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The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 established that employees have the right to join a union, collectively bargain through chosen representatives, go on strike, and also refrain from union activity (Seaquist, 2015). What this means is that employees now had the ability to negotiate wages that would allow them to cover their expenses. They could also negotiate working conditions and benefits. The NLRA also gave workers traction. They now had the ability to have leverage in negotiations. If terms could not be met, employees could strike to apply pressure to the organization to meet its terms or at least come back with a better offer. Previously all of this leverage only rested with employers. If you did not like your working conditions, or maybe started trying to get employees to join together, employers could get rid of you. By its nature, the NLRA protected people in these situations. Most of the things we enjoy as far as safety, competitive wages, and benefits can be drawn directly back to the NLRA.
Federal legislation was and has been a huge part of union and employer regulating. “Congress amended the Sherman Antitrust Act with the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, a federal statute that added language specifically excluding labor unions from being deemed a combination or conspiracy. Unions and labor leaders alike heralded the Clayton Act. Gompers declared it the “industrial Magna Carta upon which the working people will rear their construction of industrial freedom” (Seaquist, 2015). I do think that labor groups would have evolved, but it would have taken longer and they probably wouldn’t have had much of the protection that they had with big government coming in to help regulate how organizations had/have to treat employees. Establishing and maintaining strength the way they have over the years couldn’t have happened by themselves. “The National Labor Relations Act set up a framework of protection for labor unions, only to be tempered by Taft-Hartley, which outlawed closed shops, and Landrum-Griffin, which held unions more accountable. Public unions were recognized but then saw much of their power diminished when Reagan fired all of the striking air traffic controllers and replaced them. The many strikes in the private sector led to greater negative opinion among the American public about unions in general” (Seaquist, 2015).
In today's world everyone needs to keep up with what is going on technology wise. The NLRA has strict rules about employers and employees conversing with one another and they describe this as coercion, surveillance and interrogation. In this comment alone 'While workers may initiate the idea of unionizing in discussions and meetings among themselves, it is not until they sign authorization cards or begin leafleting that employers know organizing is occurring. Once aware, the astute manager must view this event as a turning point and immediately make sure his or her behavior complies with the NLRA." (Seaquist, G. 2015). You can see that it never mentions the electronic ways of communication such as texts, emails, instant messages. All of these are alternate ways to speak to someone without anyone else knowing. The laws should be updated to include these. This section "Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (the Act) guarantees employees "the right to self-organization, to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection," as well as the right "to refrain from any or all such activities."(NLRB.n.d.). In this updated article the NLRB does send out electronic messages but the laws still do not reflect their actions of how employers can stop and interfere with employees about union announcements.
It is very clear that the NLRA rules regarding contact with employees have completely and utterly failed to keep up with the thought of new technology. The NLRA has a very clear agenda and vitally important agenda that protects and defends employee rights. Employees have the right to unionize, to join together to advance their interests as employees, and to refrain from such activity. It is unlawful for an employer to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of their rights. The NLRA has rules and guidelines that have clearly failed to do their intended purposes mainly due to the fact that most of the verbiage does not specify any technology based media points. For example, the means to restrict contact through internet mediums such as emails, instant messenger, and other numerous internet communications channels has been completely displaced. Although, the National Labor Relations Act has failed to keep up with most technology aspects when it comes to rules regarding contact it attempts to protect the rights of employees to act together to address conditions at work, with or without a union. This protection extends to certain work-related conversations conducted on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter (NLRA, 2015). This is something that the National Labor Relations Board has had several cases regarding work related conversations conducted since all the way back in 2010.In this modern era most communications especially dispersed and business communications is conducted through electronic means with less and less face to face conversations and discussions.
- 6 years ago