How Labor Relations Impacts HR Even If You are Union Free

Labor Relations is old school HR

For many human resources professionals, labor relations is a part of old school personnel work. Not the kind of stuff we do anymore in a world with social media,talent communities and millennials demanding instant promotions. The place I work doesn’t even have a union, how is going to affect me?  You think that it doesn’t because your organization participates in union avoidance activities or are anti-union.

I know, right? I hate to be the one to break this to you, but you could be really wrong.

In the world where labor relations work is still done on a regular basis, it is kind of dark and gritty. Many companies and unions are facing hard times, due to lost business, or the increasing costs of their current labor systems, including wages, benefits and pensions. When it’s tough in the labor world, both sides get polarized, and it goes old school, including strikes, boycotts and lockouts.  Labor relations in the HR world is just heating up.

Looking at Current Labor Union Case Studies & Examples

Here’s a look at a few current labor situations that have gone into the red zone. Some of these examples you may have heard of, others not so much.  Click through the attached links for full details on each situation.

Understanding How Unions Work in Your Workplace is Half the Battle

Regardless of your company’s stance on union or labor relations, it doesn’t really matter.  What does matter is that as HR organizational leaders we are aware of current cases, examples, and trends so that we can adapt in the current workplace and marketplace.  Because it’s important to be informed and in the know.  I hope your are paying a little bit more attention to your labor relations issues now.   They might be sneaking up on you when you aren’t looking!

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Michael Vandervort

Mike Vandervort is Human resources strategist. HR consultant, writer and speaker. His specialties include Social Media, Employee Relations, HR, & Labor Relations. Connect with Michael.

Reader Interactions


  1. Dana says

    Thank you for this post. I understand union labor for the most part, but have been having difficulties relating it to the private organizations I will most likely be working at after graduation.


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