Magic Carpet Airlines prepared their negotiations by gathering a lot of information from previous instances concerning the contracts of other employees. The information was retrieved from other companies to help them know how to go about the terms they would keep for their employees who were significant stakeholders in the Company (Lerner, & Shonk, 2006). They also got information from their own employees in terms of their needs and priorities that they would negotiate effectively during the process.
They also prepared adequately by appointing people who would represent the Company during the negotiation process (Friedman & Barry, 1999). They assigned the post of national bargaining representative to play the role of a mediator during the process. The case involved the flight attendants contacting the Union League of Flight Attendants (LFA) so that they would be assured of resolving personnel issues and their work in the Company.
Union’s Primary Objectives
The flight attendants used the union to articulate their management issues. The major problem for them was compensation and the relatively low basic wages for the flight attendants. The data collected throughout the month for review showed that such a basic wage could not match the cost of living that was already too high.
The primary objectives of the union were to ensure job security and also an increase in the wage for flight attendants (Lewicki et al., 2015). The union wanted the workers to have a duty rig clause as was the case for the pilots as well as a successor-ship clause. The union also made another target for the Company to improve the health terms, the working conditions, and the wages while on holiday.
The strategy of the union to meet the objectives was to seek an opening offer that they had drafted. They consulted the existing working conditions of the flight attendants as well as their wage rates such that they used the points to strengthen their claim and make sure that MCA was convinced of the need to improve the working conditions and increase the wages. They also used the strategy of seeking clarification (Susskind, 2005). This way, in general, they presented a proposed pilot’s contract to the Company.
It was necessary to use such a strategy so that MCA would take the negotiations seriously. The negotiator also used a strategy of separating the bargaining subjects that would help in avoiding any forms of grievances and put more pressure on the Company. It was also necessary to have the negotiator so that the union would not have an excessive emotional reaction concerning the issue. The strategies were helpful to ensure that the Company granted the workers their grievances.
The Magic Carpet Company made it their goal to maintain good relations with its workers, especially the flight attendants. They were crucial members of the Company that would not risk losing them. The flight attendants felt that there was a significant issue with job security in that they could lose their jobs at any time. At the same time, it was unfortunate that the Company seemed not to be providing a clear way that they would reassure the flight attendants about their contract and whether it was binding. It was important for the Company to ensure that they kept good relations because the deal between Magic Carpet Airlines and River City Airlines meant new terms that would need adjustment. Another goal of the Company was to safeguard its profitability.
The Company did not readily accept the changes that were proposed by the League of Flight Attendants. However, later on, they used the strategy of compliance to meet the goal of maintaining good relations. Eventually, MCA agreed to the demands of the union except for the one about health insurance. The explanation that the Company gave was that at the moment, it was not possible to meet all the demands especially the one regarding lowering the insurance cost (Hackley, 2014). However, they said that they were willing to revisit the topic once the employee had had a contract renewal. They also said that because of the merger, the Company needed time to grow its revenue and ensure that the consumers would continue to flow. To achieve the goal of safeguarding profitability, the Company set wages that could not interfere with the performance.
The flight attendants of Magic Carpet Airlines approached the League of Flight Attendants to negotiate about issues such as wage increases, improvement of working conditions, and job security that they were not comfortable with within the Company. The workers felt like they would lose their jobs as a result of the merger and needed reassurance. It is necessary for employees to raise their concerns about issues in the Company when they feel that their needs and priorities are not being put into consideration as they expect (Ebner, 2011). The Union League of Flight Attendants made sure that the grievances of the employees from Magic Carpet Airlines were granted.
Ebner, N. (2011). Negotiation 22 via Email. Negotiation Excellence: Successful deal-making, 397.
Friedman, R. &Barry, B. (1999). Should you be a negotiator?-Owen Manager 19, no 2. Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University.
Hackley, S. (2014, September). Balancing act: How to manage negotiation tensions. In Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data (p. 30).Lerner, S. J. & Shonk, K. (2006). Create accountability, improve negotiations- Negotiation 9, no. 6. Harvard Business School Publishing.
Lewicki, R. J., Barry, B., & Saunders, D. M. (2015). Negotiation 7th ed. McGraw-Hill Education.
Susskind, L. (2005). Don’t like surprises? Hedge your bets with contingent agreements. Harvard Business School Publishing. P. 3-5
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