Evaluation: Employee In our case, the Cathay Pacific Flight Attendants Union (FAU) did not satisfy with a new policy that required them to work at least 70 hours a month before they could swap shifts with colleagues and they thought this new policy had hurt their pay and lifestyle. Pay and benefits is one of the factors that affect job satisfaction of the employees and it is perhaps one of the most rewards employees would like to get in order to support their lives.
So when the flight attendants union alerted that their usual benefits gain from the job has changed, they immediately voiced their concern and bargained with the employer to protect their rights. Moreover, the flight attendants viewed the new decision as the company’s measure to withdraw their benefits that they are entitled to receive, which are claimed to be clearly stated in the labor contract with Cathay Pacific. They argued to the employer that this action was illegal as the company did not communicate this decision with them beforehand.
This can be explained by the principles of justice of the employees which consists of outcome fairness, procedural justice and interactional justice. In our case, interactional justice can be applied. A perception of interactional justice is a judgment that the organization carried out its actions in a way that took the employee’s feelings into account. It includes the explanation of decision to the employees, respectful treatment, consideration and empathy. Referring to our case, the employer did not notice the employees before the implementation of the new policy which made the employees think the company did not concern their opinion.
As their feelings are being ignored by the employer, the flight attendants union strongly opposed this new policy and caused conflict with the employer. Through this case, we discover that conflicts cannot be avoided in the workplace since the management goals and labor union goals are always opposite. The management aims to lower costs and raise outputs, as in our case, Cathay Pacific wanted to increase the productivity of the flight attendants and ensured every one of them should work at least 70 hours a month before they could swap shifts with colleagues.
However, the labor union aims at obtaining pay and working conditions that satisfy their members and of giving members a voice in decisions that affect them, and in our case, the flight attendants bargained with the employer not to accept the new policy which harm their benefits. As some degree of conflict is inevitable between workers and management, the labor union has a significant role to represent their members’ interests and resolving conflicts with employers. When more employees join the labor union, it can boost the bargaining power of the union as it represents more employees.
The Cathay Pacific Flight Attendants Union represents over 5,800 cabin crew in Cathay Pacific Airways which is a high ratio. Collective bargaining is indeed one of the ways to manage conflicts. It can be defined as a voluntary, formalized process by which employers and independent trade unions negotiate, for specified groups of employee, terms and conditions of employment. Regarding our case, the union would like to negotiate with the management at first but received no response so the union threatened to take industrial action, including a work-to-rule or a potential strike to urge the reply of the management.
The pressure of an impending strike deadline forces both union and management negotiators to make concession and resolve their differences. Threatening of going on strike is usually a weapon of the labor union because it will cause a big harm to the employer and that the union can gain more attention from the management and gain a higher chance to win the negotiation. Fortunately with the intervention of the Labor Department the dispute was brought to an end with an agreement signed to withdraw the swap restriction permanently.
The Biggest Winner was the union, which gained more than 600 new Members as a result of the ordeal. Through this case, it is obvious that the labor union gain a high importance in representing the employees and bargaining with the employer in order to get their desired results. http://www. aspireaviation. com/2010/04/05/cathay-pacific-threatened-with-strike/ http://www. thestandard. com. hk/news_detail. asp? pp_cat=11&art_id=96074&sid=27482954&con_type=1 http://www. businesstraveller. asia/asia-pacific/news/cathay-pacific-cabin-crew-mull-strike http://www. cpafau. org. hk/eng/index/
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