The term, unitary reference has been developed from the word of unit and unitary. As the term unitary refers to being one , unitary frames of references also refers to the single decisions, goals, visions and even the values that needs to be aligned in the similar manner as the which will benefit the organsiation as a whole, rather than moving in different directions. For example, a trade union may take a decision to strike against the general pay level of the employees of the government. In these situations, even the highly paid employees in the government should also support this objective, provided if they are members of this union and make sure that the organsiation benefits from this stand.
On the other hand, the pluralistic frames of references mean that the groups being divided into various sub groups and each of the sub groups will be loyal to their group, rather than collective bargaining or objectives. For example there might be government employees who are working in the teaching profession who are striking for the benefit of the teachersâ€™ pay, while on the other hand the government employees who are working at the customs department might not strike on the pay as how the teachers are striking, but they might strike against another issue such as provision of a suitable working environment for those workers.
Development of trade unions
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Trade unions developed in the United Kingdom to diminish or minimize the differences between the skilled and the unskilled workers in the organsiations. This means that due to the development of the trade unions, the rights of the skilled as well as the unskilled labors were enhanced in the organisations and each group was given the right to make their stand on their demands and needs in their working environment.
Industrial relations by definition stands for the relationship that needs to be existing between the workers in an industry and the employers. It is noted that the relationship between the employees or the workers and the management or the employer needs to be in a level where both the parties are benefited from the activities of the other party and conflicts of interest arising between the parties could be minimized in order to bring in a good working environment. It is also known that the industrial relations is the most difficult and complex problems that has risen during the past few decades in the industries.
When we bring the two concepts, the development of the trade unions to the nature of the industrial relations, it can be evident that the problems which arises in the interest of the parties concerned are minimized and it makes sure that the relationship between the parties concerned are managed in a manner that brings a balance to the interest of the parties and makes sure that the relations within the industry is maintained in a harmony level.
Roles of the trade unions
It is indeed known that the major responsibility of a trade union is to bring about the justice for the workers who might be faced with the difficulty of being unjust by the management. Therefore the trade unions need to act on behalf of the members of the union and bring about a balance to the rights of the employees and the responsibilities of the organization, in comparison to the existing scenario. To achieve this objective of forming a trade union, the trade unions need to play some major roles. Those roles played by the trade unions are as follows
The trade unions should be speaking on behalf of the members of the union to the management regarding the issues raised by the members who have registered in the union. This means that if there is any injust that has occurred to an employee, rather than a single person moving forward to raise the issues faced in an organisation, there needs to be collective bargaining by the union, which will help all the members of the union
The second most important role played by the trade unions on behalf of the members is to provide the maximum security to the personal level to the individual employees who have registered with the trade union, by making sure that the unjust occurred to the employee can be resolved, and there is no harm provided to the employee by the employer at the unforeseen act by the management.
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The third role which is played by the trade unions is the collective bargaining. This not just help the employee who have faced the problems but also helps the other employees who might have to face similar problems at their work environment and brings in a safety point for all the employees.
It is also understood that the trade unions in employee relation, helps the emplyees to seek other jobs, if the employee has not been treated fairly by the employers. However this role is not very dominant in the trade unions, since there needs to be reasonable assurance shown by the employee that there was no mistake or misbehavior on his side for the removal from his post.
The union also helps the employees in going through at the legal stage, if it does need to go onto that level to protect the rights and interests of the employees.
Actors in employee relations
In the case of employee relations, there are three main actors involved in building up the employee relations. The parties are
The employee or the employee union
The employee and the union play a vital role in the communication of the issues and analyzing the issue on the part of the employee. It is the employee who applies for the job; attend the interviews and carryout the work which has been assigned to them by the employer within the boundary of the rules and regulations stipulated by the state or the government. While doing this, the employee has the right to remain in the duty, unless or otherwise he/ she have been terminated by the employee according to the contract and without any faults of the employee.(yahoo, nd)
The employer or the management
The employer or the management is the party or the actor involved in the employee relations where they need to hire the staffs, train them and assign tasks for them which is not over and above the limits and constrains of the employee and should be compliance with the rules and regulations stipulated by the government.
The state is the party which has the most powers in the employee relations. The state does not mean only the government, but it also describes the various other parties involved in the employee relations who work towards the controlling of the activities of the other parties involved in the employee relations through the development of the rules and regulations relating to the employees and also to ensure that proper actions has been taken towards the parties who has breached the rules and regulations.
It is a common say and evidently proven that staffs and the businesses have conflict in their objectives and the deliverable. This is mainly due to the fact that the perspective on which the business moves has not been in the same manner with the objectives of the staffs or the employees.
