M3A1: Case Analysis: GMFC Custom Conveyer Division
Image of a group of business people discussingThis assignment will help deepen your understanding of union organizing drives. It will also provide an opportunity to develop your analytical and problem-solving skills.
Before you begin this activity, be sure that you have:
Read Textbook Chapters 4 – 6
Reviewed Case Study (pg. 193-194 in textbook)
Reviewed the PowerPoints for:
Chapter 4 [PDF file size 6.5 MB]
Chapter 5 [PDF file size 7.3 MB]
Chapter 6 [PDF file size 8.8 MB]
Reviewed the Videos:
Union View (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video, 2:37 minutes]
Hyatt’s Reponse (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Video, 2:17 minutes]
Reviewed the General Instructions for Case Analysis [PDF file size 34.0 KB]
The case presents a situation in which you can role-play either a union organizer or a management representative. Regardless of the role you select, you will need to consider appropriate strategies for both sides to formulate the best one for the role you chose.
The case, GMFC Custom Conveyer Division, is on pp. 193-194 in the textbook. Be sure to read the case carefully. Then select either the union organizer role or the management role and prepare your analysis based on the information in the case, the text and other appropriate resources. If you select the union organizer role, your analysis will focus on developing a strategy for organizing the plant. If you select the management role, your analysis will focus on developing a strategy for remaining non-union.
In your analysis, you must explain the actions you recommend and why they should be implemented. You should also consider the actions that the other party may take and how you would deal with those actions.
Your assignment should be 3-4 pages in length, double-spaced. As noted above, you must support your recommendation by citing references in the text and from other authoritative sources.
Compose your work in a .doc or .docx file type using a word processor (such as Microsoft Word, etc.) and save it frequently to your computer. For those assignments that are not written essays and require uploading images or PowerPoint slides, please follow uploading guidelines provided by your instructor.
Check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors. When you are ready to submit your work, click “Upload Submission.” Enter the submission title and then click on “Select a file to upload.” Browse your computer, and select your file. Click “Open” and verify the correct file name has appeared next to Submission File. Click on “Continue.” Confirm submission is correct and then click on “Accept Submission & Save.”
This course has Turnitin® fully integrated into the course dropbox. This means that you should only submit your assignments to the dropbox below. Please do not submit your assignment directly to Turnitin.com.
Once submitted, your assignment will be evaluated by Turnitin® automatically. You will be able to view an Originality Report within minutes of your first submission that will show how much of your work has been identified as similar to other sources such as websites, textbooks, or other student papers. Use your Originality Report as a learning tool to identify areas of your assignment that you may not have cited appropriately. You may resubmit your assignment through this dropbox as many times as you need to check to see if you have made improvements, until the due date of the assignment. However, once you have made your first submission, you will need to wait 24 hours after each subsequent submission to receive a new Originality Report. Plan accordingly as you draft your assignment. Once the due date has passed, your assignment submission will be considered final.
Review the SBT Case Analysis Rubric located in the “Start Here” section of the course for more information on grading criteria.
GMFC Custom Conveyer Division Case Study
GMFC recently acquired a custom conveyer equipment building company, renaming it the Custom Conveyer Division (CCD). The new division has 120 employees working in the production section, three supervisors, a single general supervisor, two engineers, three office clerks, a production manager, and the plant manager (Fossum, 2014). The employees working in production are divided into five different job categories: welders, fabricators, painters, preppers, and assemblers. The CCD employs workers who live not more than 20 miles from the plant. The employees of the CCD start working with a starting salary of $9 every hour, where the rate of pay will increase by fifty cents every half year until it reaches $11 per hour. Around three-quarters of the total employees working at the CCD already earn the maximum hourly rate (Fossum, 2014). The division generally provides a good working environment and favorable working conditions for its employees. The company provides employees with a comprehensive insurance cover, which also includes an 80 percent cost coverage for the insurance of any employee dependents.
