As an arbitrator and having seen the evidence presented by the parties, I would award the rightful suspension of the employee from the company. The company has a strict policy of refraining from damaging company property and creating unfavorable working conditions for other people. This has been contemplated in article 7 of the workers rules and regulations. Moreover, threatening and intimidating employees, or otherwise creating a negative environment for the delivery of duties has been cited as negative that could eventually lead to dismissal. The worker was well-aware of the rules and regulations that the company has kept, having worked for the company for the many years that he has. In addition, there is no excuse for his contrary conduct simply because he has worked for the company for a long time. The company is more interested in maintaining good working conditions rather than protecting the personal interests of the individual. Therefore, with these considerations, I would find that the evidence as to the handwriting needs to be further evaluated by a third party analyst for the further possible identification of the owner of the threat. Therefore, the 20-year old employee would remain in paid suspension pending the determination of the analysis by the third party analyst. Should the results come out as positive, then his termination will be rightful. Nonetheless, if this is not the case then the termination shall be reversed.
It is possible that there were different approaches that the company and union may have taken to avoid this conflict. The company would have made it clear that members of all unions would be able to apply for the remaining jobs following the downsizing activity. This would have opened the floor for anyone who would want to participate to take part in the application process without fear of harassment. Moreover, the union would have allowed for the application of members to the jobs that were remaining. The interests of the union would be to protect the majority of its workers from the effects of the downsize. However, hard-lining is not a wise approach to the downsizing activity as this would render all the employees of the company under their union to lose their jobs simply because they didnt apply. Therefore, opening the ground to the interested employees to apply for the jobs that the company was offering would have assured them that those interested in continuing to work with the company would be catered for. Furthermore, such an approach would have allowed the employee R to apply for his job without fear of condemnation from the rest of the union members as was the case in this case study.
In the course of applying arbitration in this case study, we find that there are some advantages. First, arbitration removes the expense and length of going through litigation to settle union-employer disputes. The arbitrator is considered a neutral party who will be able to amply decide labor relations issues, creating an acceptable decision. Furthermore, arbitration preserves the dignity of both parties as they dont have to engage in bitter court battles over employment related issues. However, the binding nature of the arbitral award is subject to appeal before a court. Therefore, should one party feel that they are not satisfied with the arbitral award; there is a recourse to litigation. In this case, it could be for wrongful termination. Therefore, the finality of the award is still a factor of consideration should one of the parties feel dissatisfied.
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