Discrimination of Ethnic Minority Women
There are many reasons why ethnic minority women face discrimination on various accounts at the workplace. Race tops the list, while gender follows closely. In fact, many of these women miss out on the opportunities during the initial stages of employment application, while those that are successful enough to get hired are paid less than their male counterparts. Unemployment rates reports reveal that Latino and African-American women are the most affected by the issue of unemployment in America than their majority white counterparts. As a result, most of the ethnic minority women have to grapple with unfavorable economic conditions coupled with racial and gender-based discrimination in their workplaces. This is why this paper seeks to assess the issue of marginalization of ethnic minority women in the workplace and explain the essence and demerits of collective bargaining when dealing with this issue. The paper further discusses the laws and legislation that address the same concern in Manitoba and Canada.
A real conflict scenario
The case of Jordan Berkeley who was a university graduate is an example of a real conflict scenario. She was surprised by the lack of feedback after she started applying for jobs. The fact that she had been born to Caribbean parents in the United Kingdom and her name was distinctly different had never been a bother to her. One of the career advisors she talked to suggested that she used her English name, Elizabeth, when applying for jobs. Despite her surprise at this piece of advice, she followed it and soon after began receiving responses to her applications. After sharing her experience with family and friends, she realized that this was indeed a common phenomenon. In fact in some cases, Muslim women wearing hijabs had been forced `to remove them so as to obtain employment, showing the high levels of discrimination of the minority ethnic women.
Manitoba provincial and Canadian federal legislation that covers the
In Canada, the universal laws have covered the issue of marginalization of minority women in a bid to protect all people from discrimination. There are three main mechanisms set in place by Canada to fight against discrimination. The Canadian Act of Human Rights is the first mechanism, followed closely by individual provincial legislation on human rights;an example of which is the Manitoba Human Rights Code. The third mechanism is the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Even with the implementation of such legislation, collective bargaining may still be necessary especially when taking into account that the ethnic minority women are not well represented in the formulation and implementation of the legislation. Additionally, collective bargaining becomes crucial in case of any breach of fairness.
How a grievance procedure might unfold
A Muslim woman who is forced to take off her hijab so as to work in a certain team, can use various laws and legislation to file a grievance within her company or workplace. The woman in question will air her complaint through the grievance procedure, and the matter will be taken up by her immediate supervisor. In case such a supervisor is the source of the discrimination, the woman’s complaint would probably be channeled through the next manager in her area of work. Once reported, the manager or supervisor is expected to respond to the grievance in a manner that upholds both the company policies and human rights legislation.
If the employee/marginalized woman in question is dissatisfied with the response provided by the supervisor or manager, she may have to take the grievance to a higher authority. During this stage, the senior-most manager to whom the issue is addressed may require evidence before making the appropriate decisions. To obtain such evidence and arrive at a decision, he or she may interview the complainant, talk to other employees, hold a meeting with the parties involved, or form a panel of managers and staff to assist in making a decision. Once more, legal action through arbitration or if the worse comes to the worst, lawsuits may be sought by the complainant to deal with the concern if once again the senior management offers an unacceptable or dis satisfactory if the solution arrived at by the senior management is not satisfactory or is unacceptable, a legal action is sought through arbitration; lawsuits may also be sought.` to a traditional
Collective bargaining grievance procedure in this situation
There are many advantages and disadvantages of using traditional collective bargaining grievance procedure in the case of discrimination against ethnic minority women. Some of the key advantages are that it saves on time, enforces contract, and facilitates decision-making by neutral persons, as well as enhancing fair representation. The grievance procedure also provides an excellent platform for the union and managers to resolve a conflict at the lower levels without wasting any time unnecessarily. In addition, it can be used as formal resource for implementation of the contracts that management has successfully negotiated. Apart from having a time limit, there is a clause in each step that requires the management to provide feedback on the issues raised within a specified period of time and failure to do so can result in the grievance being taken to the next level. This helps to avoid lack of quick responses by managers. Furthermore, if the managers and the union fail to agree during their grievance procedure, they are given the opportunity to go to arbitration hence facilitating intervention of a neutral person.
On the contrary, there are a number of disadvantages of the grievance procedure. First, there is need for the managers to approach the procedure with a positive attitude and be aware that it serves mutual benefits for all the stakeholders involved. This is the only way that the grievance procedure can actually work. Nonetheless, this does not always happen because management tends to discriminate the women in question. Moreover, the grievance procedure can easily develop into a scorecard where there is an attitude of “us vs. them” upheld by both the management and the employees. This procedure can turn out to be another source and avenue for recrimination because many studies reveal that employees that follow the procedure often end up performing poorly, receiving less promotions and lower wages. These can therefore show the challenges of addressing grievances through the procedure.
Discrimination in workplaces based on gender and race are fast becoming a common phenomenon both in the USA and the whole world. Women always have to accept being paid less, and also remaining in lower positions as compared to their male colleagues. The fortunate thing is that women are now more protected by varied human rights legislation passed on in different countries.There is also additional help from diverse organizations to avert discrimination at the workplace hence creating hope for a better workplace for women.
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