MGT702: Negotiation, Bargaining and Advocacy

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Assessment Item 1. CASE STUDY. (10%)


The UPS Strike of 1996 Win-Lose Negotiation


The United Parcel Service (UPS) is a US messengerial company founded in 1907, which evolved into becoming one of today’s largest global providers of package delivery and logistic services as well as specialized transport.


A major business strategy of this company was to hire mostly part-time workers, which was quite attractive to young workers. The latter was provided work at off-time shifts earning union-negotiated wages and benefits. However, part-time work at UPS presented very little chances of job advancement regardless of the length of time rendered as a short-term contract worker.


By 1996, UPS’s workforce comprised 182,000 part-time workers, working an average of 26-28 hours per week spanning durations of five years that could be more or less at part-time compensation rates. The Teamster Union, handling the bargaining negotiations for UPS worker-members, made a careful study of this particular issue and decided to launch a major offensive strike against UPS. They were, at the same time, banking on public support for their cause.


The Negotiation Plan and Strategy


Union negotiators and UPS union members carefully researched the statutory rights of part-time workers and what the UPS–Teamster Union contract contained. They analyzed the ratios and proportions related to part-time workers versus full-time employees, including disparities in salaries, retirement fund benefits and limited opportunities for full-time hiring. They proceeded in building-up a campaign platform that manifested the imbalance of economic conditions between part-time and full-time UPS workers.


In presenting a clearer picture of how UPS exploits the hiring of part-time workers to cut on costs and employer obligations mandated by federals in maintaining regular employees, the Teamster Union and UPS union members’ call for strikes were able to garner workers’ support and of that of the international union organizations.


E-mails about the planned strike were sent out, thus enabling UPS workers to understand the causes for which the unions would call a work-stoppage. This enabled them to save and financially prepare for the temporary job loss.


The international labor union was able to set up funds to augment the union-workers’ strike fund in case it became depleted during the process of long-term negotiations.


The Negotiations


Hence, the union negotiators were able to come up with a definitive list of their demands and arguments, for which the main agenda was the creation of full-time jobs for part-time workers, reduction of the salary differential between part-time and full-time workers, job security against outsourcing and improvement of work safety conditions.


As an example of the union’s preparedness, a UPS concessionary offer of sub-contracting big-rig driver jobs, instead of hiring on a part time status, was immediately rejected by the union team. This only meant delimiting job positions available for advancement of full-time drivers.


The union team was able to defeat this counter-bargain by pointing out that the union-UPS contract contained provisions that sub-contracting could only be allowed if the union would agree to this.


  • Read an example of a famous historic negotiation that was carefully planned in order to succeed. The importance of arming oneself with knowledge and public support take focus as we describe union leaders and UPS workers. The article relates how the union was able to solve a labor problem and as well as get the best collective bargaining agreement.


  • Continuation of the UPS-Teamster Negotiation


The Results of the Negotiation


In no time, a successful bargaining agreement was reached, which included the following settlements among many others:


  • Ten thousand part-time jobs were converted into full-time occupations at UPS.
  • Ten thousand job positions available to non-union members and contractors became available to union members.
  • Union workers became eligible to perform work modified by technological advancements.
  • Closing the salary gap between part-time and full time workers, by increasing part-time salary rates from $8.00 to $8.50, and providing salary increases that would aggregate a total of $4.10 per hour over the union’s five-year labor contract with UPS.
  • Replacement of older car fleets with power-steering features and additional ventilations.
  • Prohibition of mandatory overtime for all workers.
  • Package car drivers working on holidays are guaranteed to receive remuneration for at least eight hours.
  • Expansion of maternity and paternity leaves as approved under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
  • Prohibition of disciplinary actions against employees involved in on-the-job accidents and injury cases.


These are only some of the successful outcomes of the UPS–Teamster Union famous historic negotiations to end a labor strike that caused UPS million-dollar financial losses as the strike lasted for two weeks. Prior to the 1996 year-end closing, only 40,000 out of the 182,000 part-time employees remained under the short-term status.


  • You are required to analyze the case study and discuss the Approach, position and strategies adopted by the parties in the case study to bring settlement.
  • You are required to examine the final outcome of the negotiation process and provide comments as to the outcome and final settlement by parties concerned in the case.
  • Discuss whether the final settlement by negotiating parties is sustainable and whether it will hold in the interest of the organization.


Major Project


HRM702 Major Project – 20% due in week 15


This is a group project. You need to form a group with 5 members each. Design and work on an overall negotiation plan and, the implementation on one of the given topics. In your written submission and presentation, you need to display your understanding of the three concepts covered in HRM702. This Project is in two (2) parts. Part A and Part B


Part A        Write-up – 10%


The write up should cover the following areas:-


  1. Defining the group goals and objectives
  2. Selecting and developing a strategy/ ies to address the issue (s)
  3. The dominant force for success in negotiation is in the planning that take place prior to the dialogue. Evaluate and discuss in details areas that needs to be covered to assist the group in your quest to win your case.


Part B                  Presentation – 10%


The group members will be questioned before the negotiation presentation takes place to test your planning skills and after negotiation to test the implementation part and whether you have achieved your goals or not.


Negotiation Topics


  1. Any case of your choice between Union vs an Employer. Or
  2. Pick any negotiation Topic.


Pert C – Format of the Project:


  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Table of contents
  • Aims
  • Objectives
  • Acknowledgements
  • Declaration
  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Negotiation Tactic/technique used
  • Expected outcome



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