The area of Labor Relations is a vast and complex area. The national Labor relations Board is a federal government agency that sets out to protect to the employer and employee. It is also an independent agency although it is a government agency. In order for the Labor relations board to act in the case of a dispute, there first needs to be a petition filed with the regional office, the decision will then be made as to whether the labor relations board will take on the case through formal procedures or not. If the petition goes to formal proceedings than there may be a formal hearing where the employee may need some form or representation.
For the purpose of this essay, we will focus mainly on the area of Unions. Under law an employee can choose whether or not they decide to choose to have a work trade union representative to act on their behalf if they are in a dispute with their employer. For some trades there is more than one union that has been set up to protect and represent the needs of the employee. Where there is more than one union devoted to a particular trade they may vigorously and relentlessly campaign to gain new members.
When an employee is faced with being in dispute with their employer, they may need some support as disputes for whatever reason, can be fraught with legalities, laws and personalities. So having someone with you that can offer advice on employment law, professional issues or just for emotional support can make all the difference to the outcome of a situation. Union representatives must however act within their remit. They are not lawyers, or employment specialists, they specifically should be there to represent and help the employee/employer relationship.
Unions are usually useful in situations where an employee feels that they have been coerced in some way or the employee feels that they have been discriminated against because or their ethnicity, age, or disability rather and have not been given the chance to show that they are more than able to do the job efficiently and effectively. But sometimes unions don't have the same amount of impetus or backing to be an effective representative for the employee. Unions need to keep their representatives up to date with employment laws and issues that may have an adverse effect on employment in particular areas of work or location.