1. The following incident actually happened at AT&T. Read and think about it. Mary is a senior operations clerk. She works in a test room for an operations manager and coordinates administrative duties for the office. Her job requires working with others in the office. She is responsible for processing vouchers and employee phone bills, answering the phone, making out time reports, maintaining the vacation schedule, forwarding payroll inquiries, and performing other duties related to office administration. Although Mary is considered an efficient worker, she has developed a reputation for being rude and uncooperative. Employees have complained that she is impossible to work with. On several occasions when her fellow employees have asked for information she has scolded them for asking such "dumb questions." Her appraisals in the past have been satisfactory in every category except "sense of cooperation." Her supervisor characterizes her as a good, productive worker on jobs that do not require contact with others. However, in her most recent appraisal she receives a "limited" in the category of "sense of cooperation." Her supervisor informs her that improvement is expected in this area or she could face discipline. Mary replies that if employees would stop asking so many stupid questions she wouldn't be so provoked. Her supervisor responds that answering inquiries is part of the job. A few days later a customer calls to complain about service. At the time, Mary was busy typing a report and she told the customer everyone in the office was busy, so call back later. When the customer later tracks down the operations manager, the customer complains about the rudeness of the clerk. Her supervisor asks Mary about the incident and she acknowledges the conversation but says she couldn't find anybody to talk to the customer. After making other inquiries, the supervisor finds that Mary made no effort to ask anyone in the office about assisting the customer. Consequently, the supervisor suspends Mary for three days for unsatisfactory job performance. In the following months a series of incidents were documented. Employees continued to complain that Mary was slow to respond to their questions. In one incident, a supplier was not paid promptly because Mary didn't like the supplier's agent. Mary was subsequently given two more suspensions and finally warned that unless her cooperation improved to a satisfactory level, she would be terminated. A few weeks later her supervisor asked her to update a time report. Mary said she was tired of making changes and if the supervisor wanted the change to make it himself. Mary was fired for poor work performance demonstrated by her repeated lack of cooperation with others. Despite satisfactory performance in all other areas, Mary's continued lack of cooperation as unacceptable. The union contended in a grievance that Mary worked hard and knew her job and the company could not dismiss an employee for lack of cooperation when all other work performance categories were satisfactory. 2. This case went to an arbitrator who had to decide if Mary's dismissal was with "just cause." If you were the arbitrator in this case, how would you decide? 3. Share your decision with a nearby classmate. Discuss the reasons for each of your decisions. Await further class discussion. Refer to Chapter18-MANAGING LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS for addition information.