MGT 3500 Ch.1

Fundamentally, a labor union is a group of workers who join together to influence the nature of their employment.
True
The widening gap between the richest and poorest individuals in the U.S. is in part due to the weakened position of labor unions.
True
When an employer uses an employee suggestion box to gather ideas and concerns from its employees, it is primarily addressing the labor relations goal of efficiency.
False
The goals of efficiency, equity, and voice in the workplace rarely conflict with one another.
False
A key role of unions is to negotiate work rules and practices that ensure fair treatment of employees by their managers and employers.
True
In the United States, employees have broad protections against arbitrary dismissal such that employers must provide a good, business related reason for firing someone.
False
The official policy of the Unites States is to protect workers’ rights to act together for mutual aid and protection in the workplace and to promote collective bargaining as a way to resolve workplace conflict.
True
In the U.S., workers can generally be discharged for good cause, no cause, and even a morally wrong cause.
True
Most industrialized countries give employers wide latitude to dismiss employees “at will” (i.e., without a just cause.)
False
In 2011, the Packers beat the Chicago Bears in their bid for the Super Bowl. The next day a Chicago car salesman was fired for wearing a Green Bay Packers tie to work despite having sold 14 cars in the previous month. In the U.S. such a dismissal is considered illegal.
False
An organization that allows its employees to exercise their voice in the workplace using democratic principles similar to those that are commonly accepted in a democratic society is one that exercises industrial democracy.
True
The concept of employee voice suggests that employees should have the right to express their opinions in the workplace but only if they are consistent with the majority of employees or with the employer’s perspective.
False
While voice and equity are important to the employment relationship, efficiency is really the critical component. If an employer can be efficient, equity and voice will naturally follow.
False
In the U.S., an employer has a right to own property and make a profit but society has the right to place limitations and restrictions on how those profits are made.
True
Conflicts between what the employee wants and what the employer wants are generally resolved privately between the individual and his/her employer.
True
Neoliberal market ideology places the needs and rights of workers before efficiency and profits.
False
Labor relations systems in other countries tend to follow a neoliberal market ideology, which sees the employment relationship as one in which balance between competing interests must be achieved.
False
U.S. labor law tries to establish employer needs for efficiency as a priority over employees’ need for equity and voice.
False
Labor relations systems around the world generally assume that corporations have significantly greater bargaining power than one individual worker.
True
One important goal of U.S. labor law is to increase purchasing power of workers.
True
A collective bargaining agreement negotiated between an employer and its workers is an informal agreement outlining the terms and conditions of employment.
False
Generally, if the majority of workers in a particular workplace want union representation, their employer is required by U.S. law to negotiate with them over wages, hours, and working conditions.
True
One problem with the current legal framework governing labor relations in the U.S. today is that it tends to be adversarial and does not promote cooperative relationships between management and workers.
True
The labor movement in the United States is considered by experts to be very strong today.
False
Since 1935, U.S. labor law has proved to be very adaptable to changes in the business climate including the decline of mass manufacturing, blurring distinctions between management and nonmanagement jobs, and globalization.
False
In nonunion environments, management has unilateral control over when and how employees are allowed to express their voice.
True
Compared to businesses in other countries, U.S. businesses are more likely to welcome the opportunity to bargain collectively with their employees.
False
The number of U.S. workers who say they want representation or a “collective voice” at the workplace is very close to the number of workers that actually have it through unions.
False
Because American unions were instrumental in pushing for increased protective legislation such as workers’ compensation laws and unemployment insurance, the demand for union services has increased, rather than decreased, over time.
False
Part of the decline in union density may be due to the fact that newer entrants to the workforce are less likely to have ever experienced the benefits of unionization and therefore are less likely to become union members themselves.
True
If the reasons for the decline in unionization rates in the U.S. are largely structural and a result of declining demand for union services, there is no real need for labor law reform.
True
From a societal standpoint, the weakened position of unions in the U.S. is potentially problematic for all of the following reasons except:

A. A weakened labor movement is less able to provide management with the flexibility it needs to succeed in today’s demanding competitive environment.
B. Weaker unions are unable to counter trends toward a greater income inequality in society.
C. Weaker unions are less able to provide training and work standards that ensure high quality, safe products and services, and safe working conditions.
D. Aggrieved workers are pushed to strike or act out in other ways (e.g., sabotage) that are detrimental to the flow of goods and services or to public safety.

