Phil is sure that he is a bad worker who destroys the corporate culture. The grievance will help to review the case from the very beginning and listen to all parties involved in the conflict.

Jack must understand that an official procedure takes much time and effort. However, he must stick to his decision and take all necessary steps on the way to his personal protection. The employee must go through all stages step-by-step and make sure that the union will start considering his case. Jack is searching for understanding and objective judgment, which will be impossible in his case without filing a grievance. He tried to solve the issue by himself few times with the help of different people, but all of these attempts only complicated the situation.

Important Steps That Might Resolve This Issue

A union follows all modern tendencies occurring in the labor market and makes necessary corrections. For example, it considers social and economic changes that constantly take place and views each case from different perspectives (Kearney & Mareschal, 2014). However, the most difficult side of filing a grievance is a psychological challenge. Jack must realize that relations with his coworkers will change. All employees, including supervisors, will be forced to attend official meetings to express their opinion on the issue.

Jack’s grievance will be accepted, because he skipped one day of work without notification and was accused of doing it on purpose. His situation is complicated and requires the union to understand its complexity and to do everyything possible to resolve it. Jack should remember that the global economy offers many different opportunities in case the union cannot make changes (Holley, Jennings, & Wolters, 2012). However, it will conduct a detailed investigation into Jack’s situation. Since he cannot be blamed for all problems, the investigative process will uncover many obscure sides of the case, and he needs much patience to stick to his ideas.

Actions Taken by Me as an HR Manager in the Plant to Get to the Root of the Issue and Reasons for Them

The current situation in the plant shows that Steve is a bad leader. First of all, he made Jack file an official grievance and was not able to solve the problem face-to-face. He neglected the situation with Eric and did not arrange the general meeting to listen to different points of view. If I were an HR manager, I would build trust with all my subordinates. They would know that they could turn to me with any kind of a problem. Moreover, if I gave Jack permission to stay at home, he could be sure that I would keep my word. This situation would lower my reputation, and I would not blame Jack for all problems. All difficulties can be solved if people cooperate as one team. I would encourage Jack’s peaceful participation in the union and would value him for such actions. In such a manner, he would know that he could always rely on me.


Jack has difficult time working for the plant. It is hard for him to know that he is neglected by his colleagues and supervisors. However, the employee finds strength to file a grievance to make changes and save his job. Jack uses all possibilities to prove that he is not guilty and wants to attain fairness in this case. Under given conditions, he must not be afraid to turn to the union, especially, if he is famous for his activity there.


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