The paper "Employee Relations Management and Trade Unions " is a great example of management coursework. Trade unions are organizations which are formed to protect and promote the interest of their workers and employers (Frege & Kelly 2003). Workers come together so that they can have more bargaining power on wages and working conditions and thus trade unions are a force they can reckon with. However, over the past years, the role of these trade unions has shifted significantly fur to competition, over outsourcing trends, employer-sponsored forms of employee participation, for these factors, have resulted to a decline in union membership and the coverage of collative bargaining (Schnabel, 2003).
In many firms and sectors, employers have responded to tougher competitions by tightening controls overwork and refusing to fully cooperate with the trade unions or partially doing the same on the grounds of their duty of passive consultation to a positive contribution to improved productivity. It has been noted that, over the last 30 years, trade unions have lost meaning to many workers. This is mostly noted when it comes to manual workers, male workers and younger workers.
The low density of young workers in the trade unions is a clear reflection of the number of workers who have never been members. It is also worth noting that, the legal reforms, economic changes and market pressures in the public sector have tremendous effects on the decline of union membership and influence a lot even in the workplace. Additionally, employers have continually replaced union based voice mechanisms for non-union ones, which is a clear indication of a belief the union only voice does not add any value to their business or organizational objectives (Heery & Simms 2010).
Over the past years, there have been strikes which have diminished the capacity of the trade unions to take any industrial action whether legally or organizationally. However, an increasing trend of employment tribunal application is a clear indication of a substantial union decline (Schnabel, 2003). Currently, fewer and fewer employers are likely to recognize unions for pay bargaining. There are fewer chances that the future employment in the more unionised segment of the economy, for instance, the public sector will have an increased job chance than it is in the private sector where union density is substantially below average.
This, therefore, entails that, the future of the trade unions is unknown and has to jungle between balancing the existing members and organizing new ones (Croucher 2008). Earlier, when trade unions were strong enough, they pursed their monopoly face in manufacturing, mining and public sector and they neglected the significant groups of low paid workers who in most cases are the ones who suffer the most inequalities in power and conditions (Schnabel, 2003).
Right now, since the said monopoly has disappeared, there are fewer incentives for such workers to belong to any union. In many regions, there are occupational licensing and certification by the authorities which have substituted the voice and monopoly of the trade unions and thus they have no vigour as they used to have more than 30 years ago. There are what are referred to as the trade union inadequacies. These states that, trade unions have not yet reformed so that they can suit the present and the future circumstances.
Many arguments dictate that trade unions remain wedded to the past and therefore there many issues of the image that they need to address so as to convince potential members that unions are still relevant in the modern world. It is insinuated that trade unions practice formal and old fashioned and thus they put off potentially young members off (Scruggs & Lange 2002). In many regions, trade unionists are still solely ale and employed in manual occupations and trade unions leadership are often out of touch with the current workplace realities.
This means that it is equally important to note that the membership of many trade unions is more diverse due to changes in the composition of the labour force and thus, failure to adjust to increasing diversity at a time of diminishing resources makes them even more sidelined by the current generation (Schnabel, 2003).
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