The paper explains the concept of labor relations, labor contracts, and how the employer and the employee cooperate when negotiating. The paper dwells on one of the current issues of the union/ labor relations and explains the phenomenon of today’s labor movement. During the research, a court case connected to the issue has been carefully studied and reviewed. A summary of the case is provided in the paper. Also, both management and labor viewpoints were examined to draw a reasonable conclusion regarding the relevance and advantages of the National Labor Relations Act as a means of helping those workers who seek justice being unlawfully terminated or discriminated against.
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Labor relations is the selection of procedures and actions that unions and managers develop and use to elucidate, manage, and resolve battles between staff and their representatives while complying with the differing goals of each. Federal and state laws and regulations define and shape the rights and responsibilities of employers and unions in the conduct of employee representation and collective bargaining.
These laws and regulations are ultimately the product of the culture and experiences of the society to which they apply (Fossum, 2011). The labor relations are ruled by agreements negotiated by and settled by both parties. Contracts spell out the rights and obligations of both parties during the period that they are both in effect. Contracts are reviewed intermittently to take into consideration varying goals and ideas of both parties and fluctuations in the economy and the social order.
While the legislation of labor relations is administered by justly firm commandments and principles, and its procedures and actions are comparatively the same across companies, the way it works within individual employers is, to some extent, unique, due to differences in the specific goals of each employer and the union that represents its employees (Kearney & Mareschal, 2014).
Within larger employers that operate several establishments, labor relations will differ depending on what is produced in each and whether different unions represent employees in different establishments. Regardless of the continuous efforts to fight the injustice in the job sector, the issues of union/ labor relations still exist, and the Labor Board can barely cope with them, but the most important detail is the fact that in most cases it still helps to punish the organizations that take advantage of their employees.
The Labor Movement
The labor movement is more and more focusing on the uniting of specialists and low-paid facility employees. It sees a challenging barrier on its track, mostly the potency of companies’ anti-union movements and what it sees as the negligent implementation of current labor law and its defense of the rigorous action. In this situation, the conflicts over employee classification among staff, managers, unions, and agencies are conflicts between the Labor Board and the federal courts of appeals in the context of previous severe confrontations and a fiasco of the Labor Board to offer a coherent base for its pronouncements regarding the meaning of the word “employee”.
Even though the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) was passed in the first half of the 20th century with the extensive determination to inspire cooperative bargaining and defending workers’ rights, the description of protected workers offered by the NLRA is obstructively repetitious. With a few enumerated exemptions, a worker is simply “a worker”. The legal trials which have strived to fill this legislative breach over the seven decades since the NLRA was ratified have not resolved the issue (Jost, 2011).
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Ramirez v. Steward Health Care System Case
As described in 2012 Investment Weekly News, Ramirez, who operated as a nurse at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen in Massachusetts for almost 20 years, was a role-model nurse with a flawless work history. A dedicated patient advocate, Ramirez was also a frontrunner in a movement by the nurses to establish a union with the MNA/NNU, which ended in a positive union selection.
The issue, in this case, was based on the fact that a few weeks later, after making a slight medication mistake that did no damage to the patient (Ramirez did report her mistake, though), Ramirez was instantly fired by the hospital administration in the desecration of the hospital’s own rule that demands only a spoken notice after such a mistake. In addition to that, the administration has also filed a complaint against Ramirez in an inappropriate effort to weaken her possibilities of working as a nurse.
The hospital has also fought her claim for job loss benefits. Ramirez was obstinate in her determination to find the justice she deserves in this case. She fought her unemployment and complaints filed against her at the board of nursing. Considering all the facts, it was clear no workers should be treated like that.
Labor and Management Viewpoints
The situation got an immediate response from the labor. Irritated by the unlawful dismissal, nurses at the hospital as one initiated to wear buttons that said: “We Support Mary.” Nurses also signed appeals in the sustenance of her cause and a group of nurses paraded on the workplace of the hospital chief executive to request her instant re-establishment.
The management replied by passing yet another unlawful order, placing a note, and having supervisors give out threats of punishment for any nurse who continued to wear the button in support of their coworker. In the firing and the following attempts to hush the nurses, the hospital was intruding, pressing, and limiting personnel in the rights given to them by the federal employment law. The administration of the hospital was disheartening the affiliation with a labor organization, and that was seen as an abuse of the labor law.
The board complaint also stated that the hospital management has been deteriorating and rejecting to cooperate with the collectively selected negotiations representative of its workers, another time in an unswerving defilement of federal labor law.
The labor board allied with the nurses and the union, which resulted in finding the reason to issue an official protest against the hospital. In issuing the complaint against the hospital, the board stated it was going to seek for justice, which included providing Ramirez with the full money refund and compensation of all taxes owed on her behalf. They demanded that the hospital removed its complaint against her authorization with the Mass Board of Registration in Nursing, and terminated and discontinued its current practices.
The newsflash of this NLRB protest came just weeks after the affiliates of the Massachusetts Nurses Association and their nationwide organization, National Nurses United, marched outside the Park Avenue headquarters of the administration in New York City, which was joined by hundreds of protestors and nurses from across the country. The parade was intended to climax those very actions mentioned by the Labor Board and to inform the community of the costs of the admission of for-profit isolated impartiality businesses to the health care marketplace.
Taking into consideration the history of it, the National Labor Relations Act became a kind of a sophisticated work-in-progress act that might seem as if it were not working at all. Nonetheless, the NLRA helped in resolving most of the issues that appeared throughout its slightly more than seventy-year history. In conclusion, the author would like to express the idea that, despite numerous shortcomings, the Act remains one of the main hopes for the workers who seek for justice. All in all, the basic labor law is presently not a friend to unions. Attempts to improve it are expected to encounter momentous confrontation. However, they are worth the effort.
Ramirez v. Steward Health Care System court case became a perfect example of how the act and the authority it is endowed with could help if the situation were properly assessed. The social resonance among hospital workers also played an important role in solving this problem, forcing the management to proceed illegally towards the unlawfully fired nurse and her co-workers. Moreover, it is significant that after Ramirez’s case caught nationwide attention, several other cases involved that same hospital management and numerous illegally fired nurses.
Most probably, union/ labor relations will remain sophisticated and controversial for quite a long period due to the unique management in different unions working within the same company. This does not to any extent mean that the unions should be not treated exclusively. On the contrary, the exclusiveness should be encouraged by the management and the stuff, but they’re also should be a constant reminder for both of them that those who proceed unlawfully will be punished by the National Labor Relations Board by the National Labor Relations Act.
Fossum, J. A. (2011). Labor Relations (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Jost, M. P. S. (2011). Independent Contractors, Employees, and Entrepreneurialism Under the National Labor Relations Act: A Worker-by-Worker Approach. Washington and Lee Law Review, 68(1), 311-352. Web.
Kearney, R. C., & Mareschal, P. M. (2014). Labor Relations in the Public Sector (5th ed.). New York, NY: M. Dekker.
Massachusetts Nurses Association; National Labor Relations Board Issues Charges of Unfair Labor Practices Against Cerberus-Steward Health Care for the Illegal Firing of a Nurse at Holy Family Hospital & for Violations of Nurses’ Union Rights in an Attempt to Discourage Nurses’ Participation in the Union. (2012). Investment Weekly News, 389. Web.
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