Labour Relations, Employee Relations and Global HR

Published 06 Dec 2016

This document will look at three different scenarios and discuss the different actions that can be taken for each scenario

Scenario 1

As the supervisor of a small manufacturing plant that is unionized it is usual that the supervisor in his or her capacity will have to take part in contract negotiation activities and therefore it is essential for the supervisor to prepare for such negotiations beforehand and in this section we will look at how he or she can set about preparing for the negotiations.

The union would usually have a list of demands that would have been forwarded to the organization prior to the previous collective agreement or contract expiring, this would be a good place to begin when preparing for negotiations. Next it would be wise to take a look at the different demands that were put forward the previous time but were not covered in the final agreement, if certain demands that are put forward this year are not included in the final agreement then it is likely the union may request for the previous demands to be fulfilled.

Since you now have an idea of the demands that will be made ā€“ you as supervisor should take a look at the demands that can be met and those that cannot be met. It is not possible to meet all demands nor to reject all demands, however accepting or rejecting demands should be based on practicalities and as a supervisor you should be able to defend the acceptance of the demand or the rejection of it. Therefore as a final step in the preparation process it would be wise to list out your reasons for acceptance or rejection of each demand that the union has put forward.

Scenario 2

Accidents on the plant floor should be avoided at all costs. This is because such incidents can be catastrophic and make the organization vulnerable and open it up to liability and litigation both from the injured and also from the federal and state governments. While many are of the wrong view that accidents on the plant floor are sometimes unavoidable, this is not always the case. For instance it is possible for an organization take a close look at the different operations that take place on the work floor and rate them all from a health and safety standpoint. Those operations with unhealthy or unsafe work practices should then be given special consideration and new operating methods introduced.

When carrying out such a process it is always best for the supervisor to encourage the participation of the work floor employees. Since it is these employees who carry out the operations day in and day out, they would have an in-depth knowledge of the operations and would be able to suggest ways and means to reduce unhealthy and unsafe practices. Further when employees participate in such a change program and make suggestions and they are more likely to accept the changes if those changes include their suggestions and recommendations or if they helped formulate the changes (Chiavenato, 2001, pp. 17). Therefore the new health and safety practices will be accepted by the employees, without much resistance and further they will be successful because employees will not try to sabotage something that they helped create.

Scenario 3

When employees are sent abroad to work it is very important not only to focus our attention on the expatriation but also on the repatriation. In this section we will look at the different aspects that should be considered when expatriating an employee from the home office to Bulgaria, as well as when repatriating the same employee back to the home office.

When expatriating the employee to the Bulgarian office we should ensure that the employee has sufficient knowledge and understanding of the language that he or she will be required to use while working in the country. Further the employee should be given some training in the work ethics and the culture of the country and the organization. Next if the employee should be giving assistance in settling in the new country during the first few weeks. Last but not least compensation and benefits should be evaluated to ensure that the employee does not loose out in comparison to the employees in the Bulgarian company and those in the home office.

When repatriating the employee, special attention should be paid to giving the employee training and updates on the changes that have taken place when the employee was in Bulgaria, further it is also essential to ensure that the employee has not lost out in terms of career development or seniority by being away in Bulgaria.


Chiavenato, I. (2001) “Advances and Challenges in Human Resource Management in the New Millennium,” Public Personnel Management 30(1), pp. 17

Did it help you?