inter-union conflict in a multi-union, non

advertisement

INTER-UNION CONFLICT IN A MULTI UNION, NON-EXCLUSIVE BARGAINING REGIME: LESSONS FROM NEW ZEALAND Mark Harcourt

University of Waikato

Helen Lam

Athabasca University

Introduction

majoritarian and exclusive system union decline minority unionism fear

Implications for Canada union revival inter-union conflict

Problems with Majority and

Exclusive Unionism Hard to get certified Freedom of Association and Freedom of non-association the rights of minority

Raiding union complacency

Advantages of Minority Unionism principle) Freedom of Association (an important ILO efficient means of organizing new members springboard of majority representation run in parallel to majority exclusive representation

National Labor Relations Act

Sec. 7. [ § 157.]

Employees shall have 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 ... and shall also have the right to refrain from any or all such activities except to the extent that such right may be affected by an agreement requiring membership in a labor organization as a condition of employment ...

Sec. 9 [ § 159.] (a) [Exclusive representatives; employees' adjustment of grievances directly with employer]

Representatives designated or selected for the purposes of collective bargaining by the majority of the employees in a unit appropriate for such purposes, shall be the exclusive representatives of all the employees in such unit for the purposes of collective bargaining in respect to rates of pay, wages, hours of employment, or other conditions of employment ...

Potential for Inter-union Conflict

under Minority Unionism Ideology

Organising

Bargaining

Personalities

Employer-precipitated

Methods

117 unions New Zealand (76%) ~96% union workers

online survey past 3 years

Question Categories on Conflict

Frequencies

Seriousness conflict resolution reform

Results

33 unions (28%) conflict with other unions

Conflict over Ideology

19 unions (16%)

Conflict over Organising/Members

30 unions (26%)

Conflict over Bargaining

32 unions (27%)

Personality Conflicts

23 unions (20%)

Other Conflicts

19 unions (16%)

17 unions (15%)

11 unions (9%)

Conflict Consequences

Wasted time/resources coping with/resolving conflict Loss of members to other unions Loss of members to individual agreements Reduced bargaining power with employers Reduced informal influence over employers Reduced lobbying impact on government Bad Public relations Minor problem

11 (9%) 13 (11%) 14 (12%) 5 (6%) 7 (6%) 4 (3%) 3 (2%)

Medium sized problem

4 (3%) 4 (3%) 1 (1%) 10 (9%) 1 (1%) 1 (1%) 1 (1%) 4 (3%) 0 (0%) 1 (1%) 1 (1%) 0 (0%) 1 (1%) 1 (1%)

Major problem One of Union’s biggest problems

0 (0%) 1 (1%) 1 (1%) 2 (2%) 2 (2%) 1 (1%) 0 (0%)

Total

19 (16%) 18 (15%) 17 (15%) 18 (15%) 10 (8%) 7 (6%) 5 (4%)

Conflict Avoidance and Resolution leader to leader discussions informal understanding federation (NZCTU) protocols

Conflict Resolution Recommendations minimum membership rules banning company union good faith rules informal agreements NZCTU agreements

Conclusions

More than 70% of unions did not have any conflict bargaining and organising mainly over

Conclusions

inter-union conflicts considered “minor issues” re-interpret the NLRA to allow minority unions restore democracy revive the union density

Download