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Alabama Power and the Labor Union

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Alabama Power and the Labor Union

Alabama Power company has gained numerous benefits from joining a union. First, since joining a union, there has been a decrease in grievances in the workplace ("American Rights At Work", n.d.). Employees have been able to negotiate with the company through its union, IBEW, about several issues concerning them in the workplace. Secondly, Alabama Power company has one of the lowest turnover rates in its industry due to the fair pay rates and benefits and a great work environment ("American Rights At Work", n.d.). When employees are satisfied, will be more apt to stay at that specific job. Also, through joining the IBEW union, Alabama Power company has been able to create a program with the union called Target Zero which highlights its commitment to safety. "Since the program's introduction, Alabama Power's recordable injuries have decreased from approximately 300 per year to approximately 50 per year" ("American Rights At Work", n.d.). Those numbers are outstanding and probably couldn't be achieved without the help of the union.

The unionization process for Alabama Power company started in the year of 1940 with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ("American Rights At Work", n.d.). It was one of the first and largest unions during the that time and was established as the bargaining agent for workers of the company (Vilade, 2008). Employees for Alabama Power company have the right to join or not to join the union and they cannot be discriminated against because of their decision; neither the company nor the brotherhood are allowed to try and persuade any employee or their decision to join or not to join the union ("Memorandum Of


Agreement", n.d.). All members of the union are required to pay dues. The company has over 3,000 union employees (site).

Alabama Power acknowledges the employees right to bargain collectively through their choice of any IBEW representatives ("Memorandum Of Agreement", n.d.). This way of bargaining has been the basis for working out problem in labor relations throughout the years. Employees can use collective bargaining to negotiate pay rates and wages, employee rights, work conditions, employment hours, health insurance and benefits, and any other employment and workplace issues (Cascio, Chapter 13, 2010). Alabama Power and the union, IBEW, will ultimately negotiate an agreement concerning the specific issue and put it into effect. For example, Alabama Power company and the union have made an agreement about strikes and lockouts. "In view of the grievance and arbitration provisions of this agreement, the Brotherhood



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