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.
What they do:
Resolve disputes between workers and managers, negotiate collective bargaining agreements, or coordinate grievance procedures to handle employee complaints.
On the job, you would:
Negotiate collective bargaining agreements.
Monitor company or workforce adherence to labor agreements.
Present the position of the company or of labor during arbitration or other labor negotiations.
Arts and Humanities
human resources (HR)
Safety and Government
law and government
Education and Training
teaching and course design
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
talking to others
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
bringing people together to solve differences
talking people into changing their minds or their behavior
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
use rules to solve problems
People interested in this work like activities that include leading, making decisions, and business.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Human resources software
Internet Grievance System IGS
Micropact entellitrak Labor Relations Edition
bachelor's degree or master's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.