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Week 6

Read

Chapter 11:

Working with Labor Unions

, in

Human resource management.

Retrieved from

http://www.saylor.org/site/textbooks/Human%20Resource%20Management.pdf

Read Chapters 9, 10, and 14 in

Cases in Human Resource Management

Rights and Employee Management

Employee and Labor Relations

Workplace Safety, Health, and Security

David Kimball. (2016).

Cases in Human Resource Management

. SAGE Publications, Inc.

Supplemental Resources:

Chapter 12:

Safety and Health at Work

in

Human resource management.

Retrieved from

http://www.saylor.org/site/textbooks/Human%20Resource%20Management.pdf

Chapter 13:

Successful Employee Communication

in

Human resource management.

Retrieved from

http://www.saylor.org/site/textbooks/Human%20Resource%20Management.pdf

Bureau of Labor Statistics (2021).

Union

M

embers

Summary

Retrieved from:

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm

Silver (2018).

Most Americans view labor unions favorably, but few belong to one | Pew Research Center

View this YouTube on the History of Unions:

History

of

Unions

Workplace Violence

(n.d). Retrieved from

Workplace Violence – Overview | Occupational Safety and Health Administration (osha.gov)

SHRM (2019).

With Workplace Violence on the Rise, 1 out of 7 People Don’t Feel Safe at Work (shrm.org)

Wilkie (2020).

Today’s Young Worker is Stressed Out and Anxious

Folz (2018).

What to say when Investigating Sexual Harassment Claims

Wilkie (2020).

Just Because Your Workers Feel Loyal Doesn’t Mean They’ll Stay

Overview

Concepts covered this week include:

workplace health, safety, and security

employee relations – the relationship between employers and employees

the role of unions/organized labor on HR policies and practices

union trends

communication and conflict resolution

————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

What is required:

Part A: Safety and Security in the Workplace (Minimum 1 paragraph)

Discuss some of the common safety and security concerns in today’s workplace. What are some important laws that may help organizations reduce risk? What are some strategies HR managers can develop to mitigate some of these issues? Use the resources provided to support your ideas.

What is required: Respond to a classmate Natalie and the Professors question asked about my post. (Classmate’s post and the Professors is in the attachments, minimum 1 paragraph per each response)

Part B: Employee and Labor Relations (Minimum 1 paragraphs)

Outline what legal and statutory protections are in place today to prevent worker abuse. What additional protections are needed? What industries or jobs do you think could become the next fertile area for union organizing attempts?

What is required: Respond to a classmate Pam on this question. (Classmate’s post is in the attachments, minimum 1 paragraph per each response)

Classmate Natalie Part A
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2.7 million were injured in non-fatal workplace accidents
in 2020. With that being said, the most frequently cited OSHA violations were scaffolding, fall
protection, hazard communication, and respiratory protection (Ch 12, n.d.). HR managers can further
assist in the mitigation of workplace accidents by conducting regular risk assessments, providing safety
training, and keeping a clean work environment (Brisk, 2022). Additionally, OSHA offers ten and thirty
hour courses on workplace hazards and ensures compliance with standards (Chapter 12, n.d.).
References:
Chapter 12: Safety and Health at Work in Human resource management. Retrieved from
http://www.saylor.org/site/textbooks/Human%20Resource%20Management.pdf
Brisk , S. (2022, July 7). Preventing and responding to workplace accidents. business.com. Retrieved July
21, 2022, from https://www.business.com/articles/workplace-accidents-how-to-avoid-them-and-whatto-do-when-they-happen/
Professor Response to my Part A
Thanks for starting us off this week on a very timely topic of safety in the workplace. While physical
violence is more prevalent with retaliation of former employees and anger towards co-workers, your
point about cyber security is also becoming more challenging, especially since we are becoming more
tech savvy and our work place is more remote/hybrid than ever before. As HR professionals, working on
policies, best practices/training, and in collaboration with departments like IT on workplace safety
programs are critical, what else should the HR professional want to attend to to create a healthy and
safe working environment? Thoughts especially since pandemic/COVID-19? Take care, Dr. Cavanaugh
My initial Part A for reference
Today’s workplace encounters challenges because of the different people who meet from diverse
backgrounds. Some common safety and security issues or concerns in today’s workplace include health
threats, brand reputation crises, extreme weather, and the unconducive workplace environment. Other
safety and security issues relate to technological changes, such as HRIS (Human Resources Information
System), employee health insurance, and cyber security issues. Within the workplace, employers are
responsible for adhering to the set laws to reduce risks, including right-to-know laws (Kimball, 2016).
Some of the laws that could assist firms in reducing risk in the workplace include the Occupational
Health and Safety Act, reporting injuries, and ensuring the safety of employees at all times.
HR managers can ensure the adoption of rules and regulations to protect subordinates from hazardous
materials and from fighting with another in the workplace. Different organizations in the US have
recorded violent incidences at the workplace involving shootings or fights between employees.
Workplace bullying makes some employees feel unsafe, often reducing their productivity and
motivation to continue working. Most HR professionals in firms have mentioned experiencing at least
one incident of violence (SHRM, 2019). Regular communication with subordinates and organizing
meetings can provide employees with an opportunity to raise their grievances. Other strategies that HR
managers can adopt include establishing open communication, acknowledging positive behavior,
implementing strict safety policies, and ensuring the creation of teams to improve employee
relationships.
References
Kimball, D. (2016). Cases in human resource management. SAGE Publications, Inc.
SHRM. (2019). With Workplace Violence on the Rise, 1 out of 7 People Don’t Feel Safe at Work.
SHRM.org. Retrieved July 19, 2022, from https://www.shrm.org/about-shrm/press-room/pressreleases/pages/2019-workplace-violence-research-report.aspx
Classmate Pam Part B
A labor union consists of employees coming together to reach a common goal such as higher salaries,
benefits, and fairness (HRMN 300, n.d., Chapter 11: “Working with Labor Unions,” p.1). The National
Labor Union is credited for the standard 8-hour workday law which was passed in 1862. The American
Federation of Labor Act (AFL), formed in 1886, was focused on higher wages and job security. The
Congress of Industrial Organization (CIO) was established due to political differences present in the AFL.
The two unions joined to form the AFL-CIO, which is now the largest federation of unions in the U.S
(HRMN 300, n.d., Chapter 11: “Working with Labor Unions,” p.2). Additional protection is needed from
workplace violence. Many jobs put employees at a heightened risk for violence, such as any job where
money exchange occurs with the public or working with unstable people. In high-risk occupations, the
risk of assault can be prevented or minimized if employers offer protection through a zero tolerance
policy. The zero-tolerance policy covers all workers, patients, clients, visitors, and anyone else who may
come in contact with personnel (United States Department of Labor, n.d., para. 3-4). With the rise in
assaults and other inappropriate behavior rising on aircraft, airlines are a fertile area for unionization.
United States Department of Labor. (n.d). Workplace Violence. Occupational Safety and Health
Administration.
https://www.osha.gov/workplace-violence
HRMN 300. (n.d.). Chapter 11: Working with Labor Unions. Human Resources Management.
http://www.saylor.org/site/textbooks/Human%20Resource%20Management.pdf
Copyright 2016. SAGE Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.
9
Rights and Employee
