Happy Trails LLC: Labor Relations Case Study
The organization is a medium-sized independent living home, Happy Trails, LLC. It is a for-profit facility located in a suburban environment. Due to traffic and road congestion, this eldercare facility is the most convenient independent living home near the city. Independent living homes in the city offer many of the same services as Happy Trails, but are more expensive. There are also a number of hospitals that the elderly may go to for acute health care issues.
In a response to the changing economy and patient access from the suburban areas to the city, Happy Trails has taken some measures to compete and become more attractive, and build on its long-term care for patients in the surrounding areas. It has reduced overtime allotments of its seasoned patient care staff, and has terminated several registered nurses. As the registered nurses have left Happy Trails, they were replaced by Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), who receive lower compensation and fewer benefits.
The health care facilities in the city have been unionized and are well represented by an experienced union business agent. The union has recently negotiated superior wages and benefits at the independent living homes in the city.
In terms of the health care professionals employed there, Happy Trails is not so happy now because the union representing the other facilities has gotten the attention of the Happy Trails LPNs.
Answer the following questions.
B. The independent living home management team has asked for your advice:
1) What would you advise the independent living home management to do? Should they oppose unionization?
2) What arguments or defenses might the hospital raise to the union’s organizing issues?
3) If the company elects to resist unionization, what steps should the company follow?
4) What unfair labor practices need to be avoided by management?
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