A. A weakened labor movement is less able to provide management with the flexibility it needs to succeed in today’s demanding competitive environment.
From a societal standpoint, the main purpose of a labor relations system is:

A. To equalize the distribution of income across society.
B. To ensure public safety, promote worker voice in politics, and reduce income inequalities that create a tax burden.
C. To control the actions of employers and employees so that they are clearly acting in the best interests of society.
D. To protect the profit maximization goals of business and ensure competition in the marketplace.

B. To ensure public safety, promote worker voice in politics, and reduce income inequalities that create a tax burden.
When an employer allows supervisors to arbitrarily discipline employees without cause, it is most directly violating which objective of the employment relationship?

A. Efficiency.
B. Equity.
C. Voice.
D. None of the above are violated.

B. Equity
When an employer adopts an employee participation program, such as a workplace safety committee, it is most directly addressing which objective of the employment relationship?

A. Efficiency.
B. Equity.
C. Voice.
D. Exclusive representation.

C. Voice
An employer creates a safety team of 6 employees who are asked to recommend changes to the workplace that will reduce accident rates. The team recommends eliminating a job rotation program that allows the employer to move employees in and out of various jobs on an as-needed basis. They argue that job rotation both increases employee stress and reduces the amount of experience that employees have with the various safety procedures associated with a particular job. This scenario describes a conflict between which two objectives of the employment relationship?

A. Equity and efficiency.
B. Efficiency and voice.
C. Equity and voice.
D. None, there is no conflict.

B. Efficiency and voice.
According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued by the United Nations, it is considered a basic human right for:

A. Individuals to have the right to form and join trade unions for their own protection and the protection of others.
B. Employers to have the right to unilaterally determine the terms and conditions of employment.
C. Individuals to unilaterally determine the terms and conditions of their employment.
D. Employers to form and join employer associations for their own protection and the protection of other employers.

A. Individuals to have the right to form and join trade unions for their own protection and the protection of others.
Which of the following outcomes cannot generally be attributed to unions?

A. Higher income and living standards for workers.
B. Greater protection for workers against unfair treatment by employers.
C. Greater flexibility in work rules.
D. Greater emphasis on legislation and social programs that assist working people.

C. Greater flexibility in work rules.
Which of the following is not considered an argument for treating employees as “more” than simply another commodity that can be bought and sold in the labor market?

A. Most modern workers are completely dependent upon jobs, not property, in determining the quality of their life.
B. Working adults spend a considerable proportion of their life at work and hence work provides an important social setting that greatly influence quality of life.
C. When workers agree to supply their labor in exchange for pay and benefits, they are freely choosing to follow management’s directives.
D. Workers have feelings and free will that can, if they wish, interfere with the quantity and quality of work they perform.

C. When workers agree to supply their labor in exchange for pay and benefits, they are freely choosing to follow management’s directives.
Regardless of the impact on productivity or efficiency, it is argued that industrial democracy is important to the U.S. because:

A. Democracy is often the most efficient means by which to make decisions.
B. A country cannot truly value the concept of democracy without supporting democratic principles in the workplace.
C. In a democratic society, businesses can be an important training ground in which individuals learn to express their voice.
D. All of the above

B. A country cannot truly value the concept of democracy without supporting democratic principles in the workplace.
Which of the following appears to be true about management and worker views on employee voice?

A. Managers prefer to negotiate with groups of employees, in order to get multiple perspectives at the same time.
B. The majority of workers prefer to negotiate with management individually over workplace issues.
C. Workers express a preference for representation in the workplace that is independent of management.
D. Managers prefer for employees to have independent representation in the workplace.

C. Workers express a preference for representation in the workplace that is independent of management.
Most countries base their industrial relations system on the perspective that:

A. Worker rights should be valued over employer rights.
B. Employer rights should be valued over worker rights.
C. There should be balance between worker and employer rights.
D. Consumer rights should be valued over worker rights.

C. There should be balance between worker and employer rights.
Conflicts between employers and employees can best be described as conflicts between:

A. Property rights and individual rights.
B. Consumer rights and privacy rights.
C. Rights of the privileged and rights of the underprivileged.
D. Economic rights and worker rights.

