Negotiation & Bargaining Case Solution

Background

In 1985, about 1500 workers of the Hormel Food Corporation went on a strike as a result of dangerous work conditions and 23% percent wage cut, which the corporation offered to its workers. The strike lasted for thirteen months, however, the strikers were not supported by the parent union, which was the United Food and Commercial Workers’ Local P-9 which created resentment among the P9 ers. As a result of the strike, the plant was temporarily closed by the corporation, and was reopened in 1986. Around 500 P-9 members returned to the corporation and 540 new Non-union employees were hired from Mexico in order to support full production of the plant while the strikes and protests continued.

The United Food and Commercial Workers’ (UFCW) fully supported the Hormel Corporation and had undertaken various measures to persuade P9 members to end the protests and strikes. UFCW suspended P9 members when they refused to end the strike, this action ended the strike. A new contract was formed between workers and Hormel, but only 20% of protestors and workers got their jobs back. Although the strike was unsuccessful, the P9 members succeeded in raising awareness about the problems that were faced by the factory workers,due to which  positive changes were enforced in the unions across the USA.(Marks, 2019)

Parties Involved in Hormel Negotiations

The parties involved in Hormel negotiation were Hormel Corporation, the P9 members which were the factory workers and the United Food and Commercial Workers, which was the parent union of the factory workers. The goals and interest of each party is described below:

Hormel Corporation: The primary goal of Hormel Corporation was to maximize its profits and ensure the growth and reputation of its organization. This is the primary reason why the company decided to cut the wages of its workers into half. Due to the strike the corporation’s reputation was severely damaged as it was perceived as a corporation that violates employee’s rights and its production was affected due to low number of workers. The profitability and operations of the company was also affected as the plant was closed temporarily for few months. Therefore, the company had to negotiate with the union workers and accept their terms so that orders could be produced and profitability could be achieved.

P-9 members: The factory workers’ primary goal was to receive a fair pay considering the dangerous conditions of their work. The corporation offered 23% wage cut which forced them to protest against the corporation. However, the strikes were unsuccessful and only 20% of employees got their job back as non-union members from Mexico were hired to support production and operations of the factory.

Parent Union:The parent union of the workers had the objective of protecting the interest of the P-9 members by ensuring they receive a pay rise and favorable job conditions are adopted. Although, the strike was unsuccessful in persuading employers to offer pay rise, the parent union achieved its objective by promoting awareness of labor rights and preventing similar strikes in the future.

The P-9 members and Hormel Corporation were in conflict with each other as their objectives were completely different from each other, the P9 members wanted higher pays which contradicted with the objective of the company as paying higher wages would reduce the profitability of the company.

Interests, Rights and Power Framework

Interests:The Parent company whO was the negotiator had an interest of reducing the cost burden of the organization and ensuring the rights of its workers. In order to protect both the parties, the parent union forced the P9 workers to end the strike by suspending some of its workers. As a result of this action, the strike was ended and a new contract was formed between the workers and the organization as a result of which 20% employees got their jobs back and employers became aware of the labor rights and the role of parent union in supporting its workers. Therefore, both parties interest was achieved as operations of the company started due to employees joining back ensuring organization’s profitability.

Rights:The organization implemented pay cut when US economy was in depression, therefore,this act was justified whereas the employees were also right in protesting for wage cut as they had to support their families and were paid unfair wages. The actions of the union workers were considered unjustified by the parent union.Therefore, it decided to suspend the P9 officers and asked the employer to form a new contract and hire back the union workers.

Power: The organization was supported by the government of Minnesota and many of the protestors were arrested by the government whereas despite never ending strikes and protests, the voice of the union workers was not heard. Witnessing the strong power of government and the organization, the parent union took the decision of suspending officers and enable the organization to hire the employees back. However, the employees’ decision of joining back solely dependent on the decision of the UFCW as it played the primary role in ending the strikes and negotiating with the corporation.

Integrative Strategies

Revise Employment terms and Regulations

In the third round of the Adam Baxter Company Negotiation, 1985, an agreement was formed between the union workers and the organization in which new incentive systems, layoff procedures, hiring procedures, production targets and work rules were set for different groups.(Company, 2019)……………

 

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