Labor Relations Specialists Career Video
Description: Resolve disputes between workers and managers, negotiate collective bargaining agreements, or coordinate grievance procedures to handle employee complaints.
What happens when vital workers are poised to go on strike? Labor relations specialists look for ways to form employment agreements that will satisfy both the workers and those who employ them, and therefore prevent the chaos that can follow a strike. Most of their time is spent negotiating and writing contract proposals, and meeting face-to-face with employees and employers. They work with union representatives, company officials, and government representatives to discuss employment contracts for groups of workers, often called collective bargaining agreements. Labor Relations Specialists help form these agreements by negotiating salaries, benefits, and working conditions that both sides can agree to. If employees believe their rights have been violated, labor relations specialists examine and collect evidence around their grievances. They listen carefully to the workers they represent, and may coach them on the appropriate way to advocate and negotiate with company leaders. Labor relations specialists are experts at forging creative solutions. Job qualifications usually include a bachelor’s degree, but may require education levels from a high school diploma up to a master’s degree, depending on the occupations of the workers they represent. While sometimes facing an uphill battle, labor relations specialists do more than just resolve conflicts, they bridge the relationship between management and workers for the long-term.