Labor Contracts: Employee Grievance Handling and Conflicts

The major part of society lives in capitalism, business, and various labor systems. Labor runs the world, many people are addicted to career as it guarantees their well-being and good level of living. However, one should note that it is critically important to pay attention to any employer one is going to cooperate with. Unfortunately, employee grievance handling is spread not only in the Third World countries, but also in the USA, Canada, and Europe. This paper is aimed to demonstrate coping with employee grievance handling and to discuss conflicts at the working place solutions.

Comparison of Contracts

For this assignment Labor Contract #1: Contract of Scale of Wages between COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY and PAPERWORKERS UNION of CANADA LOCAL 2000 and COWICHAN NEWS LEADER AND PICTORIAL (A Division of Island Publishers Ltd.) NON-MECHANICAL Effective January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2002 and Labor Contract #2: Memorandum of understanding between and for the city and country of San Francisco and the San Francisco Institutional Police Officers’ Association July 1, 2001 — June 30, 2003.

The comparison of employee grievance handling in these two contracts shows that they are different. For example, labor contract #1 has only a few words about conflicts in the workplace and employee grievance handling. At the same time, the second labor contract is more detailed, and it provides greater attention to grievance processing steps. In addition, the latter contract allows employees to choose a specific topic of the conflict in the workplace and handle it according to its type. Furthermore, the definition of ‘grievance’ in the labor contract #1 implies that it is a minor conflict that can be solved only with the help of the court. However, the labor contract #2 implies a wide chart for employee grievance handling, including non-discrimination, probationary period, privacy and organizational charts files. According to Cooper (2015), such types of contracts have more advantages to employees as well as mutual benefits.

When one compares employee discipline and conflict in the workplace in the contracts, one can see that both describe this process and provide issues to solve this problem if any. Conflict in the workplace is a state of discord that is mainly caused by either perceived or actual opposition of values, needs, and interests among the people working together. In the workplace as well as any other social places, it may take various forms. For instance, in organizations, there is usually the inevitable collision between the formal authority and power, and the individual employees who are affected (Teague & Roche, 2012). On the contrary, there could be dispute over how revenues should be distributed, the duration tasks should be carried out, or even how work should be carried out. There may also be jurisdictional differences among junior and senior employees, departments, or the management. At the same time, others may involve mere rivalries, power struggle, and jealousy.

Major Causes of Conflicts in the Workplace: Employee Discipline/Discharge Clauses

There are various causes of conflicts in the workplace. However, the difference in employees’ cultural background is regarded as the leading cause. On the other hand, employee and employer personality combined with set beliefs and values contribute significantly to workplace conflicts as well. Conflicts can also arise from a misunderstanding of the aim, nature, and objective of a job, differences in employee responsibilities or the management, and poor communication. If one compares and contrasts employee discipline with discharge clauses, one can see that the majority of employees have been fired or left their working places by mutual benefits when they had stumbled upon discipline question. As for discharge clauses case, the majority of workers emphasized that the main problem was grievance (Hon & Chan, 2013).

As for mediation and arbitration, according to Cooper (2015), more than 74% of US workers tend for mediation. Even though it seems that the majority of employees have to turn to mediation, many people (more than 21%) do not neglect arbitration (Cooper, 2015).  Due to the labor contract, an employee is able to handle any conflicts, including grievance in the workplace.

As for chosen labor contracts, labor contract #1 describes conflicts in the workplace poorly, and labor contract #2 provides a full picture of types of conflicts in the workplace and ways to solve them. To summarize, the labor contract #2 provides more information and steps for employee grievance handling (Williams, 2011).

Effects of Conflict in the Workplace and Employee Grievance Handling

Conflicts in the workplace and employee grievance handling have many repercussions that night not fit into the scope of this discussion. Although some conflicts can lead to positive outcomes, the majority of them have negative consequences on employees, employers, customers, as well as the managers. Moreover, a conflict can lead to lack of motivation among employees. As a result, production may be greatly affected because many employees may not adjust immediately after a conflict. On the other hand, a workplace conflict can cause the wastage of resources because other employees, especially managers, have to spend much of their time trying to resolve conflicts in the workplace rather than render their services to the organization (Hon & Chan, 2013). Therefore, this implies that customers and other people, who are not party to the ongoing conflict, will have to forego being attended to, thus, leading to decreased productivity.

An organization may be affected negatively when there is conflict or employee grievance handling. Against this backdrop, it may alter public perception of the organization, turn off the once loyal customers, and even make it unappealing for potential clients to engage in any business dealing with the organization. In some circumstances, tension may be evident even to customers. In other cases, parties engaged in the conflict in an organization might give a misleading impression or contradictory information to potential customers. However, once they become aware of the problem in the organization, there are chances that links may be cut. This may not only taint the image of the company negatively but also lead to low sales and production because no customer can be willing to engage in any further transaction with the company (Hon & Chan 2013).

Benefits and Ways of Employee Grievance Handling Resolution

When there is employee grievance handling, it is important to solve it as soon as it begins (Williams, 2011). Conflict in an organization requires effective resolution systems that largely rest with the foundation of ethical practices. The ethical values in every setting should ensure that there is a collective respect for everyone regardless of their social, cultural, or political background. Through this, it will be possible to solve a conflict quickly and efficiently, thus realizing the benefits of conflict resolution. Workplace conflict and, to be specific employee grievance resolution, should incline towards building and ensuring an atmosphere of trust and tolerance towards each other. Some of the perceived benefits of conflict resolution are discussed below.

Employee grievance handling and conflict resolution lead to increased profits to an organization because employees may get motivated to work hard and ensure increased production. When a given conflict is resolved amicably, there is the possibility that teamwork may be built for the purposes of improving quality and quantity of production. Subsequently, customers get satisfied with a given product when they are served well by customers. On the other hand, a poorly motivated worker may not be able to render well his or her services to clients; hence, they may seek an alternative service elsewhere. Therefore, the top leaders in an organization must ensure that conflicts are solved as soon as they occur in order to avoid losses. Conversely, conflict resolution is instrumental in improving working relationship among employees and employers (Brubaker, Noble, Fincher, Park, & Press, 2014). Thus, it is particularly important as it provides an opportunity for dialogue, skill development, and brainstorming, hence enabling the organization to achieve its objectives.

Conclusion

In conclusion, conflict in the workplace is a frequent occurrence. It is an inevitable aspect of human life, especially where there is the need to fulfill the mission of the organization. Dealing with conflicts in the workplace in a timely manner is crucial as it helps to maintain healthy work relations. It is wrong to believe that a workplace conflict will simply disappear over time because if not well contained, it may escalate into a major problem. Finding out ways of solving conflicts in the workplace can only be successful when the causes are known.

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