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The Future Of Unions Essay

2476 words - 10 pages

Executive Summary

In this paper, I argue that unions will still survive as an institution and play a significant role in the labor relations development, but for the purpose of better meeting the changing demands of new environment, after analyzing their strengths and weaknesses, I try to prove that unions must change in order to survive and further grow. Then the following part focuses on specific changes need to be made and the difficulties unions face in making such changes. Because the intensity of membership has fallen quickly since the 1980s, labor unions are forced to take measures to deal with this trend, but new changes of the labor force in the United States are barriers for ...view middle of the document...

But when lots of individuals participate in labor unions and unions negotiate with the management as a representative to discuss some issues like working conditions, higher wages and more paid vacations, undoubtedly, managers will be more serious to the discussion process and more cautious to make decisions to deal with them. Most of the time, the result is that the manager will accept their demands for the purpose of reaching agreement to maintain the smooth operation of the whole company. After all, mass layoffs need more considerations and courage for the management. Therefore, to a certain degree, labor unions provide a place for employees to express their concerns and a more powerful and influential stage to bargain with the management and during the bargaining process, employees demands will be paid more attention to.
From the employers’ perspective, labor unions also have their positive effects. They are able to offer possible channels for the management to collect employees’ concerns and dissatisfactions and deal with all these managerial problems in time to avoid more serious results. Unions, as a representative of lots of employees, are reasonable sources for their opinions and needs. Even without existence of unions, the management still needs to find methods to communicate with their workers, so somehow, they are good institutions for the management. Through unions, it is possible for the management to discuss each party’s needs and resistant points and reach agreements. This negotiation system focuses on peaceful approaches to deal with lots of touchy issues and avoid more serious results, such as strikes or chaos, which will negatively affect other companies, industries and even the whole society.
From the very beginning of establishments of labor unions, their goals aim at protecting employees from bad working conditions and more importantly, requiring higher wages and salaries for workers, especially blue-collar ones. Though all these protection can offer better job security, they will also result in lots of intangible barriers for economic and productivity development of the whole society.
In order to maximize interests of their members, labor unions are always interested in require higher wages and salaries, but actually, sometimes, this will decrease workers’ desire to offer better working performances because due to the existence of unions, it is reasonable for them to expect wage increases without more efficient and better performance and workers can have satisfying income.
In addition, unions always ask for the decline of layoffs of labor force. On the one hand, it definitely increases job security and protects employees’ rights, but on the other hand, it means that companies will be very difficult to terminate old employees and then create new openings for new ones, who will bring in fresh ideas, advanced technology and updated knowledge. And without the possibilities to fire workers, companies’ process of...

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