Labor unions have a long, colorful history of representing workers who band together to fight for better wages and working conditions. But what happens when unions and employers can’t agree on raises, retirement benefits, or other concerns?
It’s the job of labor relations managers to help labor and management work through their differences -- and, if possible, to keep conflicts from arising in the first place. Some labor relations managers work for unions. Others work for corporations, governments, and the other large organizations that hire union members.
Labor relations managers try to maintain a smooth working relationship between employers and employees. They assist with contract negotiations and make sure that both parties live up to the terms of the contract.
Fewer people belong to labor unions these days, and it’s now common for labor relations managers to work with employees who are not union members.
Organized and resourceful. It’s also important to have excellent communication and listening skills and be able to stay calm under pressure.
Labor relations managers should be prepared to work overtime, especially in the middle of a contract dispute.