The Zinnia and Service Workers Local H-56

A Collective Bargaining Simulation
© John W. Budd, 2019

This is a collective bargaining simulation I created for use in labor relations courses. Student teams need to renegotiate the collective bargaining agreement (contract, for short) between The Zinnia, a 300-room hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Local H-56 of the International Union of Service Workers and Allied Employees. Participants must explore the hotel and union websites in order to learn about the environment and determine their priorities and constraints. Bargaining can take place in person or if the instructor arranges, via e-mail, chat, instant messaging, or other communication technologies.

Here is the current version:

  • Zinnia-Generic Date 19: This is the default version. All dates are generic but the environment is early 2019. The hospitality industry has been financially healthy for 10 years and the forecast is for this to continue, albeit with threats and uncertainties. Moreover, wage growth has lagged and it is a challenging political environment marked by sharp social divisions.

    COVID-19 Notes

  • The Zinnia can work well with remote classes because all of the materials are online, and negotiations can be conducted using various online meeting platforms such as Zoom and supplemented as needed by online chat rooms for caucusing, shared Google Docs for proposal refinement, etc.  
  • Though there are no dates in the exercise, the setting is circa 2019. Remember that this is a first-time exercise for most students so setting it during the COVID-19 pandemic would be exceedingly complex. I suggest instructing them to bargain in a pandemic-free setting, but then during the debriefing, you can ask how the pandemic might change the parties' relationship and subsequent bargaining.

    These simulations accompany my textbook, Labor Relations: Striking a Balance (McGraw-Hill Education), but can also be used by other interested instructors.

    This page was last modified on August 8, 2020.

    John Budd
    Center for Human Resources and Labor Studies
    3-300 Carlson School of Management
    University of Minnesota
    Minneapolis, MN 55455-0438
    jbudd -at-
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    The Zinnia