Members Login
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Organized Labor


Status: Offline
Posts: 2
Organized Labor

Labor contracts allow organizations and unions to define the terms and conditions of the employment. The covered areas include rates of pay, vacation and retirement plans among others. Perhaps the most conspicuous parts of these deals are the employee grievance handling as well as discipline and discharge clauses. The latter are essential because disagreements or conflicts are likely to arise in the course of doing business due to poor working conditions and workloads that the workers may feel the need to be addressed. The Boeing Company Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Baltimore County Memorandum of Understanding with Firefighters provide insight into their employee grievance handling along with employee discipline and discharge clauses.

The Boeing Labor Contract defines a grievance as any complaint arising between the organization and its employees with regard to the collective bargaining agreement, the company, and the union. The bargaining agreement concerns various issues such as union representation, rights of management, hours of work, rates of pay, holidays and sick leave. Other elements are voluntary investment plan, retirement plan, labor grades, travel and relocation as well as health and safety. Any complaint between the employee and the firm in any of these areas constitutes a grievance. On the other hand, the Baltimore County Administration defines grievance in relation to firefighters as any confrontation concerning the interpretation of any terms of the memorandum of understanding; it also includes a dispute regarding the discriminatory misapplication or application of rules and regulations, the confrontation with respect to suspension, disciplinary action, demotion or promotion, and the complaint against an examination rating. The county allows the grievance to be filed by an individual firefighter or the association of firefighters within the county.

With reference to cases related to layoff or involuntary dismissal, the worker is expected to follow the four main grievance processing steps in case of Boeing. The first stage is the oral discussion, in which the employee notifies the supervisor or superiors of their issue. The second step involves reduction of the issue into writing and submission at the supervisory level. The written material should include among other things the facts upon which the grievance is premised, a reference to sections of the agreement alleged to have been violated and the settlement sought. The matter should be handled within four days after the submission of the written statement. If no solution is achieved in the previous step, the grievance is subject to stage three, which encompasses sitting with the business representative team at the company level. The team may make their conclusions within ten days. The final step requires arbitration, if the matter is not solved at the third stage. Each party may request the issue to be filed to an arbiter for prompt hearing at this point.

However, the situation is different in case of the Baltimore County grievance handling process. The latter comprises five major steps. Firstly, the employee is expected to discuss the matter with the immediate supervisor or superiors with the rate of a captain or higher (the supervisor must address the matter within his/her scope). During the second step, the firefighter is supposed to write a written report of grievances to the Battalion chief within seven days if no solution is reached before. Thus, this action provides a basis for meeting within fourteen days of the receivership of the written statement by the worker (The Baltimore County, 2006). At the third stage, the employee may seek an appeal to the answer in step two with the division chief within fourteen days (The Baltimore County, 2006). If the matter is time sensitive, the firefighter may skip the first two steps and proceed directly to the step three. In its turn, step four accommodates the cases that are not settled at the previous stage. In such conditions, the appeal is made to the chief or the chiefs designee within fourteen days after the step three (The Baltimore County, 2006). If the issue is not resolved, the worker or the representative may proceed to the final phase. The latter requires a written appeal to the labor commissioner for hearing and final determination. The commissioner, in this case, may increase, decrease, uphold or abolish the disciplinary measure. Hence, both contracts are similar in that they comprehensively define the grievance handling process and have clear steps that must be followed by the employee as long as grievances are concerned.

The employees who subvert any clause outlined in the respective collective bargaining contract are subject to disciplinary actions. In case of the Boeing Contract, the primary disciplinary measures include dismissal, suspension and layoff (The Boeing Company, 2008). At any rate, the worker should be granted a copy of layoff, release, and suspension service slip that outline the reasons for termination at the time of discharge, or these documents may be mailed to him/her and copied for the workers union. The employee is entitled to appeal any disciplinary actions (Bhoganadam, Rao, Reddy, & Malina, 2016). In such a case, the worker must file the written grievance(s) starting from step 3 outlined above with the respective representative of the firm within seven days after dismissal, suspension or coerced resignation. Moreover, the workforce members punished for sex crimes, especially offenses that involve children, are not subject to the grievance and arbitration process. Instead, they became answerable to the relevant law enforcement agencies. The written complaints should then undergo full arbitration, retroactive compensation pending the determination. If it is determined in favor of the employee, he/she returns to the workplace with the redress sought. With regard to Baltimore County, the disciplinary measure is taken in private in the form of written reprimand, transfer, forfeiture of leave days, suspension, discharge or demotion. However, the worker has the right to representation by the association if he/she believes that interrogation may lead to a disciplinary action as well as the right to be informed of the nature of investigation within reasonable time and duration. The information should incorporate the name, the rank, and the unit of command overseeing the investigations. Besides, the management should give sufficient time to the employees representative to understand the contents of the disciplinary actions and include a copy of interrogation, list of witnesses, exculpatory information along with a copy of the investigatory file. Additionally, the worker has the right to appeal any disciplinary measure taken through the grievance handling process or any action that leads to suspension, demotion, discharge, or loss of time. The county is entitled to maintain the disciplinary records for all its staff members and expunge such records when it is deemed appropriate. Therefore, both contracts are similar in the sense that they outline the disciplinary measures and provide a mechanism through which the aggrieved party can appeal the disciplinary sanction.

The process of grievance handling might have positive outcomes for the employee relations. Firstly, the company formulates the steps through which an employee can seek an audience with the relevant organizational bodies when mistreated. Besides, this can be done at the supervisory level, but in case of failure, the worker can escalate the matter to the business representative team of the company. Secondly, the grievance handling process makes it possible for the employee to select an arbiter to act on his/her behalf when the matter is not solved favorably. Hence, this enables the worker to outline the violated clauses by the firm and reach settlement as a result. Thirdly, it makes it allows handling of all matters regarding the subject areas of wages, labor grades of the workforce sick leave and representation. Nonetheless, these are important matters that affect most staff members. Finally, workers are granted the opportunity to appeal dismissal, layoff and suspension. Thus, these practices improve the employee relations because the workers can achieve an objective determination to the purported violations by the company without intimidation even after the botched grievance handling process.

The grievance handling process might have favorable effects on employee relations. The process is very elaborate since it suggests sufficient methods and steps through which workers can seek an audience in the county regarding the employment issues. For instance, it underscores the importance of following the laid-out procedures so that matters are handled at the supervisory or any other level. In case of non-settlement, the process offers additional steps through which workers can get redress including the reprieve by the commissioner of labor. The fact that the county upholds the policy of non-discrimination enhances employee relations within the firm because it eliminates the chances of mistreatment of the workers by the organization.


The Boeing Company Collective Bargaining Agreement and the Baltimore Memorandum of Understanding provide an elaborate grievance handling process and discipline clauses. In case of Boeing, the process comprises four significant steps, which the staff must follow faithfully in order to achieve justice. The agreement allows the workers to seek arbitration by appointing an arbiter to the review committee. On the other hand, the Baltimore County Memorandum of Understanding with the firefighters outlines a mechanism for grievance reporting and determination. The aggrieved parties have the opportunity to follow the five procedural steps. The contract enables the employees to skip some of the steps depending on the urgency and seriousness of the matter. Besides, it makes it possible for the workforce to appeal unfavorable determinations by the division chief, the chief and the commissioner of labor. Workers can appoint arbiters if they deem such actions will give them upper hand during the negotiations. The two labor contracts improve the employees relations because they leave few chances to unfair treatment or prejudice practiced by superiors. Thus, every worker can appeal any disciplinary action without the fear of discrimination.

More read on

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard