HR/IR issues in MNCs
Conflict can happen in any environment, and the workplace is certainly no different. Disputes between employees or a direct disagreement between an employee and business owner are situations that can occur frequently. An effective way of managing conflict is vital to the continued health of your company.
One of the biggest issues is how the two parties talk to each other, or whether they talk at all. If there is not an easy way for the two parties to communicate and have their issues heard, the conflict can turn into something much worse. This can result in poor company morale or the termination of a team member.
Consider using a system that allows for consistent, efficient communication between team members and insist that this is the way they must communicate if a conflict arises. When you make this a policy, you can avoid gossip and misunderstandings. You can also ensure that employees always feel that their issues are heard.
Hour and Wage Issues
Do you find that issues often crop up around payday? Do employees tend to dispute the number of hours they worked or insist on overtime that you don’t think is accurate? Do you or your HR time find that you have to go over time sheets or attendance records to check details?
To avoid federal wage and hour violations and to reduce the possibility that employees will dispute their paychecks, consider self-service timekeeping software that allows them to clock in and out from their smart devices. This encourages employees to keep track of and manage their own schedules by providing an efficient way to do so. It can also help with scheduling to prevent unnecessary overtime or to make sure the employees in the right pay grade perform the correct jobs.
Adequate Safety in the Workplace
It’s every business owner’s worst nightmare to have an injury or accident happen to one of their employees while they are on the job. Promoting safety in the workplace should be a top priority of every business owner. This should be true no matter what industry they are in. This includes making sure all proper safety equipment is used and that the right security measures are put in place.
A good policy should also ensure that employees are not overly fatigued due to too many overtime shifts. Having software to track schedules can help HR managers ensure that employees have plenty of rest time. This helps reduce over-scheduling to the point of creating an unsafe work environment.
Annual Leave Disputes
Do your employees know that the company’s leave policy is? Are you sure your policy is in accordance with state and federal laws? If your answer is no to either of these questions and you are not currently using leave management software, you could open the door to annual leave disputes.
Consider leave management software that helps you create a legal and transparent leave policy that leaves no room for dispute. Provide every employee with easy access to this policy. This type of software can also help your employees talk with HR managers about leave requests and adjustments.
Timekeeping and Attendance Issues
Do you require your employees to come into the home office and clock in or out every day? Do you find that many of them become lax on the issue, or that they have their co-workers ‘buddy punch’ them in when they’re running late?
Timekeeping and attendance issues are common, and you can eliminate many of them by utilizing employee self-service software. Allowing employees to keep track of their time and communicate about attendance issues right from their smart devices reduces the chances for conflict and provides them a handy benefit.
Having an effective employee relations plan in place will help you in numerous ways. You can avoid federal wage and hour violations, promote safety in the workplace, assist with schedule management, and give team members an easy way to communicate. This is an excellent way to ensure you promote an efficient and engaging work environment for your employees.
Issue 1: Who should handle Labour Relations: Headquarter or the subsidiary in the concerned country
The national dissimilarities in economics, political, and legal systems create diverse labour-relations system across countries, MNCs HQs typically delegate the control over labour relations to their foreign subsidiaries. Having said that, the participation of the MNC headquarters in host-country labour relations is impacted by 4 key elements:
- In case there is a high level of inter-subsidiary production integration,the labour relations function is centralised and is coordinated by the head quarter.
2. The nationality of ownership of the subsidiary has an influence on who should take care of employee relations.
3. Furthermore, subsidiary character has a bearing on who should deal with employee relations.
4. Finally, where a subsidiary is dependent more on its parent company for resources, you will see a greater corporate involvement in labour relations.
Issue 2: Trade Union Tactics
Trade Unions make use of a number of tactics to deal with international business:
1. The most common one is ‘strike’. A strike is a concerted and temporary suspension of work, intended to put pressure. Unions should be cautions prior to resorting to a strike in international scenario because the bargaining power of a union could possibly be threatened or weakened by the financial resources of an MNC. This is specially evident where a multinational firm uses transnational sourcing and cross subsidization of its products or parts across different international locations.
- Form International Trade Secretariats (ITSs): There are Fifteen ITSs who help the exchange of information. Main objective of ITSs is to accomplish transactional bargaining with the MNCs.
- Lobbing for limited national legislations – Trade unions have for several years lobbied for restrictive national legislation in the U.S. and Europe. Trade unions pursue restrictive national legislation to avoid the export of jobs via multinational investment policies.
- Intervention from the global body like ILO, UNCTAD, EU, OECD: ILO has issued guidelines which cover disclosure of information, competition, financing, employment, industrial relations, taxation, science and technology.
Issue 3: Political
There is little doubt that national industrial relations (IR) systems continue to be greatly different. There are 3 faces of industrial relations which the international union movement encounters in the international environment, specifically social democracy, neo-liberal and authoritarian. The dissimilarities in national industrial relations systems are also mirrored in the structure, power and status of individual actors in the system. For example trade unions maintain a comparatively strong position within the Scandinavian IR model while their role is a lot more limited in the US context. The international labour movement is usually prohibited direct access to robust intergovernmental establishments like the WTO. So they have to depend on national government to represent their interests to these institutions. Significantly, the interests of government might not always be directly in-line with the union movement.
Issue 4: Social and Identity
A key problem with the international labour movement and specifically international collective bargaining is the absence of identity that individual workers have with their international associates. Additionally they see these peak associations to be a lot more conservative than activists at the local level. Associated with this point, there is a common lack of solidarity between actors at a national level. Additionally, there are endemic cultural, social and language differences among individuals in different countries resulting in lowering the degree of a shared identity between workers on an international level.
Issue 5: Power and knowledge
While labour’s power continues to be local in scope, capital has grown to become more global in nature and decisions effecting workers are increasingly being made at a supra-national level. The locus of Multinationals decision making stretches beyond national borders and key facts are seldom transparent or accessible to trade unions. Additionally the well-rehearsed point that multinational organizations can counter the strength of local unions by threatening to move manufacturing to another place so that they can out manoeuvre trade unions or following threats of industrial action is significant.