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Labor Laws and Unions: Unionization of Coca-Cola Employees

The huge beverage giant Coca-Cola is a very popular brand in its industry. The company dates back to the 1800s (The Coca-Cola Company n.d.). The brand has grown strong in a consistent pattern over the many years it has been in operation. The company has expanded its market all over the world. The company dominates the beverage industry and has a huge workforce globally. The Coca-Cola Company has faced many legal challenges in its growth and expansion over the years. In spite of the numerous legal issues, the company has been involved in successful operations and still manages to be a leader in its area of business. The main legal lawsuits which are brought against the Coca-Cola Company concern the labor rights violation. The company may be involved in violating the labor rights of employees by preventing them from joining unions. However, allowing employees to create unions, the company may as well solve this issue. Therefore, to show that the company values each its member, the Coca-Cola Alumni Association was initiated (FAQs – Coca-Cola Alumni Association n.d.). Moreover, the next challenge the company may face is the violation against the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA). This may occur if the company refuses to compensate employees who lost their ability to earn income due to injure happened, while carrying out the company’s duties. They may also decline to compensate those who die, when working for the company. The company using prudent methods in restructuring the compensation methods in the firm can reduce litigation.

Many employees are unionized because of the many benefits that accrue from being a union member (Mauer 2001). A unionized employee receives a better salary as compared to those of non-unionized counterparts. The unionized employees have a better sense of job security because they cannot be laid off without proper cause. The union also advocates for more benefits for workers, such as better compensation schemes as well as better working conditions at the workplace (Mauer 2001). If members of any union are harassed by their employers in some way, the union will always act against such kind of harassment. The process of becoming unionized involves first calling the union office that covers your industry. When the rights of some employee are violated, he/she may call the union office and complain about the working conditions. This enables the officials to know of person’s intentions to join the union. The second step is to explain the grievances in the current work position to the union officials. A union member should then mobilize a worker in that employee’s workforce to join the union and air his/her grievances too. Other employees should also show they have grievances against the company so the union can get to act on the issue. Once everyone or a majority is on board, one can put to the vote to unionize the employees.

The reason why unions bargain with the firms or employers is to get the best terms that will favor both the employer and the employee. A union bargains through the art of collective bargaining. Collective bargaining works to regulate the working conditions. Union officials represent employees’ interests if the employees are its members (Martocchio 2002). Unions and the industry as a whole carry out many collective bargains. Those, which occur with single employers, are rare. The collective union bargaining involves the following aspects within the firms, the matters of training, working overtime, health and safety of workers, wages and compensations, rights and duties of unions and future discussions. In most cases, the organization honors what the union wants, but in some instances, a compromise is reached.

References

FAQs – Coca-Cola Alumni Association. (n.d.). Web.

Mauer, M. (2001). The Union Member’s Complete Guide: Everything You Want–And Need–To Know about Working Union. USA: Union Communication Services, Inc.

Martocchio, J. J. (2002). Strategic Compensation: A Human Resource Management Approach. Mason: Prentice Hall.

The Coca-Cola Company (n.d.). Heritage Timeline. Web.