Union Seniority System

In: Business and Management

Submitted By crowleys1
Words 3007
Pages 13


Seniority systems have played a major role in the everyday aspect of American and International labor relations. And in enacting Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Congress provided a special exemption for seniority systems. Seniority systems popularity the work places makes the interpretation of the seniority exemption very important to both those who support seniority systems, Labor Unions, and those who support the broadest possible application of Title VII, Employers.

The concept of seniority systems entails employment preferences based on an employee’s length of employment at a given employer. The basic concept is as the employee’s length of service increases so does their employment benefits and rights. There are two basic types of seniority systems – competitive and benefit seniority. Competitive seniority is used to determine an employee’s priority for job security, promotion, transfer, scheduling, and training opportunities. Benefit seniority involves the employee’s access to fringe benefits entitlements without regard to the status of other employees.

Labor unions have been the strongest advocate for seniority systems, seeing three labor-oriented advantages: 1) employee’s have a degree of independence from employers in the areas of laid off and promotions, 2) the union has a guide when it comes to defending jobs for employees, and 3) seniority systems gives a sense of security and predictability for employee’s future employment (Aaron).

Union Seniority Systems

The first seniority provisions appeared in the railroad industries during the early 1900s, where unions demanded an application of strict seniority rights for railroad employees who might be laid off, re-hiring, transfers, and assignment when railroad systems began to consolidate. Seniority systems in other industries began to…...

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