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Influence of Trade Unions on Collective Bargaining

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 1594 words Published: 2nd Jan 2018

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Critically Evaluate Trade Union Strategies to increase the influence of collective bargaining with Multi National Corporations as a means of regulating terms and conditions of employment

To reply the question above, firstly we should know what are trade unions? The answer to that is, A trade union (British ) or labor union (American) is an organization of labourers who have bonded together to achieve same goals such as better working conditions. The labour union, through its leadership, bargain with the multinationals on behalf of trade union members and negotiates worker contracts (collective bargaining) with employers. This may include the negotiation of pay, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies. The agreement negotiated by the trade union leaders are binding on the rank and file members and the employer and in some cases on other non-member workers. (First published by George Allen and Unwin Ltd (London) in 1952, and subject of reprints – Foreword by Arthur Deakin)

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Discovered in Europe, trade unions became famous in many countries during the Industrial Revolution, when the lack of skill necessary to perform most jobs shifted employment bargaining power almost completely to the employers’ side, causing many workers to be mistreated and underpaid. Labour union organizations may be consist of individual workers, professionals, past workers, or the unemployed. The most common, but by no means only, purpose of these organizations is “maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment”. Published by Batch worth Press (London) in 1949

In last 300 years, many trade unions has developed in different form, influenced be different political parties for their objectives which include Provision of benefits to members, Collective bargaining

Trade unions put many efforts in collective bargaining with multinational organizations. Now what collective bargaining is? Collective bargaining is a process between employers and workers to reach a decision regarding the rights and duties of workers at work. Collective bargaining aims to reach a collective agreement which usually sets out issues such as employees pay, working hours, training, health and safety, and rights to participate in workplace or company affairs. During the bargaining process, employees are typically represented by a trade union. The union may negotiate with a one employer (who is typically representing a company’s shareholders) or may negotiate with a federation of businesses, depending on the country, to reach an industry wide agreement. Buidens, Wayne, and others. “Collective Gaining: A Bargaining Alternative.” Phi Delta Kappan 63 (1981): 244-245

A collective agreement work as a labor contract between an employer and one or more unions. Collective bargaining is a process of negotiation between members of a labour union and employers (generally represented by management, in some countries by an employers’ organization) in respect of the terms and conditions of employment of employees, such as wages, hours of work, working conditions and grievance-procedures, and about the rights and responsibilities of trade unions. The parties often refer to the result of the negotiation as a collective bargaining.

Answering the question Trade Union Strategies to increase the influence of collective bargaining with Multi National Corporations as a means of regulating terms and conditions of employment

Moving further we have to evaluate trade union strategies to increase the influence of collective bargaining by enlarging maturity of collective bargaining implies larger of the rational way… This reasonable procedure involves the employee, employer, and union settling on the basis of facts rather than name-calling, table pounding, and emotionalism (Sloane, Witney, 203-204). Therefore, in order to make collective bargaining more rational certain procedure are taken in to action. Edward Peters has written a guide to better negotiating titled Strategy and Tactics in Labor Talks. In this book he suggest good wayss for obtaining a more rational negotation. The first important step toward better bargaining is to realize the essential purpose of talks and importance of talks. In a bargaining conflict, there are three main activities in which each party is involved: (1) attempt to impress each other, the workers, and public opinion by advocating the merits of their current positions; (2) indicate bonding to each other; and (3) explore the prospectus, in terms of each other’s maximum and minimum expectancies, of a settlement without an economic contest, or, at worst, a contest of minimum duration (Peters, Edward, 41). Peters says that cosmopolitan bargainers often underestimate the importance of good preparation and presentation of their position because they feel that these are just window dressing for the harsh realities of economic strength (Peters, 42). It is true that economic strength is important, but a position reinforced by logic and reason can often exert a crucial influence (Peters, 42). Another step toward better talks is preparation and the setting of realistic goals. Peters states that the pragmatic or impracticality of a collective bargaining goal is a matter of foresight, not something to be determined by hindsight (Peters, 60). An example of this that pertains to management is that sometimes there are items that a labour union cannot and will not grant. If management does not prepare enough and makes the assumption that the union can and will negotiate on any proposal submitted by management, they risk the possibility of strikes. There are many other issues overwhich trade unions may agreee to lose a plant in an economic contest rather than endanger itself with a big group (Peters, 60). If the administrations set more realistic goals then the results may not be that harmful. In order to set realistic goals, a criteria for realistic goals must be established. Most conveyour, according to Peters, would agree that a realistic goal, to be attained without an economic contest, must be based on the following minimum considerations: (1) has the other party the ability to grant the issue? The employer must be able to grant the issue without any serious damage to operations. The union must be able to grant the issue without issue without serious internal injury, or any danger to an organization, or losing out to a rival union; also wi thout seriously impairing its external relationships in the labor movement, or with other employers; are you warranted, by your strength, in setting such a goal? (3) Is your goal within the bargaining expectancy of the other party? This last point may be disregarded only if you are ready to wage an economic contest for your minimum goal (Peters, 61-62). These criteria should be fully examined before setting any goal or pressing any issue in a labor negotiation. Priorities must be established and ranked in order of impact and importance (Richardson, Reed C., 128). Even though setting realistic goals help in talks, a course of action must be pursued in order to obtain those goals. Prestige plays an essential role in talks. Reputation is an intangible quality in the sense that it is a symbol-a symbol of the potential and actual strengths of the parties in all of their relationships. Prestige reflects itself in the relationship of the parties to eac

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h other and especially to the employee in the plant. A union’s basic strength lies in the support of its own membership (Peters, 85-86). Other factors that affect during talks are sign language, fringe issues, and negotiable factors. However, the most important tactics take place before the actual talks. Conveyour who approach the bargaining bench without sufficient factual information to handle the growing complexities of labor relations…operate at a distinct disadvantage (Sloane, Witney, 213). Most larger unions and almost all major corporations today have their own research departments to gather data and conduct surveys. Only if both parties research and establish a framework for talks can they successfully obtain results within their range of acceptability. With this in mind, collective bargaining can mature to its desired rationality in the management-labor relationship.


By carefully reading the above matter we can say that cooperation plays an important and crucial role for the relationship between management and its employees and their trade union representatives and though it is not surprising that internationalization of management through the multinational cooperation’s and had adverse impact on the relationship and trade union strategies. There are several dimensions and concern of the trade union with respect to the multinational cooperation’s. There are number of advantages acquiring to the firms as their multinational nature. To counteract the strength of these multinational, trade union organizations have developed new institutional structures and strategic thrust. Trade union strengthing, legal regulation and cross national cooperative strategies are explored as they occur at every level of trade union movement. And the central role of these trade unions strategies is to the development of trade union bargaining capabilities.

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