A labor relations representative represents the interests of employees, typically within a unionized workplace. Typically, the most visible work of a labor relations representative is the negotiation or enforcement of collective bargaining agreements, which are contracts between a unionized workforce and employers. These contracts typically specify parameters for compensation, benefits and treatment of workers in the workplace. The representative typically interacts with employees, documents areas in which future contracts can be improved and then works to help achieve these employee-related goals in future collective bargaining negotiations.
This representative also represents individual employees who seek remedies from real or perceived violations of labor agreements regarding treatment on the job and even firing decisions. A labor relations representative works to ensure that these employees are treated fairly and that all employee rights under local law and the collective bargaining agreement are observed. For these grievances, as well as with contract negotiations, the labor relations representative typically consults with employee representatives to provide them with information and make progress with the employer. The labor relations representative also typically works closely with the human resources department to ensure that policies are properly applied within the scope of existing labor agreements.
Persons who work as labor relations representatives typically have an educational background that involves some study in human resources. These individuals are often union members with practical experience as rank-and-file employees. Some labor relations representatives have law degrees as well. Most of the time, a labor relations representative works in an office during daytime hours, but their hours may vary depending on the position and needs of represented employees.
Labor Relations Representative Tasks
Compile information and propose resolutions between labor and management.
Assist in compiling information to be used in contract, arbitration and labor negotiations.
Participate in fact-finding process and investigations of site grievances and employee disciplinary issues.
Assist in the administration and training for legal labor management compliance.