Describe the current labor relation enviroment?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say that the current labor relations environment is difficult to predict or even call.  The labor relations historical dynamic has not experienced a global phenomenon like this.  The traditional adversarial relationship between labor and management has morphed into something new and different, causing both structures to view the other with skepticism, but also with a sense of the unknown.  On one hand, labor continues to fight for its traditional ideas of collectivity, fair compensation, and workers' rights.  Yet, the Wal- Mart model that repudiates unions, instead passing savings directly onto the consumers is being embraced more and union membership is not as strong as it used to be.  The contingent lacks its historical clout both in the negotiating room and on the political campaign.  At the same time, labor is having a difficult time wrapping their fundamental belief system around the reality of outsourcing.  In order for a company to maintain economic viability, outsourcing can be embraced and the union has little, if any, recourse against it.  This does not let management off the hook.  The global workplace and business forum has increased competition from all sorts of domains.  The presence of web based technology and the ease with which communication and purchase can be conducted has made businesses more perceptive that their competition field is no longer a neighborhood or local company, but rather a company in China or in Brazil.  This has made competition a reality that is constant and worldwide.  It has pressured companies into becoming global or becoming obsolete.  Both labor and management has been challenged by the globalized workplace and is one where these new demands have to be navigated with a sense of savvy and cooperation as both sides are being challenged with elements of the new and "flat" world.