Article Information

Encroachments on the Right To Manage
Kuhn, James
5/1  (Fall 1962): 18-24

This article focuses on the effect of the decision of the Supreme court on the management's "right to manage." Supported by the law and backed by government agencies, unions have progressively limited the rights and prerogatives of management for many years. The decisions of the Supreme Court in June 1960 thus did not break with the past. Viewed in the longer perspective of American labor relations the decisions made then are but the latest adaptations of the ideas and laws of an earlier individualistic, agricultural-mercantile community to the present needs of our urban, industrial society. For some time the board and courts have held that an employer is not free to shut down his plant if he is trying to escape collective bargaining. In a case involving a firm making diapers, management was forbidden to remove its plant and throw its workers out of their jobs immediately after concluding an agreement. The Board held that workers had the right to bargain over the effects of the removal on their tenure and job rights. Long before 1960 the courts and the Board held that the labor agreement represents the entire undertaking of the parties, not just those areas mentioned explicitly in the agreement. In various other cases employers have learned that just because such items as life insurance, hospitalization and bonuses are not in an agreement, they are not necessarily free to change or terminate the benefits unilaterally.

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