A. Property rights and individual rights.
Compared to other countries, the system of labor relations in the U.S. is

A. Loosely regulated.
B. Tightly regulated.
C. Similarly regulated.
D. Unfairly regulated.

B. Tightly regulated.
Union contracts are:

A. Legally enforceable for both employees and employers.
B. Largely voluntary agreements that neither party is required by law to follow.
C. Not allowed by law.
D. Legally enforceable for the employees only.

A. Legally enforceable for both employees and employers.
Traditional adversarial bargaining relationships between employers and employees has made meeting employers’ increasing need for ________ more difficult?

A. Flexibility.
B. Equity.
C. Cooperation and employee involvement.
D. Workplace fairness.

C. Cooperation and employee involvement.
Business pressures for competitiveness and quality have affected the collective bargaining process in all of the following ways except:

A. Increased the need for flexibility in work rules.
B. Increased the need for more specific, detailed contracts.
C. Increased need for cooperation and employee involvement in work decisions.
D. Increase need to communicate about the terms of a contract more than once every three years when the contract expires.

B. Increased the need for more specific, detailed contracts.
Which of the following characterizes the current business environment as compared to that at the time the National Labor Relations Act was passed?

A. Clear differences exist between “manual” and “managerial” labor.
B. American domination of world markets.
C. Mass manufacturing production systems.
D. Emphasis on the importance and need for knowledgeable workers.

D. Emphasis on the importance and need for knowledgeable workers.
The crucial feature of collective bargaining is that management’s traditional authority to unilaterally establish terms and conditions of employment is replaced by _________ negotiations.

A. Equitable.
B. Bilateral.
C. Competitive.
D. None of the above.

B. Bilateral.
Which of the following best summarizes the trends in U.S. union density since the 1980s?

A. Decreases in both the private and public sectors.
B. Increases in both the private and public sectors.
C. Stable in the private sector and decreases in the public sector.
D. Increases in the public sector and decreases in the private sector.

D. Increases in the public sector and decreases in the private sector.
Union density in the United States is currently estimated at ________.

A. over 40 percent.
B. about 25 percent.
C. 20 percent.
D. less than 15 percent.

D. less than 15 percent.
A union contract is:

A. A legally binding document that describes the terms of employment (e.g., wages hours, working conditions).
B. A agreement between management and labor that loosely states the rules they will each try to abide by in the workplace.
C. A legally binding agreement between employees and their union representatives that outlines the scope of the union’s authority.
D. A voluntary but not legally binding agreement between employees and their union representatives that outlines the terms of employment.

A. A legally binding document that describes the terms of employment (e.g., wages hours, working conditions).
Which of the following can at least partially explain the decline in union density rates in the United States since the 1960’s?

A. Employment in traditionally unionized industries such as manufacturing has decreased.
B. Employment in service and knowledge industries has declined.
C. Employment growth in the north has been faster than employment growth in the south.
D. Educated workers are more likely to unionize than uneducated workers.

A. Employment in traditionally unionized industries such as manufacturing has decreased.
Which of the following is not true about the decline in demand for unions in the U.S.?

A. To some extent, protective legislation ensuring safety and income security has served to replace union representation.
B. It can be largely attributed to the fact that individuals who experience union representation are unhappy with it and decide they do not want it.
C. U.S. unions have not put enough money into union organizing and have therefore not done a good job of “selling” their services.
D. Employers may be more likely to listen to their employees and respond to their changing needs thus reducing employees’ need for outside representation.

B. It can be largely attributed to the fact that individuals who experience union representation are unhappy with it and decide they do not want it.
At present, the gap between those employees who say they want unions and those that have union representation in the private sector at their workplace is about:

A. 30%
B. 50%
C. 75%
D. 25%

A. 30%
A group of employees decide to walk off the job together to protest unsafe working conditions. Which of the following is true?

A. The employer can fire the workers.
B. The employees actions are illegal because they do not have formal union representation.
C. The employees’ actions are legal because they are acting together to influence their working conditions.
D. The employer can only fire the workers if they don’t formally join or create a union.

C. The employees’ actions are legal because they are acting together to influence their working conditions.
In the United States, younger workers are:

A. Significantly less likely to belong to a union than older workers.
B. Significantly more likely to belong to a union than older workers.
C. Slightly less likely to belong to a union than older workers.
D. As likely as older workers to belong to a union.

A. Significantly less likely to belong to a union than older workers.