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The case study Burns vs Union represents an ethical dilemma between a Kitchener, Ontario company, Burns Meats Ltd, and the employees that work in the firm. During the early 1980’s a lot of competition emerged in the meat packing industry in Canada and Burns Meat saw a decline in its revenues. Due to the decline in revenues, management proposed to cut back the employees’ wages. The employees overwhelmingly rejected the offer despite knowing that the company would shut down and they will lose their jobs. Throughout the essay I will be arguing that management was ethical and legal when cutting the wages of the workers as their objective and duty is to maximize profit.
I will start this essay by identifying the stakeholders within this case. The first stakeholder within the case is the management of Burns Meat whose concern is the way they are able to maximize profit. The second stakeholder in this case are the employees who believe management is being unfair by cutting their wages, going against their rights. Finally, there is the outside community and shareholders who have stake in the company. If the company were to shut down, the shareholders and the community would be affected. This case brings out many ethical issues that affect all parties. The issues that are brought up question if it is fair that the wage of the workers was dropped from $15.00 to $11.00. Did the management have a choice to cut down the wages, or was it just a consequence in regards to how bad the industry was doing. What duties and obligations did the management have towards the employees, if they had any? The opposite issue arises as well. Did the employees had any obligation towards the company, to support it during its downfall? Was it right of the empl...

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...s could have allowed it to drop by less than that. This way the cuts could have been made, and the employees could have been satisfied with the amount they received, knowing that it was well above the minimum wage. In the future when the company would rise to its peak, it would be able restore their normal wage. Like stated above, “Good ethics makes good business.” When good business
In this essay I have demonstrated that my thesis is correct. Management was not responsible for the actions that took place, nor did act unethically towards the employees. They provided employees with a wage rate that was way above minimum wage and acted in the interest of maximizing profit so that the company wouldn’t have to shut down causing more grief than pleasure. It was the employees who acted unethically and in self-interest, that led to the shutdown of the plant eventually.
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