Collective bargaining is a process that involves "the negotiation, drafting, administration, and interpretation of a written agreement between an employer and a union for a specific period of time," (Byars & Rue, 2004, p. 374). The purpose of this paper is to describe the major provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act, the role of the National Labor Relations Board, the effect of right to work laws on union membership, and the role that Human Resources play in collective bargaining initiatives. In addition, this paper will also evaluate conditions presented in the product and services markets that lead to collective bargaining.
The major provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act
The Taft-Hartley Act permits states to pass legislation that guarantees the right to work regardless of union membership. Other major provisions in the act were the free-speech clause, which states that management has the right to express its opinion about unions. The act prohibited secondary boycotts, and the "right-to-work" law, which prohibits various types of union security arrangements including compulsory union memberships, (Byars & Rue, 2004, p. 365).
The role of the National Labor Relations Board
The role of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) serves as an impartial third party to oversee votes on whether to unionize by employees. The majority of what the NLRB does is to evaluate whether charges should be pursued for unfair labor practices. "In unfair labor practice cases, the board sits as the judge and general counsel acts as the prosecutor. Anyone can file an unfair labor practice complaint with the general counsel," (Byars & Rue, 2004, p. 365).
The effect of right to work laws on union membership
In states that have a right-to-work law, the union is forbidden to require employees belong to the union or pay union dues. The effect of right to work laws on union membership is that "unions argue that employees who choose not to belong or pay union dues get a free ride," (Byars & Rue, 2004, p. 366).