Other companies in the industry pay lower hourly rates to their employees. The rate of employee turnover is extremely low, and the company realizes sales increases every year. There are plans to expand the production plant to increase capacity. In addition, the GMFC-CCD provides several employee-oriented and recreational activities, including quarterly recreational parties for the employees (Fossum, J. (2014). The CCD is currently non-union. The company may wish to keep off labor unions in the new division to avoid the complexities that come with employee unionization. Unions, on the other hand, may wish to conduct a union organizing campaign to ensure that the employees in the CCD are unionized. In order to ensure that the employees in the division do not join unions, the management needs to convince the workers that they are better off without a union. Some of the techniques that the management may use to keep unions at bay in the CCD are discussed below.
As the manager of the division, I would first ensure that the employees are allocated jobs on the basis of the skills that they possess. I would also ensure that employees are provided with equal access to job training activities to improve their skill sets. After employees have acquired adequate training, they will be posted to the appropriate job classification. By proving employees with an equal opportunity for training activities, the employees with feel valued and will not complain of any form of discrimination (Machin & Wood, 2005). Improving the skills of employees will ensure a better quality of output and will motivate the employees to work even harder to realize better results. I may also tie employee compensation to job performance. This would be best implemented through the adoption of a performance appraisal system that ties benefits to employee performance. Employees who perform exceptionally well would receive incentives such as shopping vouchers, salary increments, or other forms of rewards. By implementing such an appraisal system, the employees would be motivated to work harder and improve their performance.
There would be no reason to join a union to negotiate for better pay, as the employees would be aware that their performance determines the level of compensation that they receive. The plant already provides several recreational activities and programs for the workers. The employees should be encouraged to participate in these activities. Through this, a sense of equality would be established, improving the relationship between the management and the workers. As a manager, I would ensure that the workers are made aware that the division, and the company at large, is not anti-union but pro-employees. I would institute the open-door policy to encourage open communication and establish good relations between the management and the employees (Machin & Wood, 2005). Employees would be encouraged to provide their ideas on improvements around the plant and to contribute to decision-making. I would also institute a culture based on fairness, and one that does not tolerate discrimination (Hogler et al., 2015).
Employee complaints and concerns would be sufficiently addressed, and promotions would be done internally. This would be a way of rewarding hard-working employees and those who have shown great performance improvement. GMFC-CCD provides good working conditions for its employees, including paying them well. However, unions may use fear and intimidation in their favor to gain members from the organization (Mello, 2004). Unions may inform the workers that there is a high possibility for layoffs if the plant does not receive custom conveyer orders for a whole month. The workers may join the union out of fear to ensure that the union advocates for their job security. To counter this tactic, I would ensure that workers are provided with diverse training to ensure multiskilling. In case there are no custom conveyer orders, CCD employees may work in the other divisions. As such, employees would feel more secure. Unions may also use the salting technique to acquire members (Mello, 2004) – ensuring an employee who is an advocate of a union gets employed at a firm with the intention of organizing the union.
The “salts” inform their co-workers about the benefits of joining the union during lunchtime or during a break (Peterson et al., 1992). Their sole purpose is to create discord amongst the workers. To deal with this tactic, I would ensure that employees are provided with an open platform to air their concerns and issues and that they are well paid (which the company already does). By tying compensation to performance, I would ensure that the “salts” have nothing to base their criticism of the company’s management on. Employees would be provided with equal career development opportunities at the plant, and the working conditions – including the workplace safety, working hours, and security – would be favorable for the employees.
Fossum, J. (2014). Labor relations. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Hogler, R. L., Hunt, H. G., & Weiler, S. (2015). Killing unions with culture: Institutions, inequality, and the effects of labor’s decline in the United States. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 27(1), 63-79.
Machin, S., & Wood, S. (2005). Human resource management as a substitute for trade unions in British workplaces. ILR Review, 58(2), 201-218.
Mello, J. A. (2004). Salts, lies and videotape: Union organizing efforts and management’s response. Labor Law Journal, 55(1), 42.
Peterson, R. B., Lee, T. W., & Finnegan, B. (1992). Strategies and tactics in union organizing campaigns. Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, 31(2), 370-381.
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