Management
Case 9.1. Coaching,
Counseling, and Discipline:
HR’s Role—Document, Document, Document
Andrea Watson works in the small human resources department at ABC Fitness Center.
There are currently about 50 employees working at ABC Fitness. Andrea enjoys the
process of hiring and providing an orientation program for new employees. However,
she does not like the responsibility of firing employees when they do not fit into the
culture at ABC Fitness.
To overcome her own hesitation with firing employees, Andrea reviewed the coaching process, counseling process, progressive discipline process, and the tests for just cause
used in disciplinary investigations. Andrea started to study and implement these processes about 2 years ago at ABC Fitness.
ABC Fitness uses the coaching process to give employees feedback to improve their
performance over time. Coaching involves four steps: (1) describing the current performance, or what is currently being done by the employee; (2) describing the desired
performance, or what the manager wants the employee to change; (3) getting a verbal
commitment from the employee to change; and (4) following up to make sure the
employee is behaving in the desired manner. Coaching is often associated with sports
coaches such as Mike Krzyzewski at Duke University or Bill Belichick with the New
England Patriots. However, coaching can be just as effective in a business situation
as in sports. Employees in every organization need to receive positive feedback and
support while doing their jobs.
Counseling is provided for employees who are not currently working at an acceptable level. Guidance is provided to help get the employee back on track. Management
counseling involves giving the employee feedback so he or she knows a problem is
affecting job performance. Employees with severe personal problems can be referred
for help to the employee assistance program (EAP) to get assistance.
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Chapter 9 • Rights and Employee Management
Unfortunately, some employees just cannot get their work performance to an
acceptable level. Progressive discipline is then used to try to solve minor disciplinary
infractions. Progressive discipline is a series of steps to help provide discipline:
Step 1. Informal talk
Step 2. Oral warning
Step 3. Written warning
Step 4. Suspensions
Step 5. In some cases, demotion or transfer, or
Step 6. Dismissal
A key element in disciplinary investigations is just cause. Just cause is a set of
standards used to test for fairness in an organizational setting to ensure that any
disciplinary action taken has reasonable cause. The tests attempt to ensure that the
individual knew what the rules were, that there was reasonable evidence or proof that
the person violated or disobeyed the rules, and that, if the rules were violated, the
disciplinary action was appropriate and fair.
Andrea wasn’t sure if all of these processes were conducted in the case of Derek
Struble. Derek was an employee who worked at ABC Fitness for the last 20 years.
He didn’t exhibit the greatest level of enthusiasm with the health center’s fitness
members, but he was also never rude. He assisted fitness members whenever they
needed help.
Andrea reviewed Derek’s file and found he was in a graduate, nonprofit management program, which was supported by ABC Fitness since it paid half the tuition.
His file contained limited documentation that Derek was at times not as “cheery” or
“happy” as one might expect at a fitness center. The file mentioned that Derek didn’t
generate enough personal fitness training, which members paid for and which helped
finance the fitness center.
Andrea was fairly sure Derek wasn’t fired due to gross negligence (such as leaving
the fitness members unattended). Nor was he fired due to serious misconduct, such as
hurting another employee or doing harm to the company. Actually, Derek was very
actively trying to recruit new members to the facility.
Thus, Andrea wished she had more documentation that would show that
Derek had been coached, counseled, or had even gone through progressive discipline. She could find in the file only some notes that Derek could be more pleasant and should improve the number of paid training sessions he conducted in the
fitness center.
Andrea was also concerned with the fact that Derek was 39 years old. The Age
Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibits discrimination against persons
40 years of age or older. Congress found that older workers were disadvantaged in their
efforts to retain employment and especially in regaining employment when released
from a job.1 Since Derek was 39, he was certainly very close to age 40 and could file a
lawsuit against the fitness center.
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Part III • Developing and Managing
Andrea had a meeting scheduled with Derek later in the afternoon. Her major
thought was something her former director of human resources at her last job used to
say, “Document, document, document.”
Case Questions
1. Do you believe Derek received any of the
four steps in the coaching process?
4. Would you, from what you know,
discharge Derek?
2. Did Derek receive progressive
discipline?
5. How would the Age Discrimination
in Employment Act of 1967 apply if
Derek was 40 years old?
3. Was there just cause to discharge Derek?
Case 9.2. Trends and Issues in HRM:
Mindfulness—a Thoughtful Theory About Leadership
Astrubal Gonzalez worked as the food service manager at Big-Time Hospital in New