When the businesses looks for higher returns with respect to the income and efficiency with a lower cost, while the employees look for less workload and higher returns. This conflict needs to be handled in a manner where both the parties will not be losing a considerable loss on their objectives and visions.
There are ideological frameworks which could be used by the parties to ensure that these conflicts could be resolved. Though there was a high degree of employee relations practiced in the early decades, where the employees single handedly bargained on the issues faced by them and the management which in the current business environment has moved onto industrial relations where a collective bargaining process with the implementation of the trade unions acting on behalf of the employees to bargain the needs and wants of the employees.
The framework which will be used to resolve the conflicts within these parties are described below (poole, et al., n.d.)
Figure Ideological framework
According to the framework provided in the above diagram, the trade unions will look into the issues faced by employees in 3 major dimentions of economic and technological conditions the political conditions and analyse the legal framework available for them to solve the problem. After these analysis the trade unions will make some strategic action plan where choices will need to be made on the side of the union to be sent to the organsation and on which there could be an agreement between the organsiation and the trade union. (emeraldin, nd)
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On doing this, they will need to analyse the powers available to the principal actors (ie: the trade union, the employer and the government) in solving the conflict. This is mainly done to ensure that the conflicts arising between the parties could be resolved through this process and all the parties need to understand their powers and the degree to which the powers are available to the parties. This analysis and the bargaining is expected to generate an outcome which will resolve the problems to reform the industrial relations which has been in place at the present condition.
Since there are two different types of collective bargaining, namely integrative bargaining and Distributive bargaing, the bargaining procedure used in the above mentioned conflict resolution process will be the distributive bargaining where both the parties place their point of view on the negotiation process and only one party wins over the other party. This type of distributive bargaining is being carried out in the various negotiation processes and is said to be the mostly used bargaining process in the current conflict resolution activities within the unions and the organsiations.
It is known that if the business is unable to place effective points on the negligence or whatever the problems on the side of the employee, then the union or the employee will have an upper hand in the negotiation process while if the employee has not been able to bring about strong and firm arguments, then the organsiation is expected to win on the negotiations.
Effectiveness of the conflict resolution
Since the conflict resolution process has been designed in a more practical manner where the analysis has been carried out by all the parties involved in the process, and that the parties understand their powers within the process, the conflict resolution process seems to be in a more favourable situation for both the parties involved in the process. This will help the business to bring about the change they need, at the same time the employees to get hold of their rights which has been specified in the regulations and rules constituted by the state. If this process has not undergone the processes which have been mentioned above, then there is a high possibility that the process will not be in a position to satisfy the parties involved in the process.
The result of conflict resolutions differ in different businesses and situations, but the arbitration procedure of disputer or conflict resolution has in most of the cases been ruled in the favor of the employees
It has been seen that in many cases the resolving of the disputes has moved up to the level of court hearings or arbitrations (out of the court hearings) where the disputes in the negotiating process can be resolved to ensure that the business and the employees get hold of their objective to the maximum
Nature of collective bargaining
First and foremost is to develop an individual bargaining where the employees can give an oral or a written complaint or a request regarding the salary negotiation and if it fails, then the employees can go onto the union and a representative from the union can send a request in writing for the negotiation process regarding the issues in order to ensure that that an effective and a proper negotiations can be conducted between the parties. However it should be noted that none of the parties is expected to use an intermediary between them to ensure that the negotiation should be done. It should be conducted face to face with the union or the employee and the organisation where the issues are being directly passed onto the other side and an agreement could be arrived. (scrib, nd)
When developing a negotiation strategy, it is always important to start with the lowest end and move up the hierarchy to make sure that justice has been given to the employees. the following strategies need to be implemented in the organizations negotiation strategy where they can solve the problems arising on the salary negotiations.
In the case of a profit making business organisation such as a resort hotel, they can involve their staffs in the strategic decision making committee where the staffs can participate their staffs in order to make the decisions regarding the decisions of the employees such as the increments and the salary baselines which are going to be used at the period which is being agreed upon. However it should be noted that in these organisations the negotiation of the salaries might be lower compared to the other businesses and may focus mainly on the variable income such as the commission payable to the employees in relation to the work that they are carrying out in the business.
if the negotiation between the two parties fail to bring in a resolution to the problem or the issue which is being discussed at the point, then there should be an intermediary used with the arbitration process. This arbitration process should be carried out with the intervention of legal experts on the issue and a resolution could be at at the point. However even if at that point a resolution cannot be accepted by both the parties, then it is important for the parties to go for a court settlement and bargain on a best effective solution towards the both parties involved and can benefit the two parties equally.
public hospital, the staffs might not be involved in the decision making of the staffs salaries or financial benefits, however the decisions that are being made will be carried out by the senior staffs who refer to the rules and regulations that are applicable to the employees and adhere to the concepts that are being discussed by the employees and the regulations. Some of these public organisations might speculate on the salaries and other benefits to ensure that they give the possible benefits to the employees in the minimum level with the intention of gaining the more efficiency from them so that the number of employees who are involved in the business might be more than the previously mentioned resort. In this case the non-financial benefits which are being given to the employees are said to be higher than the other business organizations.
