In today’s business market, some of the employees in the workplace either belong to a union organization, or are seeking to organize one, especially in the state of California. In many cases this idea is not the employer list of main concerns. Employees are always looking to obtain the best possible benefit when becomes to work efforts. Employees want to be able to select jobs, negotiate pay, benefits, working hours, and working conditions (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhert, and Wright, 2009). When employees are seeking of all these working conditions terms, and employees believe that are not being hear by the management team, employees will look for other alternatives such as coming together to form, or be part of a union organization. The constant balancing act between the needs of the employee and the goals and needs of the company are a fine line. Each of these should be protected and preserved. The purpose of this paper is to define unions, labor relations, and the impact on organizations. The paper will then examine the impact of changes in employee relations strategies, policies, and practices on organizational performance. Last, describe if unions are still relevant in the United States.
Unions, labor relations, and their impact on the organizations
Union is defined as an organization formed to represent its member’s interest, and deals with the employers to achieve these interests (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhert, and Wright, 2009). Some of the union roles is to deal with problems when is a conflict between the employees and the employers. An example of this occurs when employees believe that are not being paid the right amount of money for the job performed, employees believe that they have been exposed to a non-safety working environment, and employees do not have access to enough benefits. When the employees have exposed these concerns to the employer, and the employer’s response is without feedback from the employee, the employees will believe that the staff’s concerns were not given enough consideration from the manager side of view. Therefore, union organizations will step in to assist. Unions will deal with the employer, and try to accommodate the employees concerns within the organization.
Labor relations can be defined as relations between company management and staff. Labor relations are also referred to as industrial relations. Personnel or a group of workers are represented by trade unions. Labor relations with unions can take place on a variety of different levels from regional and national to an international stage. The main challenge is the labor relations ability to adapt to changes in the market. Technology develops at a rapid rate as should the relationship between union workers and management. Labor relations is considered the management skills of a union leader who are used on effective ways to minimize expenses on conflicts such as strikes, and work to accomplish a win-win situation for any disagreement (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhert, and Wright, 2009). Strikes can be very cost-effective for the patties involved. Without any lead on a situation like this, the results could be very unsatisfactory. Leaders are seeking for the best solution that will meet the employee’s interests.
Impacts on the Organizations
Unions and labor relations have caused some negative impacts within the organization. Unions are not cost-effective to the organization. Some organizations try to avoid union organizations in the workplace by providing and meeting employee’s interests. Once a union has started within a company, the union will weave itself into every part of the organization as it pertains to the employee while the mother company has no control over that entity as to where the union ends and the company begin. However, some of these interests are not reachable, and occur when the conflict between employees and employers begins.
Changes in employee relations strategies, policies,
and organizational performance
Some of the impact changes in employee relation strategies are that management will make decisions within the organization with employees who are part of union organizations or are not. The organization’s policies and procedures will be followed the same to accomplish the organization’s goals and objectives. The organizational performance is measured to accomplish the same goals. Companies are concerned about union organization’s activities and how they will affect the performance and impact profit, productivity and stock performance (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhert, and Wright, 2009).
“Are the unions still relevant in the United States?”
Unions are still relevant in the United States organizations. This is an every day debate between the workforce and organizations. The workforce is always looking on how to accomplish the best employee’s interest in the workplace, and organizations are always finding how to keep unions off in the workplace. Unions as was mentioned are organizations that deal with employers in any union’s members concerns. Unions help its members on different ways. Unions are responsible for campaigns and elections. These campaigns and elections are performed to support and re-enforce the union organizations. Unions are responsible to negotiate contracts. In these contracts decisions such as: pay structure, job security, work rules, and workplace safety are discussed and negotiated. Employers and employees are part of the terms and are affected by these contracts (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhert, and Wright, 2009). If the contract is violated, or it was a disagreement of terms between the two parties, the unions will form a union strike to fight for the employees rights. An example of this event is at the San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center. This hospital had been on strike from union workers for several weeks. This strike was caused by the rejection of the management contract and violations of the guidelines of a settlement. The contract was based on three terms. First, allow third party arbitration to assist employee’s concerns. Second, set up union organization’s rules. Third, establish terms of training and education firms for union members. The strike continued until an agreement between the unions and organization parties were convened by civic leaders as the mediator (Colliver, 2005).
In conclusion, unions are organizations that seek employee’s interest and concerns in the workplace. Unions are brought to the workplace to develop a labor relation. This will cause an impact to any organization. Unions are still relevant in the United States. Therefore, organizations try to keep out unions in general by providing for the employees needs. The key strategy in providing for the employees needs is to provide clear and open communications between management and staff to be able to address the employees concerns as they arise.
Raymond Andrew Noe, John R. Hollenbeck, Barry Gerhert, Patrick M. Wright. (2009). Trends
in Human Resources Management. (3 ed.). The McGraw-Hill Companies
Colliver, V. (2005) Hospital Workers set day to strike at St Luke’s. San Francisco Chronicle.
Retrieved November 25, 2005