Haven, Connecticut. Unfortunately, the food at the hospital was viewed as terrible.
Still, since Astrubal’s food service was the only place in the hospital to get food, sales
were stable.
The CEO of the hospital, Jean Curry, wondered how she could improve the quality of the food in Big-Time Hospital. Her first priority was to create a change process
to help the food service employees who were in denial that their food quality could
be improved. She had to help them forget about the daily grind they had repeated
for years and learn a new way to do their jobs. She had to get past their resistance to
change and help them see that a modern food service operation could lift employee
morale around the hospital.
On the way to work on the train, Jean happened to read about an interesting leadership theory called mindfulness. She thought mindfulness sounded like a process with
which the employees could develop a renewed sense of mission toward delivering better food quality and service. She decided to contact human resources about exploring
mindfulness as a way to replace mindlessness.
The human resources department responded by researching mindfulness as soon
as it received the call from the CEO. If Jean Curry called, HR was certainly going to
respond. The first step required defining leadership and mindfulness.
Leadership is the process of influencing employees to work toward the achievement
of organizational objectives. In Jean’s case, she was the leader, and it was her idea that
using mindfulness might be the solution to motivating her food service personnel.
HR found out that mindfulness is an area of leadership study that has become more
popular in the last decade. There are numerous summits and conferences devoted
to teaching the process of mindfulness. Jon Kabat-Zinn, former professor at the
University of Massachusetts Medical School, describes mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.”2
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Chapter 9 • Rights and Employee Management
By comparison, mindlessness refers to our subconscious, out-of-habit, or repetitious actions, placing limitations on what we can accomplish. A mindless worker
would rather continue the same steps and procedures used in the past at work.
Mindfulness enables employees to be fully aware of their mind, body, and spirit.
Mindful people are fully aware of what is happening around them. A mindful employee
has a high level of self-confidence, which gives the employee the belief that failures and
challenges can be overcome. Mindful people can visualize great change instead of placing limitations on what they can do to lead the organization.3
A mindful manager can lead the employees to reach higher levels of success. But
to do this, the mindful manager needs to learn to be compassionate, more self-confident, and an authentic leader. Recent organizations to embrace mindfulness include
Google, Harvard Business Schools, and the Seattle Seahawks football team in the NFL.4
Employees would most likely find it easier to enjoy mindlessness on a regular day
at work. However, an organization needs to strive for mindfulness every day at work to
help develop a company culture of innovation and creativity. Mindful employees look
for new ways to solve problems. To help develop mindful employees, HR needs to set the
standard by offering training on leadership concepts such as the benefits of mindfulness.
HR and managers in the different divisions can work together to model the behavior of
being mindful so that employees can learn to bounce back from failure, learn to be more
confident, and thus be actively aware of their surroundings at work and in their industry.
Jean decided she was going to also have to learn to use mindfulness if she expected
to have such a culture exist at her hospital. She had to exhibit behaviors that showed
she was innovative and creative. She wanted to be a leader who embraced everything
at work and shared the success with her employees.
After a series of training sessions led by HR, the food service personnel started to
feel more self-confident about their jobs. They were encouraged and wanted to cook
more creative lunch and dinner options. They were excited to see which new food
options were well received by the employees of the hospital. When a food item was
not well received, they didn’t get disappointed as they would have in the past. They
just used that experience as a learning situation. Their self-confidence and creativity
were evident in the variety of food they offered and the upbeat customer service
provided to their customers.
Jean was so excited about the results of implementing mindfulness that she was ready
to spread the leadership theory throughout the entire Big-Time Hospital organization.
Case Questions
1. How does mindfulness compare to
situational leadership?
4. Do you think Astrubal will find it easy
or difficult to become a mindful leader?
2. How does mindfulness compare to the
definition of leadership?
5. After mindful training, what could
Astrubal do to show he is a more
mindful manager?
3. What are some ideas about how human
resources can teach employees to be
more mindful?
6. How did Jean use the stages of the
change process?
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51
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Part III • Developing and Managing
Notes
1. http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/adea.cfm.
2. Garms, Erica, “Practicing Mindful Leadership,” Association for Talent Development, March 8,
