Disputes in a Unionized Workplace
What Will Happen?
It is within the rights of the employees to join a union to attend to their disputes and grievances that arise in the course of their work. Given the fact that the workplace is unionized, the formal grievance filed by Jim will not be ignored. It gives the employees a chance to have their disputes resolved in a formalized manner (Sultan, 2012). Therefore, once the grievance is filed, the union officials are expected to begin a formal investigation to find out the evidence of the unfair treatment as Jim claims. Regardless of the conviction by Bob (supervisor) that the grievance will not be taken seriously because he is filing as an individual, the case will be taken seriously, investigated and if there is evidence to prove the case, the right actions will be taken. The reality is that for Jim and any other employee, as long as they are members of the union, their case will be listened to and acted on. Jim expects to get the due course of the process of filing and investigating the grievance. There is an evident dispute that will need to be investigated and decided in a fair and just way.
The Important Steps in Resolving the Issue
The initial step is the filing of the grievance by the employee, which could either be oral or written. This is the initial step that commences the whole process in resolving the issue. The second step involves the action taken by the supervisor in receiving the grievance. However, in the case of Jim, the supervisor does not take any action and gives the employee the opportunity to take the action involving the union. In this case, the grievance is not addressed by the supervisor and goes another step forward involving the union officials (National Labor Relations Board, n.d.). Once the officials are involved, there is a better chance to resolve the conflict. The process will involve engagement of the human resource management of the company to establish whether or not it can be resolved using the alternative dispute resolution approaches such as arbitration. The management has, as one of its important roles, managing the disputes that arise between the employees. At this point, it is expected that the employees will get the reprove that he is seeking. Chances are that a solution will be found, which will end the unfair treatment against Jim.
Role of the HR manager
The human resource manager has the important role of ensuring that disputes are effectively handled in the workplace. Hence, the moment the employee files the grievance, it is time for the management to take actions that will help in addressing the issue (National Labor Relations Board, n.d.). However, before going to the point of resolving the issue, it will be critical to find out whether or not the issue exists. This is the genesis of an investigation of the workplace to find out whether or not it is true that Jim is receiving unfair treatment. Investigation can take different forms; it can be a clandestine such that the management does not inform the employee that such an investigation is taking place. It can also engage the employees in interrogations to get the information necessary to resolve the dispute. The form of investigation assumed will depend with the nature of the dispute.