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Labor Negotiations Agenda

Labor Negotiations Agenda

Advantages and disadvantages of starting with the non-economic issues first for the company and the union during labor negotiations

According to Fossum (2015), labor negotiations include both economic and non-economic issues. One of the advantages of starting with non-economic problems for the company is that the company can compare the data provided and develop bargaining power based on the data. Unions also benefit by being able to create a counter-balance monopsony, thus ensuring that the interests of their members are met. Another advantage is that the company is able to develop good rapport in the negotiation by showing its interest in important non-economic issues such as employee well-being (Dickinson, 2019). This enables the union to determine the main points to focus on during the negotiation to meet member needs and interests. For instance, if the non-economic issue at the start of the negotiations is on employee benefits and the company shows less regard for essential benefits such as employee vacation and paid leave, the union can redirect the negotiation towards the benefits and prompt the company to consider them.

The main disadvantage that the company faces in starting with the non-economic issues is that employees may use the issues as an excuse for failing to meet organizational and economic demands when the negotiations reach the discussion of financial issues. The main disadvantage for the union is that it may be forced to accept the terms of economic issues, such as employee pay, based on the non-economic issues discussed (Müller & Upmann, 2013). For instance, if the company agrees to give employees vacations and paid leaves, it may justify the failure to add employee pay and argue that the benefits may incur additional costs, eliminating the need to increase employee pay due to the organization’s focus on reducing operational costs.


Dickinson, D. L. (2019). Labor negotiations, conflicts, and arbitration. Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics, 1-20.

Fossum, J. A. (2015). Labor relations: Development, structure, process (10th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

Müller, J., & Upmann, T. (2013). Centralized labor market negotiations. SSRN Electronic Journal.


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According to our text, non-economic or non-wage negotiating issues are ordinarily tackled first during Labor Contract Negotiations, with wage and benefit issues settled as a package near the end of the negotiation process. This is typical of almost any kind of negotiation.

Labor Negotiations Agenda

Labor Negotiations Agenda

When purchasing a car, buyers typically insist on making certain that the car they are considering meets all their needs before settling on a price. In labor negotiations, what are the advantages and disadvantages of starting with the non-economic issues first for the company and the union?

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