Striking A Balance – USA Dissertation Editors

1. Trying to Strike a Balance In order to bargain for the health and safety of employ- ees, the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union demanded that several employers disclose the generic names of chemical substances used or produced, as well as the medical records of employees. The employers refused, claiming that disclosure would both invade the privacy of employees and compromise trade secrets. With some limitations, the NLRB in 1982 held that the employers did not bargain in good faith when they refused to divulge such information.* While upholding the union’s request, the board asserted that few matters could be of greater concern to employees “than exposure *Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co., 261 NLRB 27 (1982). 7. Of all the personal attributes that this chapter has indicated are important for labor relations negotiators to have, which single one do you consider to be the most important, and why? 8. “Successful labor contract bargaining should no longer be viewed as an ‘art.’ It is far more appropriate today to refer to it as a ‘science.’ ” Discuss. 9. “No manager who is prone to either ulcers or accepting ver- bal statements at face value belongs at the labor-relations bargaining table.” Discuss, after explaining what this means. 10. “From the viewpoint of management, there is a great deal to be said for the policy of Boulwarism.” Do you agree or disagree with this statement? 11. “From the viewpoint of the national interest, work stop- pages in baseball, our national pastime, should be made illegal.” Comment fully. to working conditions potentially threatening their health, well-being or their very lives.” However, the board also ruled that the employers could conceal individual employee identities before turn- ing over the medical records and also that the manage- ments did not have to disclose the generic names of chemicals that constituted proprietary trade secrets. Thus, the NLRB attempted to strike a balance between conflicting interests: the employer’s desire to protect both worker privacy and trade secrets and the union’s need for material information about potentially life- threatening work conditions. How do you feel about this NLRB decision? ■

Trying to Strike a Balance: found in your textbook. Your response should be between 300-500 words, 12 pt. font, double spaced, 1″ margins.

 

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