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Chapter: Professional Ethics in Engineering - Responsibilities and Rights

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Collective Bargaining and Occupational Crime

Collective bargaining is inconsistent with loyalty to employers because it · is against the desires of the employer

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND OCCUPATIONAL CRIME:

 

Collective bargaining is inconsistent with loyalty to employers because it

 

·        is against the desires of the employer

·        uses force or coercion against the employer and

 

·        involves collective and organized opposition.

But every instance of such conduct need not be unethical.

 

An example: Three engineers sincerely feel that they are underpaid. After their representations to their bosses are in vain, they threaten their employer, politely, that they would seek employment elsewhere. Here, even though, they act against the desires of their employer and have acted collectively, they have not acted unethically or violated their duty.

 

·        Public Service Argument‟- Collective bargaining.

·        Public Service Argument‟ is an argument against collective bargaining.

·        The paramount duty of engineers is to serve the public.

 

·        Unions, by definition, promote the interests of their members and whenever there is a clash of interests, the interest of the general public is ignored by them. Though the argument is a valid one, it looks at the worst possible scenarios with unions and decides that engineering unions act only irresponsibly.

 

·       A body of engineers can promote engineers‟ interest within limits set by professional concern for the public good.

 

Benefits of Collective Bargaining.

a) Unions have created healthy salaries and high standard of living of employees.

b) They give a sense of participation in company decision making.

c) They are a good balance to the power of employers to fire employees at will.

d) They provide an effective grievance redressal procedure for employee complaints.

 

Harms Caused by Collective Bargaining.

a) Unions are devastating the economy of a country, being a main source of inflation

b) With unions, there is no congenial (friendly), cooperative decision making.

 

c)  Unions do not promote quality performance by making job promotion and retention based on seniority.

 

d) They encourage unrest and strained relations between employees and employers.

 

Occupational Crime:

 

·        Occupational crimes are illegal acts made possible through one‟s lawful employment.

 

·        It is the secretive violation of laws regulating work activities.

 

·        When committed by office workers or professionals, occupational crime is called „white collar crime‟.

 

·        People Committing Occupational Crimes

·        Usually have high standard of education

·        From a non-criminal family background

·        Middle class male around 27 years of age (70% of the time) with no previous

 

·        History

·        No involvement in drug or alcohol abuse

·        Those who had troublesome life experience in the childhood (Blum)

·        People without firm principles (Spencer)

 

 

·        Firms with declining profitability (Coleman, 1994)

·        Firms in highly regulated areas and volatile market -pharmaceutical,

·        petroleum industry.(Albanese, 1995)

 

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