2013, https://www.td.org/Publications/Magazines/TD/TD-Archive/2013/03/Practicing-MindfulLeadership.
3. Moua, Mia, “Mindfulness and Self-Efficacy,” Leading With Cultural Intelligence, http://catalog.
flatworldknowledge.com/bookhub/reader/5575?e=moua_1.0-ch04#moua_1.0-ch05_s04.
4. http://www.mindfulleader.org/#home.
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Copyright 2016. SAGE Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law.
10
Employee and
Labor Relations
Case 10.1. Unions and
Labor Rights: Can Labor Unions
and Management Work Together?
Candice works in the human resources department for Familia Wireless, which is
a small chain of stores selling cellular wireless phones and a service center. Familia
employees are not unionized at this time. However, employees are unhappy with
­salary, benefits, and the fact that the store is open until 1 a.m. to attract the nighttime
club crowd.
Candice previously worked for the Paper Coating Company (PCC), which manufactured paper coating adhesives. This type of paper is often used in greeting cards.
PCC was a unionized company. The employees voted in the IBEW (International
Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) to represent their 500 employees. The management team at PCC then had to bargain with the union on hours, wages, vacation time,
insurance, and safety practices.1
Thus, Candice had the opportunity to observe one company that had a unionized
workforce and one company that did not have to worry about bargaining with a union.
She noted that employees at PCC had to pay dues to be in the union. The only way
for the union to survive is to have its members pay some of their wages (dues) to the
union to cover union expenses. Thus, not having a union or dues at Familia Wireless
helps employees save money.
On the other hand, she did notice that employees at PCC were threatened with
discharge or layoff and that the union fought to protect their jobs. So, it was nice to
have union representation when management thought a worker’s job performance
was not up to standards.
Still, Candice thought the key to deciding to have a union shop was based on the
quality of the management team. If there was a good management team in place at
your company, then you wouldn’t need union representation. You were already being
treated and compensated fairly.
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Part III • Developing and Managing
However, if the management team was unfair in providing the correct wages, benefits, and working conditions, then a union was a good idea since it could bargain for
improvement in these areas.
Candice felt she had a unique view from her spot in HR in both companies. She
found that employees of PCC didn’t really mind their union dues since the money was
automatically deducted from their paycheck. Of course, employees knew (or should
have known) they were paying union dues.
Candice worried that if PCC decided to close the company the union would not
be overly helpful. She assumed PCC would give the employees the 60 days’ notice
required by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN). PCC
could also offer job retraining at the local community college. But, when PCC wanted
to close the company, there wasn’t much the union really could do to help employees.
Candice’s father was an IBEW union member because he worked for AT&T. When
AT&T wanted to close his AT&T office in Springfield, Massachusetts, and consolidate offices into a single location in Utah, he was asked to move to Utah or have his
employment terminated.
Candice had always heard of violent times in the history of management and
unions. Just recently, Candice had heard of Verizon employees who went on strike
in 2011 when Verizon tried to freeze pensions for current workers, offer fewer sick
days, and put an end to all job security provisions. A major area of concern for the
employees was the difference in unionization in the economy; unionization is high
in the old landline corded telephone business, but the new wireless cellular business
is mostly nonunionized. Employees went on strike for 2 weeks, and many deeply felt
the loss of their paychecks during the difficult economy. Verizon, however, received a
bad reputation because service was hindered for those 2 weeks.2
Chapter Questions
1. What law requires companies to provide
employees 60 days’ notice if they are
going to close?
2. Why would employees want to pay dues
to have a union?
4. What is the role of human resources
if a company does have a union?
5. Do you think Familia Wireless will
unionize?
3. Do employees need a union if the
management team is qualified to do a
good job on its own?
Case 10.2. Managing Conflicts:
How Can HR Help With Angry Employees?
Unfortunately, when two or more people work together for long periods of time, some
level of conflict will emerge. Functional conflict is a level of conflict that actually helps
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Chapter 10 • Employee and Labor Relations
each employee improve his or her overall performance. However, finding this beneficial level is not an easy task. Too little conflict, and employees can become complacent. Too high levels of conflict can create dysfunction that interferes with workplace
performance. A good manager will learn to tweak the office atmosphere to find the
proper level of conflict.
During times of conflict, a good manager will also find the conflict management
style that works for him or her or will change styles based upon the type of conflict.
