The U.S. New Deal Industrial Relations System

The U.S. New Deal Industrial Relations System

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The U.S. New Deal Industrial Relations System

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) allows workers in the private sector to form or join a labor union.  It recognizes workers unions and decides on representation. The election-based recognition process is carried out in order to certify unions. This is based on the fact that a union represents all the workers in a company and has bargaining power. The provides a recourse for anyone violating the Act.  NLRA’s election-based union recognition process is recognized for the representation of worker’s unions from every part of the US. Besides, its election process is democratic and organized.

The process of certification by unions was once a fast process but it is now very lengthy. The process now involves employers due to the changes made to the laws. NLRA has pros and cons. The pros of NLRA include punishment for those who violate the rules set by the body, the NLRA had enabled employees to be represented in unions. Additionally, NLRA has enabled democratic electoral process among the unions. However, NLRA has several cons which include: it has a long union certification process, it involves employers thus making it complex as well having unequal access to employees.

NLRA’s election-based union recognition process, however, has received criticism from labor unions because it is a rather long and takes up a lot of time. Furthermore, the process involves employers unnecessarily in areas where they do not need to be involved and has certain loopholes in cases where employers have violated the law (Li et al, 2017). It appears to favor employers rather than employees in terms of representation.

Labor unions are necessary because they campaign against exploitation in workplaces and the relationship between employees and employers needs to be honest and forthcoming. Notably, employers should also be included in the salaries bargaining process so that they do not seem left out or rather discriminated against by the law. However, the bargaining process should not be structured in a way that favors the employers against their employees (Budd, 2013).

The National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) extended protection to employees registered in a union whenever they participate in a protected concerted activity. Such protected concerted activity includes discussing issues relating to their employment such as wages, benefits and terms of work. Therefore, employees are allowed to use company e-mail systems during non-work hours to talk about workplace matters that are of concern to many, organize regarding matters of the union. Such work-related-matters are the protected concerted activity and employees are allowed to participate in them using company e-mail systems. If matters around wages and benefits are of concern to employees in a union then companies are not allowed to restrict them from using company e-mail systems. Employees are thus allowed to discuss matters unionizing. However, restrictions that can be allowed around company e-mail systems are using them during working hours or using them for other purposes other than protected concerted activity. Employees should not be allowed to engage in personal activities during working hours as this is a violation of company policy.

Distributive Bargaining

Distributive bargaining can be described as a competitive strategy whereas one party gains the other loses. It is also known as zero-sum negotiations and is used in negotiating fixed assets and resources. Each party aims to gain the maximum share and not to get a win-win situation. It is done under the assumption that there is not enough to go around and, therefore, when one side gets more, the other gets less (Allen and Burrell, 2016). This assumption gave rise to win-lose bargaining, a term used interchangeably with distributive bargaining even though the term can be misleading at times. Distributive bargaining plays a role in negotiations where the stakes are high and both parties are likely to be resistant to arriving at a resolution. Information is vital in such negotiations and knowing one’s maximum and minimum value could seal or break the deal.

People characterize any negotiation where both parties reach a settlement as a win-win situation because they feel that every person is able to share their opinions and reach an agreeable middle. Both parties present their acceptable terms after which they arrive at a ‘happy’ center where they can both profit from the deal. While this is accurate in layperson’s terms, negotiation experts know to guard their information and start negotiations by quoting a higher price than what they would actually find agreeable. From there, should the other party choose to go lower, they can settle at a price that will probably be higher than the fitting minimum. Experts also know what price the other party would find agreeable even though it could be much lower than what they’re willing to offer. This is mostly done through thorough research of the other party before negotiations which gives them a slight advantage.

Through my lessons, I have learnt that salary negotiations can be the difference between a comfortable income and another job search when receiving a job offer.  It may be unsettling but it is crucial. Therefore, the first step should be to focus on the value you, as an employee, add to the company. Accomplishments are important at this point and especially if you can assign a monetary value to them. In the Noel Smith-Wenkle negotiation method the aim is to let the employer make the first offer and politely decline to state a figure (Zentner, 2015). The company can either go above your minimum in which case you take the job or below it leaving room for further negotiations. This works in ensuring your employee cannot take advantage of your minimum offer in case they were planning to go above it. Finally, the key is to guard your information and present it a little at a time and at the right time. Most negotiations are ruined by over eagerness to secure the job immediately without understanding the terms and conditions.




Allen, M., & Burrell, N. (2016). Distributive Negotiation Strategies. The International Encyclopedia of Interpersonal Communication.

Budd, J. W. (2013). Labor relations: Striking a balance. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Li, L., Rohlin, S., & Singleton, P. (2017). Labor Unions and Occupational Safety: Event-Study Analysis Using Union Elections (No. 205). Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

Zentner, A. (2015). Breaking the Ice of Negotiation Barriers: A Case Study Analysis of the 2004-2005 NHL Dispute. Ssrn Electronic Journal.




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