Employee Voice: A Legal Perspective

by Benjamin Aaron



The steady decline in the number of employees who belong to unions has given rise to alternative institutional devices to provide employees with some voice in the determination of their wages, hours, and working conditions. Some employers, eager to obtain greater employee cooperation in improving the quality and quantity of production while avoiding the intrusion of unions, have established committees of nonunion employees purporting to increase employee voice in the achievement of those objectives. Such stratagems have met with a mixed reception by the NLRB and the courts. Efforts by individual nonunion employees to increase their voice in management decisions through "concerted" activities have recently been restricted by the Board and the courts. Those Employers willing to give their nonunion employees a genuine voice in decision making may find that to do so they must establish procedures very similar to those commonly incorporated in collective bargaining agreements.

California Management Review

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