There's no doubt that the COVID-19 outbreak has been creating huge challenges to businesses in America, and around the world.
The global impact of the pandemic has led to sweeping workplace reform, and regulations continue to evolve. Unions and unionizers in particular have been bargaining for change as the infection rates remain high. With workers at virtually every level facing workplace-related health threats, the idea of using collective bargaining to improve their safety is very appealing.
A recent report from the Economic Policy Institute outlines a number of policy changes unions are pushing for, with key takeaways that include:
Better protection for workers
The United Auto Workers union successfully convinced many of the major American manufacturers - including Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler - to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to all workers. In jobs such as those on the assembly line, which involve being in close proximity to many other workers, these measures would seem more like common sense. But the union had to push for them.
Paid sick leave and employment protection
Unions also scored major victories in protecting workers forced to stay home due to COVID-19 infection. Unionized Verizon workers were able to negotiate for expanded paid sick leave, including paid time off for those caring for a COVID-19 patient. (Who shouldn't be at work anyway due to risk of infecting others.) At DHL, the Teamsters Union got guarantees that infected workers would still be able to return to their jobs once the virus - and following quarantine - ran its course.
More job security when speaking out
Surveys have shown that, in general, workers within unions have felt far more secure when speaking out against unsafe workplace policies, or advocating for more pro-worker policies. Being in a union allows these people to push for more protection, while those who lack union protections are also less likely to speak out.
These are difficult times, and there are few easy answers when trying to balance the needs of both employers and employees. It does seem certain, however, that as long as the coronavirus poses a substantial risk to workers, unions will be able to effectively push for more workplace reforms.
Now, more than ever, companies need the right technology to address labor relations issues, collective bargaining, and employee relations management. LaborSoft’s innovative technology is one of many integral solutions that keep your business, in business. With case management workflows, and one central repository of documentation, managing unions and union-represented employees is streamlined, mitigating risk of noncompliance, missing deadlines and maintaining positive relationships with unions.
LaborSoft’s innovative technology is one of many integral solutions that keep your business, in business. Our analytics, case management workflows, and our central repository of documentation streamlines case management to mitigate risk of operational bottlenecks, costly lawsuits, and legal ramifications stemming from HR issues and complaints. This sensitive data requires that maximum security protocols are in place and that your information is protected at all times.
Contact us for a customized demonstration and learn how LaborSoft can help you improve communications, build a more collaborative, safe, and supportive workplace, while reducing the likelihood of costly litigation.