The Right to StrikeClearly, both the union and management find it relatively easier to come to agreement when the right to strike is exercised by labor. Workers do not have to compete with each other for improvements when they strike to achieve their collective objectives. Moreover, individual workers risk losing their jobs if they approach the management for changes by themselves (“Collective Bargaining,” 1999).
Thus, Solomon (1997) writes that “[t]here is power in collective bargaining,…collective thinking and cooperation among union members” (p. 243). When workers get together to strike, they do not only threaten management with business losses but also call public attention which further threatens management (Solomon, p.
243). After all, management does not desire to lose its customers and displease other external stakeholders due to negative media attention. It was the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 that encouraged “the practice and procedure of collective bargaining by protecting the exercise by workers of full freedom of association” (Getman, 2009).
The statute remains in place today, and management must comply with the Act for the organization to stay in business. But, that is not the only justification for granting a labor union the privilege of exercising the right to strike. Thompson (1979) reports that businesses tend to benefit when unions exercise the right to strike. The reason is twofold.
When workers go on strike, production is reduced, and the supply of the product must also experience decrease. This raises the price of the product. When the strike is over, the business may enjoy higher revenues due to increased prices. Secondly, workers strike when their frustrations on the job are at peak. Once the management has agreed to make improvements in the direction desired by workers and the strike ends, labor returns to work with enhanced motivation, which increases overall productivity of the organization (Thompson). The management understands these benefits of strikes, which is why granting a union the privilege to exercise its right to strike is considered healthy for the organization.
ReferencesCollective Bargaining. (1999, Jan). Gale Encyclopedia of U.S.
Economic History. Retrieved Mar16, 2009, from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0193-12827_ITM.
Getman, J. (2009). Right to Organize, Right to Strike. Retrieved Mar 16, 2009, fromhttp://www.aflcio.
org/mediacenter/speakout/julius_getman.cfm.Solomon, R. C.
(1997). It’s good business: ethics and free enterprise for the new millennium.Lanham, MD: Rowman ; Littlefield.Thompson, E. A. (1979, Feb).
A Note on Labor’s Right to Strike. Retrieved Mar 16, 2009, fromhttp://www.econ.ucla.edu/workingpapers/wp148.pdf.;