Contract and labor disputes in corporations can take on many forms. Owners, managers, and workers must understand how these disputes occur, what issues they might involve, and how they will resolve them. Businesses and employees could be embroiled in these situations at any time, and it is best to anticipate future labor issues, work together, and call in an attorney when needed.
Businesses might not know how to qualify a labor dispute. Managers and employees cannot effectively negotiate the terms of a contract if they do not know what the problem is. Identifying the difficulty is one of the keys to negotiation. If the two sides are not negotiating on the same terms, they will never come to a resolution. Labor disputes include:
Most contracts will involve both of these disputes in one way or another. Employees must sit down with management to determine what to negotiate. Because these negotiations can be complicated, it is best to have a lawyer present.
Businesses may wonder what causes contract disputes, or employees may want to organize their colleagues around a singular cause. The following issues may contribute to the decision of your workforce to see representation or to collectively bargain:
Economics: Employee pay, benefits, raises, and the economic conditions under which the company works are often a key to labor disputes. For example, employee perception of the company’s overall profitability or cashflow in relation to employee pay may cause workers to be dissatisfied, believing they are not compensated fairly. Conversely, management and employees might disagree over the wording of a contract revision during a recession as workers are asked to take pay cuts, give up raises, and forgo pension contributions.
Managerial issues: These could be clerical problems that are reflected in employee paychecks or work that is difficult for everyone in the office. Managers that are ineffective communicators, inadequate tools, clothing, or protective gear for workers are all issues that could be addressed by owners and may come up in bargaining.
Political cause: Changes in the political climate can cause a business to experience difficulty. Workers or managers might adhere to a particular ideology that might alter the trajectory of the business. A city or county might pass new wage laws, and the two sides will need to negotiate a contract implementing those new rules.
Psychological reasoning: The perceived motivations of people on the job could cause a friction in the workplace that leads to a labor dispute. While these motivations are difficult to judge, they could become part of a heated contract dispute if unclear or not addressed.
Owners, managers, and workers can help prevent labor disputes by taking affirmative action, such as:
A simple audit of a business will reveal problems that can be solved quickly and avoid a union organization campaign. Employees join a union for many reasons, but most often because they believe they are not being treated fairly by their employer. Most employees would prefer to avoid going on strike, hold up the productivity of the business, or create needless animosity. If both sides work well together, union organization could be averted and most contract disputes can be avoided.
Most labor disputes can be resolved using the following styles of conflict resolution. Every business is different, and each company should work closely with its counsel and employees to determine which method will help both sides achieve their goals:
The experienced legal team at MacMain, Connell & Leinhauser help businesses resolve contract and labor disputes. Call us today at 484-318-7106 or contact us online for an initial consultation. Our offices are located in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and we serve clients throughout Philadelphia, Chester County, and New Jersey.