It is evident from the case study that Fortin was victimized because of her employer’s antiunion discrimination. It is noted that the warnings issued to Fortin were initiated by her comments that the workers wanted to better themselves. In addition, three warning letters were issued at only two days from the day she made the comments (NLRB, 2000). This has been cynical; since, she had been promoted and commended for an increasing number of sales at the metro Dade account within the same year. Moreover, the performance appraisal process had been fabricated to implicate her with poor performance, probably, to set a basis for her layoff. Also, the employer had withdrawn essential facilities, such as telephone and van deliveries, negatively affecting the sales at the Dade account (NLRB, 2000). The employer’s actions were malicious, and aimed at establishing a reason for her layoff.
Fortin faces unfair disciplinary measures. For example, she was punished for visiting the warehouse for business purpose. However, she visited the warehouse frequently without being punished prior to her union activities (NLRB, 2000). In addition, she was the only employee punished in this event. This is malicious intention, and it is unacceptable. Lastly, it is possible that the employer introduced a new supervisor with intention to lay off Fortin. In this case, it is notable that she was laid off only two months after the performance appraisal. This action was driven by the employer’s ill motives against Fortin’s union activities.
A court should override the supervisor’s decision to lay off Fortin
The court is eligible to override the supervisor’s decision; to lay off Fortin. This is based on the fact the decision was made from a fabricated claim of poor performance. It is worth noting that Fortin’s performance in the period between August-1993 to August-1994 was commendable (NLRB, 2000). In this case, the sales in Dade account, where she was responsible, had increased. However, the sales decrease was recorded in the period after the employer’s withdrawal of essential facilities, such as telephone, van deliveries, and voice mail services. Therefore, Fortin was not responsible for the decline in sales, and could not be accountable for the decreased sales.
The supervisor blindly used the results of the evaluation without validating their truthfulness. This may have been propagated by the propaganda raised by one of the salesmen that customers were complaining about Fortin’s poor services. The propaganda basis for making the decision is an unacceptable. Moreover, Fortin had remained a high performing employee from 1986 to 1994. This was appreciated by the employer through promotions. However, the employer, driven by antiunion qualities, maliciously issued three letters of warning to Fortin for participating in union activities (NLRB, 2000). Therefore, every decision that followed, including her layoff, was instigated by the employer.
As a matter of concern, the court should dishonor the decision; since, it was based on fabricated performance appraisal results and propaganda. Moreover, the decision was instigated by ill intentions against employee union in the workplace. This is against labor union laws.
Why employers are resistant to a labor union
Many employers oppose the formation of collective bargaining unions within the workplace. Currently, the opposition remained despite the national labor relations act enacted 70 years ago. Employers harass and lay off labor union leaders in a bid to frustrate the efforts of forming an employee union. Moreover, they use captivating speeches to employees so as to disguise their intention towards stopping the employees’ drive to form a union. Employers are opposed to union for several reasons. Firstly, unions are used as bargaining agents for employees’ wages; thus, raising the cost of production and reducing profits (Kleiner, 2001).
Secondly, management prerogative is highly penetrative in employees without unions. This results to effective employee management without resistance. Thirdly, employees’ drive to the formation of unions is perceived to be associated with cost. However, the management makes rational decisions based on the cost and benefits of events. Therefore, employees’ drives to unionize interfere with management decision based on cost and benefit assessment. Lastly, the employers are key players in the actions taken by the company. Therefore, engaging employees in unions intimidates their role in making critical decisions regarding the operations of the company (Kleiner, 2001).
Kleiner, M. M. (2001). Intensity of employee management resistance: Understanding the decline
of the unionization in the private sector. Journal of Labor Research, 22 (3), 520-540.
NLRB. (2000). Case 1-1 Interfering with employee’s rights to unionize. Parts Depot Inc.