Part I: Negotiations - Wilson Bros
PART INegotiations: Wilson Bros20 MarksCompany Mandate Document-Wilson Bros Toronto Plant and UFCW (800 unionized personnel)Winter 2021 NegotiationsCase ScenarioYou recently headed the 2020 contract negotiations that lead to a successfully completed collective agreement between Wilson and the UFCW at the Toronto Plant with the following key parameters.•Wage increase-5%-retroactive to Jan 1st2020•1-year term with the agreement expiring December 31st2020•$500,000 contribution to company pension•$50.00 per employee safety boot provision retroactive to Jan 1st2020 •No language was agreed to between the parties on either contracting out or technological change during the 2020 negotiations. Both were deferred for discussion and resolution to 2021. Other language proposals agreed were only those which were already provided for under the Ontario Labour Relations Act. (such as union dues deductions)•Both Wilson Brothers were generally pleased with your performance in the 2020 Negotiations in Toronto but they thought that 1) a one-year agreement is too short 2) the wage and benefit increases were too generous. They also thought 3) issues on the shop floor were notwell understood by the management negotiating team and not addressed well in bargaining. 4) They were concerned about the loss of flexibility going forward in tech change and contracting out.•As a result, going forward, you have decided to provide them with a detailed Company MandateDocument to improve negotiating performance in the 2021 Negotiation. Questions 1.Why would the Brothers view a one-year agreement in 2020 as too short? What would their preference be and why? (5 Marks)2.Is it possible to determine if the 5% wage increase and additional benefit and pension improvements in the 2020 agreement were too generous? How? 3.Prepare a complete step by step Company Mandate Document for the 2021 Negotiations for Toronto includingthe purpose of the Document and a detailed implementation plan, using information from the Course Modules, the Wilson Bros Case Scenario, the Individual Term Assignment, the relevant Discussion Assignment on the topic, and all related resource material.
Page 6of 11PART IIUnion vs Non-UnionStatus(Total: 20 Marks)Case ScenarioWilson Brothers manufactures and distribute various lines of prepared foods and operates 6 plants in Canada, 2 of which are unionized –one in Vancouver (Teamsters); the other in Toronto (UFCW). There have been some recent employee relations issues in the non-union plants. Bob and John Wilson, along with the rest of the Executive are concerned that if the issues are not resolved either the Teamsters; the UFCW or some other union may start an organizing campaign to unionize the other 4 non-union plants. The Company may not be able to withstand what comes from more of their plants becoming unionized due tothe recent threats of decreased profit margins, increased competition etc.... (please refer to Wilson Brothers Case study for complete information on case)Questions1.As HR Manager, what strategies would you make to senior management to keep the other plants non-union? Discuss each of the 5 possible employer strategiesand outline which one Wilson Brothers should adopt? 2.What specifically are the HR issues at Wilson Brothers that need to be addressed? What would be your recommendations to improve the employee relations environment and/or HR/employee issues at the non-unionplants at Wilson Brothers? 3.In general, outline why an employee would want to join a union? What are the advantages of joining a union? (b) Are there specific reasonsyou see for a non-unionWilsonemployee to join a union? 4.a) In general, outline why an employee would NOT want to join a union? What are the advantages or reasons for NOT joining a union? b) Are there any specific reasons you see for a non-union Wilsonemployee to want to stay non-union?
Page 1of 11PART III(Case Scenario OneGrievance/Arbitration -Seawright vs Davidge)You have been hired as the Human Resources Manager, the senior human resources role for Seawright Enterprises a manufacturer and distributor of plastic containers. This includes plastic bottles used to package hand sanitizer, soap and cleaning products. Due to the products that it manufactures, Seawright is continuing operations during the current pandemic.Seawright is located in the Hamilton, Ontario area and employs 160 people. 110 are employed in production and distribution. 10 of these are supervisory personnel and the remaining 100 are members of a bargaining unit represented by Teamsters Local 555. Seawright employs another 50 non-union staff in various administration, sales and managerial roles. Their payroll is in excess of $12 million.Seawright Enterprises was recently purchased by a larger company based in the United States, Helliwell Corporation, and they installed a new General Manager, Al Morrison, who you report directly to. Al has spent his entire working career in the United States and therefore is unaware of Canadian laws and regulations.Al’s mandate is to improve the efficiency of the Hamilton facility and lower the labour cost, per unit produced. As a manufacturing organization, located in the province of Ontario, Seawright falls under provincial jurisdiction in regards to labour, and employment legislation. Seawright’s production department is divided into 2 units of 50 workers. Each unit has a shop steward. The distribution area also has 50 workers and a shop steward. The chief steward works in one of the production units. The workers originally organized after they became upset over what they believed was unfair treatment by the previous Plant Manager who favoured some workers and dismissed others based on how he felt that day. Seawright recently completed negotiations with their local and the contract was ratified for a period of one (1) year. This is the 3rdcontract between Seawright and Teamsters Local 555. Prior to settling the workers engaged in a 15-day strike, an action suggested by their chief steward Brian Davidge. Prior to negotiations the workers engaged in an illegal wildcat strike led by the chief steward. This was in response to the area supervisor allegedly ignoring a safety issue, after it was reported by a worker. Davidge is 60 years old and jointed the company at the age of 33. Therefore, he has 3 more years of service to qualify for his pension. He is also one of the longest serving workers at Seawright. His role in production is physically demanding and requires that he assist in the set-up and routine maintenance of production equipment. The equipment that Seawright uses are specialized and there are only a few other companies in North America which use similar equipment.Davidge was highly regarded by his co-workers, which is why he was originally elected as Chief Steward. He was re-elected prior to the last set of negotiations because nobody ran against him, in respect for his previous history with the union, and his years of service.
Page 2of 11However, over the past 18 months his performance and attendance have greatly deteriorated. He seems to have established a pattern of arriving late or missing work on Mondays. His absenteeism is 3 times the company average of 8 days per calendar year. In addition,he has been late 4 times more than the company average of 5 late days per year.On your second week on the job, your General Manager, Al Morrison calls you into his office and states that he “wants you to get rid of Davidge”. Although the collective agreement stipulates (10.2) that employees are to contact their Supervisor for any absence that has not been previously authorized, Davidge has not done so for 15 of his 24 absences over the past year. It further stipulates (10.3) that failure to doso, will result in progressive discipline being implemented. It also states (10.4) that any employee missing more than 15 days of work in a calendar year will be required to provide documentation, including if applicable a medical note, as proof of theirneed to miss work. Last month an entire production run of nearly 3 hours had to be scrapped because Davidge had not set-up the machine correctly and the product mix was not correct. Recently other workers have started to complain that he has been moody and disrespectful and unwilling to help them perform their duties. You return to your office, gather up Mr. Davidge’s employee file and discover to your consternation that there are no medical notes or other documents regarding his absences, and that there are also no records of him receiving any disciplinary warnings or letters. In fact,his file has no records that are less than 5 years old regarding attendance, discipline or performance. Furthermore, after conducting additional research, you discover that there are no disciplinary records regarding attendance at all, for any workers during the past 3 years.Even though yourpresent arguments against it, the General Manager, Al Morrison is insistent and Brian Davidge is terminated. He files a grievance for unjust dismissal which is heard by a single arbitrator.Questions1.What arguments would the company make in the arbitration hearing? (5 marks)2. What arguments would the union make in the arbitration hearing? (5 marks)3. Assume you are the single arbitrator hearing this case. Explain what your decision would be and your decision