The Advantages and Disadvantages of Union Organizing
Workplace setting or organizational culture requires the protection of the employees’ rights and privileges as well as the employer’s business interest. In order to achieve this, the company motivates the workers with the provision of rightful benefits and ultimately with the opportunity for the employees to group themselves through a union. For employees, organizing a union is important as upholding their labor rights. This is because it is through union that the general population of employees is represented.
In today’s modern and demanding employment sector, a union is significantly important and it is a fact that the management should accept. In accepting a workers’ union as an effort that will enhance good relationship between the employers and employees, the organization in general benefits. While there are undeniable advantages and disadvantages in forming a union both from the perspective of the employers and employees, such kind of association will work to the welfare of the whole company if there is a mutual respect and understanding between the management and union.
Additionally, it is equally important that in having union, legal provisions are observed or implemented. In doing so, disagreements and misunderstandings are prevented and when the interest of both the employers and employees are achieved, the whole organization profits from the choice of organizing a union. Advantages and Disadvantages Union organizing primarily benefits the employees of any organization or company.
The basic but important concerns of workers as well as their respective families are addressed when a union exists in their workplace which is tasked primarily to protect and advance their labor rights and privileges. In particular, the union provides all its members and their immediate family members safety and security as regard their job or employment. Relatively, it is the union that fights and protects for every member’s right and opportunity to earn higher amount of salaries.
Union members also benefit from the organization which is responsible that all the members of the group are offered with healthcare coverage and other related benefits as well as an acceptable pension payment even for the retired members or former employees. Most importantly, it is the union which provides or serves as the voice of the majority of the employees (Union Organization Center, 2005. ). When there is no union in any work setting, employees are not ensured with better wages or appropriate salary levels, benefits of health coverage and guaranteed pension.
In effect, employers can have the opportunity to fire an employee or alter the status of employment when they feel doing it and even for no reason at all. Hence, the real benefit of having unions is for an employee and the rest of the work force to have a collective power to legally discuss and negotiate an existing work contract that embodies employees’ benefits such as improved wages, reasonable health care coverage and an ensured pension payments and most importantly, to seek for a safer or more secure work environment (Union Organization Center, 2005).
In the absence of an identified organization that symbolizes unity among employees and at the same time acts as the protector of rights and supporter of every worker’s privileges, the workplace is considered to not to be a healthy environment for the employees. This, in effect, eventually results to a disadvantage to the employer or owner of the company. This is because if the employees are not contented with what they are getting in terms of compensation as well as their rights and privileges, the workers are not encouraged to do what is expected of them thus also adversely affecting the production or expected output of the company.
Additionally, if the employees feel that their employer is depriving them of their right to form a union or if there is an existing organization yet the company is blocking the union’s efforts, then the workers are inclined to manifest their dissatisfactions in many ways. For employees, the union is an important and essential component in their employment for the reason that they think it is the right one in charge of handling their concerns.
When deprived of this prerogative to have a union, workers manifest their low personal and professional esteem in terms of their low work performance or unaccepted work attitudes and even their personal dealings towards their co-workers and themselves. It is in this manner that the absence of an organized union within a company works to the disadvantage of the employer. Beyond the negative perspective towards a union or its harmful implications, the employers or company owners should regard or treat this kind of grouping among employees more on its positive aspects.
This is in so far of the positive impacts that it will create particularly with the workers’ performance and attitudes which eventually benefits the majority and the company in general. Union serves as a motivation among employees to perform at their best level and even aspire for more advantageous opportunities due to the idea and assurance that a group or someone is taking care of their worries thus its absence works to the disadvantage both of the employer and employees. The benefits of forming a union are not only for employees but extend also to employers.
In fact, the Trade Union Congress or TUC campaigned for the promotion of industry advantages of union organization. Targeting businesses with small and medium-side workforce and those which have no unions yet, TUC stressed that unions aim to make industries do well in their respective fields citing that prosperous and well-managed enterprise is likely to be good for the entire workforce as well (Arrowsmith, 2007). In particular, the TUC said that having a union assists employers interact or communicate better with their employees and enhances the working environment and practices.
Additionally, union assists employers with security and safety-related concerns resulting to lessen absences due to job-related accidents and work-related sicknesses. Lastly, union offers training and improvement programs aside from the financial assistance that an employer can get from the government (Arrowsmith, 2007). Legal Issues Presenting the labor sector as well as rights and privileges of both the employer and employees entails a discussion on the legal provisions that govern the said concepts.
According to Battista, Ferber and Skonberg, the supporters of the Employee Free Choice Act of 2007 or EFCA said that because employees are not given the appropriate or required increases in their respective wages or salaries, membership to unions has significantly dropped. In relation with this membership plunge is the fact or apparent unlawful or illegal activities done by employers themselves and the reported delays in the implementation of election procedures of the National Labor Relations Act or NLRA.
The same EFCA proponents explained that it is significantly essentially to bypass NLRA’s process of secret ballot election. In this procedure, both the employer and union have the chance to convey pieces of information and related concerns that are beneficial or detrimental to workers by means of a card check system where the union and its members are the only ones who have the chance to show their perspectives or opinions about forming a union.
In essence, the supporters argued that the very nature of the said card check system in incorrect in the sense that workers or employees are not allowed to any form of hidden or concealed type of ballot elections. Additionally, they should not even be given the chance to be criticized of union representation prior to their decision or commitment to have a union and in order to have an exclusive representation of the employees’ rights and privileges (Battista, Ferber & Skonberg, 2008). Battista, et al.
added that there are many reasons behind the stationary wages or amount of salaries of employees and that majority of these factors are not related with the existence or lack of union in a company. Relatively, the three further said that while the procedure of secret ballot election or the card check system safeguards employees from coercion and protects them free speech or communication, the process is also not to be blame for the decrease in the percentage of formation of unions in the United States or the number of American unionized workers.
Battista and company concluded that it is not justified to carry out the procedure of secret ballot election which paves the way for a system that aims to thwart employees from having the opportunity to be presented with competing perspectives. They added that throwing out such kind of process is unwarranted because it curtails the chances of workers for a diversified field of information and views which eventually affects their ability to create a logical and informed representation of their rights and privileges through the formation of a union (Battista, Ferber & Skonberg, 2008).
Conclusion A critical analysis of the above developments on the implementation and interpretation of union-related concerns tend to show that efforts are still being done today by the employers or company owners in order not to uphold or respect the rights and privileges of employees as regard the formation of union.
Similarly, the introduction of new procedure such as the card check system, which is in the disguise of free election yet ultimately with an aim to prevent employees from access to many information and varied views, are apparent tactics uses by company owners to divert employees’ attention from the real objective of organizing a union which is to protect the rights of the employees and improve their benefits. However, an increased awareness for the need and the benefits that employers and employees can get from having a union is essential in order to serve the interests and achieve the goals of both the employers and employees.
Arrowsmith, J. (2007). TUC promotes business benefits of union to employers. Eironline. Retrieved September 1, 2008 from Eurofound database. Battista, R. J. , Ferber, J. M. L & Skonberg, J. M. (2008). The Employee Free Choice Act: A Critical Analysis. Littler Mendelson. Retrieved September 1, 2008 from Littler database. Union Organization Center. (2005). The union advantage. Retrieved September 1, 2008, http://www. unionorganizing. net/advantage. htm