The biggest difference between union and non-union workplaces is the collective agreement. In non-union workplaces, employees are under the managers who change terms and conditions of employment on sudden ideas. Nevertheless, in a unionized environment, workers have legal guarantees for benefits and wages. Collective agreement provides union workers protections and rights. The most obvious benefits of being a member of unions are having better benefits. Union representation means that people are more likely to have better care at the workplaces, coverage for accidents, and sickness. Health and safety is the most concerning thing for unions. Unions can lead to healthier and safer workplaces by providing workers to have access to training on a health and safety basis. In case when workers get injured during the work, unions can help workers through the maze of workers compensation. Moreover, in a non-union workplace, workers are under the pressure of the boss. If an employee has a complaint about the workplace, he can talk to the managers, but obviously the complaint will be neglected. Sometimes the managers might even punish the employee for raising the issue. In a unionized workplace, complaints are handled in better way, by having a clear set of rights which are in the detail of the collective agreement. For example, if the boss fires the workers without a proper reason or being tormented persistently in some way on the job post, then the worker can take defensive action against it. Union members also don't need to face the boss alone because Union representatives are there to support individual workers who are being treated unfairly. Union members also benefit from training and education through courses offered by unions. Members have access to courses on health, safety and bargaining on equity issues.
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On the whole, one of the main reasons of workers joining a union because their belief to achieve wages increment and having a reasonable standard through collective and realization that individual bargaining was totally useless for this purpose. As an individual feels especially weak, he prefers to join an organization that can afford him to choose to join others for the achievement of those objectives that he considers as socially desirable, also by joining unions can ensure a just and fair dealing by management. Through collective strength, they restrain the management from taking any such action which may be irrational, illogical, discriminatory or contrary to their general interests. By joining unions, employees can have a better way to communicate their views, ideas and feelings to the management effectively.
2.2 Viewpoint of employers on union
In the early days of capitalism employers, they are imposed excessive working hours and ordered temporary extensions of working hours without paying overtime money. Workers worked in overcrowded and unsanitary workplaces, and being exposed to frequent accidents from dangerous machineries. Moreover, under-paid women and children replaced men, and factory discipline was like a military base, anyone who acts against the orders was blacklisted immediately and could not get work somewhere else. Employers accepted no responsibility for payment of wages during sickness period. Trade unions were then formed to resist these pressures.
Employers realized that workers could get better terms and being protected against victimization and provided payment out of union funds during strikes or lockouts. As the successful union is harmful to employers since their reaction could be predicted and they will definitely do anything to crush the unions. Employers will think that their employees will be less likely to yield their harsh working terms with the pressure of a workers union.
2.3 - 2.7 Four functions of trade unions - relating to members, organization, union and society.
Firstly, the service unions mainly provide for their members are negotiation and representation. Negotiation is where union representatives discuss with management issues which affect workers in an organization. The unions understand member's views and relays to management. By finding the solution to these differences are the process of collective bargaining. Most likely pay, working hours, holiday are the sorts of issues that are usually negotiated. People who work in organization where unions are recognized are better paid and are less likely to be made redundant than people who work in non-unionized organizations. In additions, if negotiation fails, strike is probably the best and most effective way. Trade unions represent individual members when they have problems at work. If an employee feels being treated unfairly, union representative is to help to sort out the difficulty with the manager or employer. If the problem cannot be solved, the problem may go to a seat or court of justice, which can make sure that employment laws are properly adhered to by both employees and employers. Members can ask their union to represent them at industrial tribunals. Most of the cases are about pay, unfair dismissal or discrimination. Unions always have a wealth of information which is useful to people at work to ensure a desirable standard to living by providing various types of social service - health, housing, educational, recreational, cooperative, by widening and consolidating the social security measures.
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Secondly, trade unions help highlight organization as a joint enterprise between workers and management and to promote identity of interests. They increase the production quantitatively and qualitatively, by laying down the norms or production and ensuring their adequate observance, helping in the maintenance of discipline. Opportunities are created for worker's participation in management and to strengthen labour-management cooperation. Trade unions help in the removal of dissatisfaction of grievances and complaints and promote cordial relations between workers and management by settling disputes through joint consultation and avoiding litigation. They create favorable opinion of the management towards trade unions and improve the status in industrial organization and exert pressure on the employer to enforce legislative provision which is benefit to the workers by sharing profits equitably and keep away from various types of unfair issues. Finally is to impress upon the management the need to adopt reformative, approach towards workers' faults.
