Working with Labor Unions as Management

First and foremost, when working with labor unions, a clear understanding of the contract is imperative

for all managers. The contract (also called the collective bargaining agreement) is the guiding document

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for all decisions relating to employees. All human resources (HR) professionals and managers should have

intimate knowledge of the document and be aware of the components of the contract that can affect

dealings with employees. The agreement outlines all requirements of managers and usually outlines how

discipline, promotion, and transfers will work.


Because as managers we will be working with members of the union on a daily basis, a positive

relationship can not only assist the day-to-day operations but also create an easier bargaining process.

Solicitation of input from the union before decisions are made can be one step to creating this positive

relationship. Transparent communication is another way to achieve this goal.


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