Objectives of the Industrial Relations Act - QS Study
QS Study

Objectives of the Industrial Relations Act

The primary goals of labor-management relations are to create a productive, engaged workforce and to eliminate the perception that organized labor and management have a perpetually adversarial relationship. A number of industrial relations objectives can help both labor unions and employers attain those goals. Fundamental to labor-management goals is a clear understanding of the National Labor Relations Act.

(a) Employees Rights

Acknowledging employees rights under the Nominal Labor Relations Act – the act that established the National Labor Relation Board – is the key to industrial relations objectives. The act protects the rights of both union and nonunion employees. Therefore, employers have a duty to treat employees equally, regardless of whether they support the position of management or the labor union.

(b) Collective Bargaining

Collective bargainer is the negotiating process to reach a labor union contract, or a collective bargaining agreement. Aside from a union organizing campaign, Contract negotiations often are contentious. Labor union representatives and management representatives engage in a two-way exchange of proposals and concessions to reach an agreement.

(c) Grievance Handling

Employers must have HR staff with the expertise to handle employee grievances and interact with on-site union stewards and labor representatives. For matters that are unresolved through the typical three-step grievance process, employers generally hire legal counsel to handle arbitration. Lawyers with expertise in labor law and who are genuine advocates for alternative dispute resolution can effectively represent employer. They also can lend their expertise to HR staff by teaching them how to resolve future workplace issues within the three-step process.

(d) Contract Interpretation

Grievance often are based on misinterpretation of the collective bargaining agreement or supervisors’ and managers’ missteps if they aren’t experienced managing a union workforce. This means HR should provide training on basic principles of labor law and how to interpret labor union contracts. By virtue of the daily interaction that supervisors and managers have with employees, they are more hands-on regarding contract interpretation. Therefore, it’s imperative that they are capable of making workforce decisions that are consistent with contract language, but don’t undermine their authority.

(e) Safeguard the interest

To safeguard the interest of labor and management by securing the highest level of mutual understanding and good-will among all those sections in the industry which participate in the process of production.