Employee reations in Sri Lanka
In srilanka, the relationship between the employers and the employees does not seem to be in a very effective manner. For example in cargills, one of the most profitable organisation in Sri Lanka, the employees are not given the opportunities to put up their views to the management in order to make sure that the decisions made by the management regarding the issues of the employees, specially in the setting of the targets which needs to be achieved by them in a given timeframe has not been addressed.
It is important to make the employees involved in the decision making process, which has been proven effective in most of the multinational organisations in srilanka. For example in heylese group of companies, the view points of the operational staffs are taken into consideration when making decisions which are related to them. Due to this reason, the staffs are confident on what they are doing and will be more effective in delivering the targets set by the management along with their participation. In the case of cargills, the employees are not motivated enough to deliver the targets set by the senior management since the employees does not have a say in the management decisions and the procedural issues.
Difference between industrial relations and employee relations
Though most of the personnel states that the industrial relations and the employee relations, theorists differ both of the theories to ensure that the people understand the exact reason why two names has been given to these concepts. Industrial relations are those relations between an employer and a collective workforce, in most cases exclusively apprehended together by a accepted union. However there might be occasions where this might not hold true for industrial relations, based on the situations. On the other hand the term employee relations refer to all the matters which involve the relationship between one or more employee and their employer and is a far wider term. For this reason, employee relations are mostly used in the human resource Departments of organisations.
Employee involvement techniques
There are a number of techniques that has been developed by the various theorists and other parties involved in the employee involvement in the organizational decision making. Some of the theorists state that the employees can be given chances to contribute to the senior management on the issues that are being faced by the employees in their decision making will help the organisations and the employees to bring about a good working environment within the organisation, while on the other hand there are some theories which states that the organisations should appoint atleast one member from the operational level staffs to be in the strategy committee or the management committee or even the HR committee of the organisation. These theorists claim that by having a staff member in the decision making committees of the organisation will help the organisation to build up strategies which will help the business to enhance their activities through the strategies and bring about a balance to the objectives of the senior management (mostly reffered to as the employer) and the employees who are working in the organisation to make these objectives a reality.
Based on the above two techniques, it is noted that the later technique will be more effective for the organisations as well as the employees in the organsiation to build a strong relationship and trust between the parties. It will also help the employees feel that they are responsible in meeting the targets and the given period of time.
Human resources management and the employee relations
It is a common say in most of the organisations that the human resources manager is the most important and the responsible staff or manager in any organisation. This is somewhat true to most of the organisations specially a human related organisation. Since the activities or decisions which comes out from the human resources department might have a high impact (both positive as well as negative) on the relationship which has been built between the employers and the employees.for example, if the human resources department makes a decision on a sudden decrease in the wages per employee who are operating machines, then the factory workers might not be happy, and in some cases might not be willing to work in the factories at a given time. While on the other hand if there has been a decision made from the human resources manager, that they are willing to give an additional bonus to the staffs who have achieved a certain level of output or has spent a certain number of work hours, then there will be a more positive response from the staffs who are working in the organisation and the staffs might be very happy to work in these organisations.
Influences of the EU on the democracy of the UK
The European union (EU) is the union which influences on the member countries on their way of managing the economy, the means of public spending and various other decisions of the countries. Since the United Kingdom (UK) is also a member country of the union, it has a high impact on the decisions made by the country. The democracy of the country is also influenced by the decisions of the EU, since There might be issues raised in the EU member countries on the level of democracy that is being held in the country and might have a debate on those issues. After the debates, there will be resolutions coming out from the EU committee which will have to be respected and implemented in the economies and the countries.
However it should be understood that the countries need to adhere to all the decisions of the European Union, since the countries though represent EU, they are also said to have a unitary decision point which has to be respected by the other members, and if it has not been taken into consideration by the other member countries, the countries has the right to withdraw membership from the union.
Based on the finding in the report, it has been seen that the industrial relations is a highly developing aspect in the current business environment where the employees and the employers need to take into consideration and make sure that they attain a maximum level of satisfaction where both the parties will benefit in meeting the objective. It is also known that organisations need to enter into industrial relations with the trade unions so that there is a legal bound on both the sides in the conflict resolution and the parties could use collective bargaining rather than the individual bargaining where the employees meet the employer to resolve conflicts.
It should also be noted that unions does not exist in the employee level, and there are unions that exist to help at the country level conflicts and issues such as the EU.