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How Negotiations Work - Articles Surfing
Negotiations have always been a vanguard of corporate culture. Executives and attorneys line up on one side of the table and the union on the other side of the table. With hard worn faces they stare at each other eyeing up their competition. Each side distrusts the other and many weeks are spent hashing out issues.
One of the most frustrating things the union does is to create an outrageous *wish list* of demands and submit them to management. Most of these items they don*t seriously plan on being awarded and are used to confuse the main issues. In negotiations the union will mask central issues, create bargaining chips (red herring arguments), ask for everything under the sun as well as drag out negotiations as long as possible.
Masking Issues: When the union puts forward a lot of proposed changes during negotiations their goal is to mask the real issues they want resolved. For example they may really be looking to change the attendance policy but will also propose changes on just about everything else to mask the importance of this issue.
Bargaining Chips: Unions will propose changes on items that are not of real importance to their main concerns. They will trade these non-essential items for those that are really more important to them. For example, they may complain that they really need wash up time after work in the contract. They will fight hard for this issue but will then back off of it if they get a different item changed.
Ask for Everything: One of the strategies the union uses is to ask for everything under the sun. They do this to swing the pendulum way to the left under the assumption that the company will have to fight for every piece. Sometime companies will swing it way back to the left so they can meet somewhere in the middle.
Time Off: Let us face the fact that many union representatives love the vacations associated with negotiations. They like the time off because they can sit around, talk, hang out with their colleagues, stay in a hotel and eat for free. All of this typically adds up for cost to the company. Keeping the negotiations short is not in the interest of the union members.
Negotiations can be a fun but very serious time. What the company and the union agree to could become the standard way of doing things not only for the length of the contract but also for the long-term future that keeps building off of previous contract. The general rule is don*t give anything to the union that you might need to someday take away.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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