Positive Side of Trade Unions
Nowadays, the role of trade unions in the U.S. labor market is significant. Trade union advocates argue that workers’ organizations serve as a counterweight to the employers’ omnipotence. In the absence of trade unions, managers can reduce salaries and restrict resources directed at improving the working conditions, which would not be possible to achieve in the context of labor competition with other companies. In such cases, the activity of trade unions increases the workers’ ability to protect their rights from upper management’s arbitrariness.
Place New Order
Unions also provide relevant assistance to the firm’s managers so that they can give an adequate response to the employees’ requests. In addition to resolving the issue of wages, other aspects of labor activity are coordinated when hiring new workers. These include a working week and vacations, the payment of overtime hours, sick leave, and the upgrading of occupational safety and health. Therefore, the engagement of unions in this process is important. Today, the USA requires trade unions because they ensure adequate labor organization, improve enterprise efficiency, protect employees’ rights, and represent the interests of poor and disabled workers.
History of Trade Unions
Workers establish trade unions as they want their objectives, targets, and interests to be well represented constantly. For the first time, unions were developed in the eighteenth century due to the substantial expansion of industrial society (Anheier & Juergensmeyer, 2012). As a result, a large number of immigrants, young people, and women have become an integral part of the workforce. Since then, the organization of unskilled and semi-skilled labor has significantly contributed to the development of trade unions (Wunnava, 2015). Trade unions allow firms to develop a set of conditions necessary for a smooth working process.
Employees have assumed great importance in the modern competitive world. Therefore, employers have started recognizing the role and value of employees. However, to protect their rights and promote their interests, workers have decided to establish unions. The upper management of any U.S. company believes that dialogue and compromise are the best way to resolve work-related issues. Employees also recognize the fact that only unions can protect them from exploitation, discrimination, and prejudice at the workplace.
Collective Voice of Trade Unions
Trade unions have a great impact as they reduce the labor turnover rate, thereby positively influencing both employees and employers. As a result, workers enjoy job stability, while hirers do not incur significant costs due to labor turnover. Standard rate policies promoted by the unions ensure equality in the income distribution across employees, who possess similar skills. These organizations also represent the interests of disadvantaged and poor individuals (Wunnava, 2015). Due to the collective voice, unions positively impact productivity and increase the efficiency of enterprises. They also gather information about employees’ preferences and enable them to choose the best compensation. Moreover, to improve workplace conditions, managers frequently use collective bargaining. However, if managers negatively respond to collective bargaining or if unions cannot positively react to it, unionism can harm the company’s overall performance. If the upper management does not adequately address the union’s wage demands, the organized sector will experience a significant economic decline. However, if all parties sign sensible and mutually beneficial labor agreements, they will succeed.
Why Trade Unions are Important
Every employee has personal reasons to join the trade union. Even though high salaries and good working conditions are important factors, workers do not focus on them when entering the union. For example, the average wage for a non-union worker is $612, while for a union one it amounts to $781 (Hughes & Ferrett, 2016). Union workers also get more benefits, including insurance plan benefits, holidays, unpaid, and sick leaves. Unfortunately, non-union employees do not get them at all. The main reasons for joining unions are the entity’s power, influence, and employer’s unfairness. The urge to enter them is often based on the workers’ belief that only the union, its credentials, and empowerment can protect them from managers’ arbitrariness. In reality, ineffective management, fear of job loss, and low morale foster unionization in the United States. In addition, trade unions are widely formed across the country as workers continue to feel undervalued, unsafe, underpaid, and disrespected in most job-related situations.
Importance of a Trade Union to Employees and Employers
The existence of a strong and well-organized trade union is a prerequisite to industrial progress and prosperity. Decisions made as a result of collective bargaining and negotiations between unions and managers are more influential. Moreover, a trade union plays an important role in promoting effective communication between all parties involved in the working process. They provide constant support and relevant assistance to ensure that differences in views do not turn into significant conflicts. The main function of a trade union is to represent individuals at work and protect their interests. The entity also plays a crucial role in organizing courses on a wide range of matters thereby updating members on relevant information (Hughes & Ferrett, 2016). The provision of a safe, healthy, and favorable working environment is an integral part of a successful trade union. The importance of trade unions to employees is significant. Union members get higher wages compared to non-unionized workers. Trade unions act as employees’ representatives in legal matters. Their rights are also well-represented and protected. As a result, workers’ motivation is significantly increased. For example, managers cannot unjustly fire workers. Employers benefit from organizing trade unions as well. The functioning of trade unions also improves productivity and increases efficiency.