At times the manager might use an avoiding, accommodating, forcing, negotiating,
or collaborative conflict management style. Avoiding a conflict is a passive style and
often leads to lose-lose situations since both sides lose when resolution of the conflict
is not likely. An accommodating conflict style means you passively let the other side
win the conflict and implement its solution. A forcing conflict style uses aggressive
behavior, such as authority, to threaten, intimidate, and call for majority rule when
you know you have the vote in your favor. Negotiating requires finding a compromise
that attempts to resolve the conflict through a give-and-take of the issues involved
until a solution is found. Last, a collaborative style requires working with the other
party in the conflict and finding an acceptable solution.
Unfortunately, managers will find it difficult to keep dysfunctional conflict from
entering their workplace. Brian Hoffman started his own appliance store designed to
provide builders with washers, dryers, refrigerators, and other appliances for a newly
built homes. His business grew to include selling appliances to the consumer market
through 10 retail outlets. Brian worked out of the main headquarters in Windsor. The
human resources, accounting, and marketing departments were also placed at the
headquarters.
Brian heard that two workers in his West Hampton store were arguing on the retail
floor in front of customers. He sent two HR employees to investigate the problem. It
turned out that the two employees had a long-standing problem about who would
receive customers as they entered the store. Since the retail employees worked on
commission, they both wanted to help customers and fought for them as they entered
the store. This was obviously an aggressive form of conflict that was resulting in You
Lose, I Win.
Brian asked his HR department to develop a program with which too high a level
of conflict could be resolved. Avoiding the problem did not seem like a good solution
since the problem was occurring at the point of greeting and helping customers. He
also didn’t want to force a solution onto the two employees. Ultimately, he wanted to
develop a collaborative solution where both parties would like the outcome.
HR decided to look at compensation solutions within a similar setting—selling
automobiles. As a growing appliance supplier, Brian’s company needed to establish
some rules and policies that weren’t needed when it was a small business. HR found
that car dealerships used a rotating process when customers arrived. Each salesperson would take the next customer as he or she arrived. If more customers arrived at
once than could be handled, then all sales personnel would do their best to handle
the overflow evenly.
HR also advised Brian to review the compensation system. A compensation system based on salary instead of commission would also lessen the rivalry between
salespeople.
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Part III • Developing and Managing
Fortunately, the new method of greeting customers was accepted by all retail floor
salespeople. The new compensation system based on salary versus commission was
being further evaluated.
Brian was satisfied with the results in the employee conflict situation. However,
he was concerned about future conflict situations. For example, it was becoming
more likely that his growing business would have to discharge employees for not
performing up to expectations. Was HR up to the task of processing employees out
of the company? Would those employees become violent? HR plays a support role in
these serious conflicts: HR can help improve communication between the manager
and the employee. HR can be a witness to the confrontation between the two parties.
HR can help the employee calm down and return peacefully to the job while looking
into the issue. Otherwise, HR can call security or police to help control the disturbed
employee.3
Brian asked HR to create a program to reduce workplace stress. He wanted to avoid
high-level conflict situations before they occurred. Brian also had the realization
that his little business was no longer little. There were employees in his business
he had never met. While he was busy selling and ordering appliances, HR was busy
hiring new employees. He decided to spend more time with HR before he built any
new retail sites.
Case Questions
1. Is all conflict bad?
2. What would be the difference between a
forcing style and a collaborative style to
resolve a conflict?
4. What is the role of HR in cases with a
potentially violent employee?
5. How can HR use the Conflict
Resolution Model?
3. What is the role of HR in resolving
workplace conflicts among employees?
Notes
1. Rowe, Randy Hicks, “What Challenges Do Unions Pose for Human Resource Manage­ment?”
Houston Chronicle: Small Business, http://smallbusiness.chron.com/challenges-unions-pose-­
human-resource-management-69221.html.
2. Greenhouse, Steven, “Verizon Workers Plan to End Strike, Agreeing to Revive Talks Toward
a Contract,” The New York Times, August 20, 2011, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/
technology/verizon-workers-end-strike-though-without-new-contract.html?_r=0.
3. Maurer, Roy, “When and How Should HR Step Into Violent Situations?” Society for Human
Resource Management, May 25, 2015, http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/safetysecurity/
articles/pages/hr-violent-situations.aspx.
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