With reference to the case study given in the image, outline how this case could harm employer-employee relationships in this factory in the near future.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It is very difficult to see the workers in the Cardiff factory possessing much in way of goodwill towards their employer after this incident. There was a significant breach in the relationship between both as a result of this incident. It seems highly unlikely that there can be restoration unless there is a massive shift in management's perception towards its employees.

In this instance, the damage that  was done to the relationship between employer and employee done comes out in several forms.  The first is obviously in the dismissal of over a thousand workers.  Anytime such a significant aspect of the workforce is dismissed with such brazenness, there will be a gulf in the relationship between management and its employees.  Certainly, it can be accepted that cutbacks and reduction in staff is a reality that governs all professions.  It was evident in this case.  However, the massive level of cuts creates a very formidable division between both groups.  This is exacerbated by management's insistence that there would be no such reductions. When addressing the issue, management denied its existence. To a great extent, this is disrespectful to the workforce, almost telling them that their voice is invalidated and not worth of acknowledgement. Hence, the situation presented becomes worse when management actually does what it is believed that it will do.  Finally, the relationship between employer and employee is going to be irreparably broken in the fact that there is no sense of accountability on the part of management.  Higher management did not respond to the fears of the workers.  When confronted with the dismissal of so many, management evaded responsibility.  For workers, this situation confirms the very worst of fears regarding management.  The cold, dispassionate that seemingly "enjoys" firing people is reinforced with such an image.  Any notion of community is rejected with such actions.  Consider the words of worker management in the revelation that their jobs are gone.  Words like "stunned" and "angry" become adept descriptions in the way that employees feel when confronted with the reality that they are going to lose their jobs without any means of recourse or explanation.  Workers who are "panicked" and lost in ambiguity are not going to be likely to trust management after such an episode. Even the workers who were not dismissed will not likely trust management as a result of this event.  Workers who survived this round of layoffs will constantly wonder when their turn at the wheel of worker disrespect will emerge. Any relationship, especially one between employer and employee, can only advance when there is trust and sense of reciprocity.  In this event, there was a noticeable absent of both.  When dismissing an employee, there can be a way to do so that respects the dignity and humanity of worker: “You’ve got to document your action, be up-front with the employee and, of course, be humane.”  Being upfront, providing documentation, and being "humane" were absent in this situation.  As a result, the future of the employer/ employee relationship can be seen as being in harm's way.

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