Positive Sides of Trade Unions
Managers and workers perceive unity as strength. Unions provide employees with a powerful voice to make the upper management aware of their frustration and dissatisfaction. U.S. officials also strengthen the trade union movement across the country by establishing factory-level unions that address abuse and rights violations within the organizations. Trade unions also promote employees’ rights through targeted campaigns. These entities also advocate for stronger enforcement and comprehensive legislation, as well as negotiate better working terms and conditions. The trade union provides significant protection to all parties involved in case of controversies, misunderstandings, and disputes. The entity also encourages signing agreements between hirers and workers and openly discussing pressing matters. Trained, qualified, experienced, and skillful representatives of the union organize and lead these negotiations. Unions also have a right to provide employees with paid holidays, high salaries, annual career growth, and paternal and maternity leaves. Unfortunately, non-unionized workers cannot enjoy these benefits (Hughes & Ferrett, 2016). Workplace conditions are better secured as well. Trade union workers stay in their jobs longer, unlike non-unionized individuals. Unions fight for equal opportunities, and fair treatment, and stand against discrimination in the workplace. Fewer industrial accidents occur in unionized workplaces because these entities promote better safety standards, closely interact with law enforcement agents, and establish favorable working conditions (Hughes & Ferrett, 2016). In addition to dealing with work-related issues, trade unions also help address mental health and stress issues, as well as abuse of prohibited or hazardous substances. In this case, unions offer legal assistance and provide necessary services to all employees that require help and support. Moreover, the establishment of trade unions significantly reduces the likelihood of employment tribunals and claims.
Trade unions are the only bodies that protect employees from mental and physical exploitation and torture of managers at the workplace. Moreover, they protect females’ liberties and rights and prevent sexual harassment. In addition to safeguarding labor rights, a trade union in such a developed country as the USA often provides training and educational support to those, who want to succeed in all undertakings and successfully climb the career ladder (Anheier & Juergensmeyer, 2012). Trade unions freely and easily negotiate with managers for mutual concessions and work collaboratively to ensure increased productivity. The high demand for production enables these organizations to negotiate better remuneration, thereby guaranteeing more benefits to managers and employees. As a trade union protects the interests of working staff, workers remain motivated for a long time. This entity also takes care of the political and socio-economic well-being of every person involved in the process.
Effects of Trade Union Functioning on the Economic Development
To ensure stable and sustained economic development, trade unions not only help to select and recruit qualified, skillful, and experienced employees, but also settle important industrial disputes. These entities also assist workers in the social adjustment to the new working conditions, policies, and rules. As millions of workers have different backgrounds, most of them are frustrated, unsatisfied, and disorganized. Therefore, they heavily rely on the work of unions, as only these entities can help them to adjust to new conditions in an adequate manner. A trade union as a part of modern society also needs to take into account national integration (Anheier & Juergensmeyer, 2012). This entity is also socially responsible for the promotion and maintenance of national integration in terms of addressing industrial disputes, incorporating corporate social responsibility, and achieving industrial peace.
State Officials and Unions
When building a democratic society, it is unacceptable to adopt legislation that will lead to the elimination of such an important public institution as a trade union. The USA has undergone major changes, which led to the significant transformation of enterprises, trade unions, and their activities. The legal framework has changed as well. The new legislation defines new content, ways, and methods used in the trade union’s work in the field of labor protection (Wunnava, 2015). However, the goals set by this organization remain unchanged and include the provision of safety in the workplace and the eradication or minimization of risks and effects associated with harmful production. The state has regained the responsibility to exercise state control over the issue of labor protection, determine the policy in this area, evaluate the causes and apply sanctions to those guilty of accidents or diseases related to professional activities. At the same time, trade unions are given broad legal rights in the field of exercising public control over labor protection conditions (Anheier & Juergensmeyer, 2012). These rights allow actively influencing the actions of state bodies and managers and directly implementing occupational health and safety measures in the sphere of labor protection. The task of trade unions is to exercise these rights and protect workers’ rights as much as possible.
Trade unions play an important role in the U.S. labor market. A trade union is an association of workers, who have a right to negotiate with an entrepreneur on behalf of their members. The main purpose of the unions is to maximize the salaries of their members, improve their working conditions, and receive additional payments and benefits. In a competitive market, trade unions operate in two ways: they seek either to increase the demand for labor or limit its supply. Increased demand for labor is achieved through increasing the demand for products. High labor demand is also promoted by the enhancement of labor quality and efficiency. Trade unions also fight for the expansion of state and labor regulations.