Thirdly, by the relations to trade unions organization, they formulate policies and plans consistent with those of the industrial organization and society at large. They improve financial position by fixing higher subscription, by realizing the union dues, preserve and strengthen trade union democracy, train members to assume leadership position and improve the network of communication between trade union and its members. They often continuously review the relevance of union objectives in the context of social change and to change them accordingly.
The last but the least is the functions relating to society. They render all sorts of constructive cooperation in the formulation and implementation of plans and policies relating to national development. Unions activate participate in the development of program of national development like family planning and national integration. By launch special campaigns against the social evils of corporation, nepotism, communalism, regionalism, price rise, hoarding, black marketing, smuggling, sex, inequality, dowry, illiteracy, dirt and disease. They can create public opinion favorable to government's policies and plans and to mobilize people's participation for their effective implementation and to trade unions and thereby to raise their status.
6. Critical Thinking
What are the aims and objects of worker education?
Workers' education should make a worker a responsible committed and disciplined operative. Helping to understand the basic economic and technical aspect of industry and the workplace where he is employed so that he can take an intelligent interest in its affairs. By knowing the awareness of his rights and obligations are important during the education. Furthermore, understanding the organization and functioning of the union with the development of leadership, loyalty and devotion towards trade union work thus he can intelligently participate in the affairs of his union. This can finally lead a clean and healthy life based on a firm ethical foundations and a responsible and alert citizen.
What are the sources of poor industrial relations?
Since the main causes of poor industrial relations results in inefficiency and labour unrest is metal laziness on the part of both management and labours. Management is not sufficiently concern to the cause of the unrest following the policy/detail of agreement, until it is faced with strikes and more serious issue. Even with the method of work, management does not bother to devise the best way to solve the problem but leave it besides to the subordinates to work out for themselves. According to the part of the employers towards the workers is the major cause. The following part are the cause of poor industrial relations: The mental inertia on the part of management and labour. Also there is an intolerant attitude of contempt towards the workers on the part of management. There are inadequate fixation of wage or wage structure, unhealthy working conditions and indiscipline. The lack of human relations on the part of supervisors and managers are quite important issue. Finally unduly heavy workloads, inadequate welfare facilities, dispute on sharing the gains of productivity and unfair labour practices, like victimization are also vital as the cause of poor industrial relations. However, there are some resolutions to this problem: All basic policies and procedures relates to Industrial Relations should be clear to everybody in the organization and to the union leader. The personnel manager must make certain that line people will understand and agree with these policies. The managers should remove any distrusts by convincing the union of the company's integrity and the own sincerity and honesty. Also rumors and doubts should all be put to rest, until an explanations come out from either management or labours which can always regulate a good quality of industrial relations and avoid certain kinds of unnecessary violence.
Which public policy initiatives present position advances for workers? How is the effective public policy that meets the needs of workers?
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Social security means inability or lack of capacity of a person or individual to protect himself from the risks of unemployment, sickness, industrial accidents or disability, old age and other contingencies. Social security programmes include the following categories in order to meet the needs of workers, Medicare and insurance benefits and medical help at the time of injury and accident and provision financial compensation and relief. Some pensions in case of disablement, unemployment insurance or allowance and maternity benefits. Finally will be some death payments and family pension and retirement benefits or old age relief.
7. Resolution - resolution of conflict
Conflict has to be resolved as soon as the optimum level is crossed and before dysfunctional consequences start occurring. Different techniques are to resolve the problems of different situations. Worker who have a higher position have to right to dominant. For instance, managers use their positional authority to fire a lower ranking subordinate that they consider to be a trouble-maker. Individuals, in organization, with rare exception, recognize and accept the authority of their superiors as an acceptable way or resolving conflicts. Although they may not be in agreement with these decisions, they abide by them. Moreover, appeals procedure is an effective techniques that can help resolve conflict. Through appeals procedures, workers with higher authority may help people in disagreements to arrive at a solution by resolving the problem. Other than the previous techniques, getting liaison groups can solve the problem regarding conflicts between two parties. To arbitrate differences between two warring factions, an arbitrator can be appoint who can use this expertise and persuasion to achieve coordination and get people together. Furthermore, conflicts can be resolve through reducing interdependences. Departments may be provided with resources that are independent of those provided for other departments.
Industrial Relations in future may move in the direction of comradeship between the two main IR protagonists - management and trade union. With the terms of debate already showing signs of drastic change, Industrial Relations in future will be governed by a totally new set of parameters. There is gradual realization by both the partners that to survive, both have to surrender their sectional interests at the altar of the super ordinate interest of the economy. Only time will tell if both really join hands to face and fight the phantom of the market forces that have unleashed at error of insecurity and extinction together with the bright hopes of revival and growth.