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.

There are now six versions:

  • Zinnia00: The contract expires April 30, 2000 and the economy is booming.

  • Zinnia04: The contract expires April 30, 2004 and the economy is in a jobless recovery.

  • Zinnia07: The contract expires April 30, 2007 and the hospitality industry is starting to recover, but benefits and energy are expensive.

  • Zinnia-Generic Date 07: The same contract and environment as the 2007 version, but specific dates are replaced by generic placeholders (e.g., year one, last year).

  • Zinnia-Generic Date 11: All dates are generic but the environment is early 2011: the hospitality industry is (perhaps) about to recover from the recession caused by the financial crisis.

  • Zinnia-Generic Date 15: All dates are generic but the environment is mid-2015. The hospitality industry has recovered from the 2008 recession, but wages have been slow to improve and threats to hotel revenue generation are on the horizon. The broader economic environment is an improving economy, but with uncertainty and inequality.

  • 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.

    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 December 5, 2018.

    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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