Labor Laws and Unions

Job analysis refers to the information about the roles and tasks in performance of a given job. It ensures that the employees will be handling manageable tasks that are assigned to them. Job description refers to the written explanations about what a particular job entails in terms of the responsibilities and the results expected by the employer (Jackson, Schuler & Werner, 2011).

The first function of job description is that the description gives a detailed explanation on the skills and the competencies that are necessary for easier execution of the tasks and production of the expected results. Secondly, the job description provides the expected results from whoever is going to perform that job. Thirdly, job description ensures that employees in a given organization have their specific duties so that no one overwork or is underutilized (Jackson, Schuler & Werner, 2011).

One of the organizations whose workers are unionized is the AT&T, which is one of the successful unionized organizations in the United States of America. The organization develops technological products such as phones and software’s. It has allied itself with some of the best companies in the United States such that it is a formidable force in the telecommunication industry (Kleinfield, 2009).

The legal issues which the company is likely to encounter includes the dynamics of its work which is technology related. AT&T has encountered the effects of recession in the global environment. This has resulted to low sales of its products automatically leading to low revenues.

In a strategy to increase the revenues and the profitability, the management of the company is considering layoff of some of its employees in the recent future. However, the challenge is that the workers are unionized and the union from such layoffs protects them. This means that the company has to negotiate with the workers union on the terms of compensation incase the planned downsizing succeed (Kleinfield, 2009).

The human resource is a challenge whereby due to its variety of products and the changing demands of the customer some of the technological aspects of the products are being integrated together to bring out high quality products with multiple key features. This is becoming a challenge because it means that the job descriptions for the workers keep on changing. Workers have to keep upgrading their skills or else they become irrelevant.

However, some of the workers are dissatisfied with these changes in their job descriptions without adjustment in the terms of employment. Some of the engineers are complaining of multiple tasks and positions yet their pay does not correspond to the tasks they handle. They have written to the union to request the company to implement the increments of the affected workers (Kleinfield, 2009).

There are federal and state laws, which provide direction on how such issues should be solved. The first one regards the way in which the unionized employees receive compensation, which relates to the terms of employment. The compensation has to take into consideration the job descriptions as well as the reason for the dismissal of the employee (Abraham, 1996).

The company looked for ways in which to upgrade its system and because of the upgrade; most of the employees were of no benefit to the company. This led to massive uproar and the company was sued by the giant labor union to compensate the workers (Kleinfield, 2009). Though the workers received compensation for the dismissal, it is not yet clear why the workers need compensation yet they cannot fit the new job descriptions.

The argument is that the worker is entitled to work under the job description contained in the contract with the employer. Any other change in the work description need an agreement and should be included in the contract. However, the worker dismissal is illegal for not doing a task that is not included in the job description because it does not breach the terms of agreement between the employer and the employee.

The company must ensure that changes in the job description are well documented and that both parties recognize that there are changes in the job description. This would save the company from having workers who are dissatisfied because they feel they are doing more than what they had agreed.

The terms of employment also require constant review to ensure that they are in tandem with the responsibilities and the results expected from the employees. Many companies have resulted in employing their staff on contract basis to ensure that the terms are reviewed within a short period. This ensures that as the company redesigns the job description, the current employee will not be affected if he or she does not qualify for the next job description. Litigations can stop if companies can embrace contractual form of employment.

Labor Unions are of major influence on the welfare of employees and they usually negotiate the terms of employment for their workers. They are based on the premise that “united we stand divided we fall’. They therefore bring employees together and make a union, which can withdraw the workers from companies at will.

They help employees as they negotiate for better payment than what a single employee can do. They have however been accused of corruption and at times colluding with employers to keep the employees demands at bay (Abraham, 1996).

References

Abraham, S. (1996). The impact of the taft-hartley act on the balance of power in industrial relations. Massachusetts: American Business Law Journal (33).

Jackson, S., Schuler, R. & Werner, S. (2011). Managing human resources. New York: Cengage Learning.

Kleinfield, S. (2009). The biggest company on earth: A profile of AT&T. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.