The Art of Negotiation
This paper will discuss the art of negotiation. The focus will be on the UPS Strike Negotiation of 1997 between UPS and the Teamsters. The negotiation will be briefly described. The issues and interests of the involved parties will be discussed. Ethical behaviors will be analyzed. Proposals for distributive and integrative negotiations are developed for the conflict between the parties involved. 1. Briefly describe the selected negotiation. The Teamster’s UPS Strike of 1997 was one of the largest strikes in the U. S. , disrupting the delivery of millions of packages throughout the country every day for more than two weeks. At the time of the strike 60 percent of the UPS workforce consisted of low wage jobs that did not provide opportunity and did not provide any of the luxuries that a full-time job afforded, such as the freedom to purchase a home. At a time where the company should have been making attempts to convert jobs into good, decent, full-time jobs, the company wanted to expand more part-time jobs eroding the dreams of its employees instead of building them up.
Facebook Twitter Digg StumbleUpon Reddit Delicious The walkout centered on two key issues–the increasing use by the company of part-time workers and control of UPS pension funds by the Teamsters Union. 2. Examine the issues versus the interests of the parties involved. Determine how this difference affected the negotiation. The UPS management contract campaign of 1997 had several key strategic issues. First, the company demanded givebacks, even though it was making more than a billion dollars per year in profits.
They were also proposing that more work be shifted to the lower-wage part-time workers. UPS also demanded concessions which would have made the part-time problem worse, proposing that the company subcontract out the jobs of the feeder drivers to reduce promotion opportunities for UPS workers. They offered lower wage increases than in the past with no raises to help close the gap between the part-time and full-time workers (UPS Contract Proposals, March 27, 1997). The issues of the Teamsters were force UPS to create full-time jobs for part-timers.
They wanted to also secure more opportunities for growth for the workers by keeping UPS from outsourcing jobs during the businesses peaks times. The interest of UPS focused on maintaining a functional facility using part-time workers in a full-time capacity with minimal opportunity for growth and benefits. The interest of the Teamsters focused more on forcing UPS to make improvements that would give their members the job security, opportunities, safety and standard of living the they deserved (Teamsters UPS Update, May 30, 1997).3. Analyze the ethical behavior or tactics that are being used in the negotiation. Determine the effect they might have on the outcome of the negotiation. The actions of UPS during this negotiation were definitely ethically questionable. Simply believing that they could continue to exploit their employees by not allowing them the opportunity to growth or to be promoted was a denial of their rights to live comfortably. They were denying them the rights to achieve a better lifestyle for their families.
The Teamsters rallied members to aid in their fight for justice to protect the rights of the employees that UPS was continuing to exploit for their own personal gain. If UPS had not eventually given in to the demands of the Teamsters it could have cost them clientele, future clientele and possibly the loss of their business as a whole. The mobilization of the union’s members to shut down the company’s operation was the basic weapon which won the strike for the Teamsters. 4. Determine the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) and Worst Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (WATNA) for each side of the negotiation.
At the start of the strike, the BATNA for UPS was to offer to advance 10,000 part-time workers into full-time jobs only after other full timers retired or quit. They also stated they would only agree to create 1,000 new full time jobs. Their concessions for subcontracting were also included in their Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. The Worst Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement for UPS was holding out and refusing to concede to the demands of the union causing the company to lose business and money.
The BATNA for the union workers was creating full-time jobs for part-timers and reducing the hourly wage differential. The WATNA for the union was to be offered the full-time positions only after the current full-time workers retired. 5. Develop a proposal for a distributive negotiation strategy for this negotiation. The objective of a distributive negotiation is to achieve an efficient compromise by focusing on the distribution of outcomes as opposed to meeting the needs of the parties involved (Demarr, de Janasz, 2013). Distributive negotiations are often adversarial in nature.
UPS offering the Teamster’s a take it or leave it deal would make the negotiations between the two parties a distributive negotiation. UPS would make the offer to advance 10,000 part-time workers into full-time positions only when the current full-time employees have retired or quit. If these terms are not agreeable to the Teamster’s then UPS would go ahead with their plans to subcontract their workload and those in the union would take a severance pay and resign. This gives the UPS what they want and does not show and concern for the needs or concerns of the union workers.6. Develop a proposal for an integrative negotiation strategy for this negotiation. Integrative negotiation is more personal. It looks to preserve the relationship between the parties involved. The focus is on the interest of each party as opposed to the distribution of a fixed resource (DeMarr, de Janasz, 2013). A proposal for an integrative negotiation between UPS and the Teamster’s would be for all parties to sit down and discuss the needs and concerns of both parties; to outline and discuss the common ground, if any, between both parties.
Making every attempt to maintain the working relationship with the part-time employees would show loyalty on the part of the company. UPS could show a willingness to keep the employees on the payroll by agreeing to address as many of their concerns as financially possible. The union on the other hand would have to be willing to acknowledge that the company is in fact a good company to work for and be willing to concede to some things without giving up on the things they wish for most. They would need to separate the must have items from the nice to have items on their agenda for this negotiation to work.