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Labor-Management Relations and Human Resources

Human resources (HR) theorists assert that organizations and labor unions must work together if they want to prosper in the changing global environment. Cooperative bargaining is an approach whereby union leaders liaise with topmost leaders to improve relations and maximize productivity. The process minimizes differences and empowers workers to focus on the targeted business aims. This discussion identifies and discusses two methods to improve management-labor relations and consequences that can emerge when the two parties do not get along.

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Techniques to Improve Relations

The first method that can be adopted by managers to improve their relations with unions is collaboration. This strategy means focusing on the same outcomes and working together. The practice will improve the level of communication in the company. The union will present its opinions that can help managers deal with emerging concerns. Conflicts will be addressed within the shortest time possible. Disturbances experienced in the market will be handled by proficient leaders (Overview of collective bargaining in Canada, 2015). The working relationships between unions and employers will improve significantly. Best practices such as teamwork and critical thinking emerge, thereby making it easier for managers to address every issue affecting the workers.

The second technique entails the use of proactive policies. Organizations should identify and implement powerful guidelines that are aimed at supporting the expectations of the workers. Existing laws should be analyzed by managers and union leaders in an attempt to produce appropriate policies. Such policies will ensure the interests of the union are taken into consideration and eventually boost the nature of relations.

Possible Consequences

When management and union fail to get along, it becomes impossible for the affected stakeholders to pursue their objectives (McFarland, 2017). Several consequences emerge when the nature of the relation is strained. The first one is that of economic loss. Unhappy unions stage demonstrations and strikes that disorient the performance of a given industry. It is agreeable that many sectors are usually interlinked. Any form of strike in one particular industry can affect the effectiveness or performance of another segment. Consequently, more people will be unable to receive desirable services or goods.

Another possible consequence is that of insecurity. Past studies have revealed that industrial conflicts can emerge when the needs of unions are ignored by employers. Such upheavals can get out of control and affect a wide range of social functions (Allemang, 2017). The aggrieved members of a given union might resort to sabotage and violence. They can also destroy property and infrastructure. Such happenings will threaten peace and increase insecurity in the targeted nation or society.


Labor unions and employers always present opposing views and expectations. The nature of this relationship can become adversarial when the two parties disagree. Reduced levels of cooperation can result in economic loss and insecurity. Union-management partnerships should, therefore, be fostered through the use of collaboration and implementation of appropriate policies. By so doing, the relations will be improved and eventually benefit the two sides. The strategy will minimize the occurrence of adverse consequences and support the needs of every stakeholder.


Allemang, J. (2017). The sorry state of our unions. The Globe and the Mail. Web.

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McFarland, J. (2017). The weakening state of Canadian labor unions. The Globe and the Mail. Web.

Overview of collective bargaining in Canada. (2015). Web.

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