The Future of Unions

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    Overview

    Write a 3–4-page analysis about the role of unions in the twenty-first century.
    Some argue that the traditional role of the union in protecting the worker has been usurped by significant legislation protecting the worker against discrimination, unsafe work conditions, and unfair pay. Others point out that unions remain indispensable for several reasons, including that “at-will” employment remains the law of the land and that most workers can be fired for any reason.
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    By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment criteria:

    • Competency 1: Develop a foundational understanding of employment law and labor law.
      • Analyze the impact of historical context on union-management relations.
    • Competency 2: Analyze the application of legal thinking strategies to human resource management (HRM) law.
      • Analyze the role of labor unions in contemporary American business and manufacturing.
    • Competency 3: Apply legal thought to human resource (HM) practices in the workplace.
      • Assess how the presence of a union impacts the job of a human resources professional.
    • Competency 4: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly and professional.
      • Communicate in a professional manner, using scholarly resources that support the analysis through clear, concise, well-organized, and grammatically correct writing that incorporates appropriate APA style conventions.
    Competency Map

    Check Your ProgressUse this online tool to track your performance and progress through your course.

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    Context

    “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles” (Marx & Engels, 1888).
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    The three primary federal laws regulating union activity are the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (1935), also known as the Wagner Act; the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) (1947), also known as the Taft-Hartley Act; and the Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (1959), also known as the Landrum-Griffith Act. These acts reflect the attitude of the times in which they were enacted, regarding unions and the power struggle between unions and management.
    Historically, the legislation, laws, and labor movements at both state and federal levels have experienced periods of harmony and conflict. A study of union history shows how legislation and lawmaking can be affected by popular opinion. In the early nineteenth century, it was not uncommon for any group employee action to be labeled a criminal conspiracy. The change in the view of the law from a focus on association to the means affected to achieve an objective occurred with the decision in Commonwealth v. Hunt (1842). This case was considered a milestone in the labor movement; however, it did not settle the legal issues, and the courts continue to struggle with the legality of union activities. The public view of the violence and unrest accompanying labor actions was often that employers were responsible, particularly in cases where strikebreakers were hired. Public sentiment and unsatisfactory common law led to the passage of the NLRA in 1935.
    The Assessment 5 Context document contains additional information about labor relations, covering the following topics:

    • National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
    • Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA).
    • Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA).
    References

    Commonwealth v. Hunt, 45 Mass 111 (1842).
    Marx, K., & Engels, F. (1888). The communist manifesto. London, UK: Penguin Classics.

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    Questions to Consider

    As you prepare to complete this assessment, you may want to think about other related issues to deepen your understanding or broaden your viewpoint. You are encouraged to consider the questions below and discuss them with a fellow learner, a work associate, an interested friend, or a member of your professional community. Note that these questions are for your own development and exploration and do not need to be completed or submitted as part of your assessment.

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    Resources

    Suggested Resources

    The resources provided here are optional. You may use other resources of your choice to prepare for this assessment; however, you will need to ensure that they are appropriate, credible, and valid. The MBA-FP6249 – Organizations, Governance, and the Law Library Guide can help direct your research, and the Supplemental Resources and Research Resources, both linked from the left navigation menu in your courseroom, provide additional resources to help support you.

    Capella Resources

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    Capella University Library Resources
  • Assessment Instructions

    Preparation

    Use the Capella University Library and/or articles found in the Resources to support your analysis with at least two current, scholarly, or professional resources for this assessment.

    Instructions

    Write a 3–4-page analysis about the role of unions in the twenty-first century; include the following:

    • Analyze the impact of historical context on union-management relations. How does historical context provide clues as to the direction of union/management relations?
    • Analyze the role of labor unions in contemporary American business and manufacturing. Do the role and purpose of the modern union need to be redefined to effectively serve its membership?
    • Assess how the presence of a union impacts the job of a human resources professional. What influences do unions have on HRM?

    Your analysis is to be written coherently to support a central idea with correct grammar, usage, and mechanics as expected of a business professional. Support your response with citations from relevant readings and use real-world organization examples to demonstrate the importance of the concepts and analysis you have provided.

    Additional Requirements

    • References: Support your analysis with citations from the Capella University Library and/or suggested materials in the Resources, workplace examples, and any relevant additional research.
    • Format: Use proper APA style and format for in-text citations and references.
    • Length: 3–4 double-spaced, typed pages, in addition to the references page.
    • Written communication: Demonstrate graduate-level writing skills through accurate communication of thoughts that convey the overall goals of the analysis and do not detract from the message.
    • Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.
    • The Future of Unions Scoring Guide

      Criteria Non-performance Basic Proficient Distinguished

      Analyze the impact of historical context on union-management relations.
      Does not describe the impact of historical context on union-management relations. Describes but does not analyze the impact of historical context on union-management relations. Analyzes the impact of historical context on union-management relations. Analyzes the impact of historical context on union-management relations and summarizes analysis with real-world examples.

      Analyze the role of labor unions in contemporary American business and manufacturing.
      Does not describe the role of labor unions in contemporary American business and manufacturing. Describes but does not analyze the role of labor unions in contemporary American business and manufacturing. Analyzes the role of labor unions in contemporary American business and manufacturing. Analyzes the role of labor unions in contemporary American business and manufacturing, including the consequence of declining union membership, using a scholarly resource.

      Assess how the presence of a union impacts the job of a human resources professional.
      Does not identify how the presence of a union impacts the job of a human resources professional. Identifies but does not assess how the presence of a union impacts the job of a human resources professional. Assesses how the presence of a union impacts the job of a human resources professional. Analyzes how the presence of a union impacts the job of a human resources professional, including real-world examples.

      Communicate in a professional manner, using scholarly resources that support the analysis through clear, concise, well-organized, and grammatically correct writing that incorporates appropriate APA style conventions.
      Does not communicate in a professional manner, using scholarly resources that support the analysis through clear, concise, well-organized, and grammatically correct writing that incorporates appropriate APA style conventions. Communicates in a professional manner, using scholarly resources with grammatically correct writing that incorporates appropriate APA style conventions. Communicates in a professional manner, using scholarly resources that support the analysis through clear, concise, well-organized, and grammatically correct writing that incorporates appropriate APA style conventions. Effectively analyzes and evaluates foundational legal concepts in a professional manner using scholarly resources that support the analysis through clear, concise, well-organized, and grammatically correct writing that incorporates appropriate APA style conventions.
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