Does the Duty to Bargain Preclude Unilateral Wage Increases?

Subject: Case Studies
Pages: 2
Words: 586
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: Bachelor

Wino-Dixie Stores, Inc. is a multistate chain of retail food stores and is engaged in interstate commerce. The United Food and Commercial Workers represent the bargaining agent for the employees in the company. Both these parties have engaged in a series of disputes over wage increase for the bargaining unit employees. Understanding ethical aspects of both union and management positions and establishing a solution is of high importance. The current case discusses the positions and analyzes the proposals of both parties involved in the dispute. Moreover, the Winn-Dixie company might be found guilty of failing to sign the bargaining agreement during negotiations with the union.

The collective bargaining agreement between Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. and The United Food and Commercial Workers expired, and both parties were working on reaching a new deal. The union declined the company’s wage proposal to increase wages for employees in the bargaining unit. Such refusal was due to the union’s desire to bargain other aspects of working conditions as well (Budd, 2020). Despite multiple meetings of both parties, the agreement was not reached, and the company increased wages.

The union stated that unilateral increases in wages had violated National Labor Relations Act (Labor Law Act). In turn, the company believed that changes in wages had not established the failure of the duty to bargain. The case’s major problem is the denial of the company to bargain and the unilateral wages increases.

There is a number of pros and cons in the positions of both parties. The unions have always been affecting wages rising using the tool of collective bargaining (Wilmers, 2017). Thus, in the current case, The United Food and Commercial Workers rightly fought to discuss the wage changes further. However, as it was stated in the case, the union made only one offer during the negotiations, which led the discussion to an impasse. On the contrary, Winn-Dixie’s position may also be justified, as the company notified the union in advance. Simultaneously, the company was constantly declining the union’s proposal, which also allowed for the impasse. This caused the two sides to fail to reach a mutually beneficial solution, which resulted in the escalation of the dispute.

In order to avoid any clashes or strikes from the union side, the company should have applied particular measures. First of all, the company should have respected the duty to bargain and continued negotiations on wage changes. The key to avoiding any contradictions and disputes is mutually beneficial cooperation and further negotiations to achieve it (Miettinen et al., 2019). However, the reason for not fulfilling these obligations lies in fact that it was unprofitable for the company to make increases in pensions, vacations, and hospitalization as well. Another solution to the problem is to further discuss the terms for increasing these payments to have a hard time on the company.

One of the most famous scriptural teachings is that one should stand strong against greed. Those who are primed with money and wealth are often less caring and less helpful than the others (Macdonald, 2019). However, scripture teaches believers to see the difference between being rich and wealthy. The Winn-Dixie company desired to increase the employees’ wages, while the union wanted to improve the working conditions of the rest. Thus, it is important to understand the difference between these two positions: one cannot satisfy the needs of all with only one action. There are a number of measures that should be taken to fulfill the needs of employees, and the union fought for those measures.


Budd, J. W. (2020). Labor relations: Striking a balance. McGrow-Hill Education.

Macdonald, C. (2019). Money, a disconnecting agent: Reminders of money trigger a feeling of disconnection, which increases the likelihood of unethical decisions. Open Science Journal, 4(1). Web.

Miettinen, T., Ropponen, O., & Sääskilahti, P. (2020). Prospect theory, fairness, and the escalation of conflict at a negotiation impasse. The Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 122(4), 1535-1574. Web.

National Labor Relations, 29 U.S.C. §§ 151-166 Suppl. 2. 1934.

Wilmers, N. (2017). Labor unions as activist organizations: A union power approach to estimating union wage effects. Social Forces, 95(4), 1451-1478. Web.