The paper "Trade Unions Are Irrelevant and Belong to the Past" is a great example of management coursework. Unions have these days been shrinking, with regard to both power as well as membership, relatively steadily for five decades (Telegraph, 2010). Arguably, the 21st-century unions have less power in the global society as compared to the power they had in the 19th century. Therefore are trade unions at the moment irrelevant? According to Buttigieg et al. (2014, p. 7), trade unions have artificially increased the labour cost in countries like US, UK and Australia to the disadvantage of the economy.
The towering salary, as well as expensive “ bonuses” the trade unions have acquired for their workforce, has compelled employers to employ a less local-based workforce, to shut down businesses when labour is excessively expensive, or to outsource employment to overseas countries; thus, time and again closing facilities in the country inducing layoffs (Thibodeau, 2012). The high cost of labour as well leads to high costs for products manufactured, hence making the company’ s products uncompetitive in the local as well as global markets. All of such consequences according to Benson et al.
(2008, p. 121) bring about a harmful hit to federal as well as state economies. Trade unions arose at the time of the industrial revolution as a means to combat the long working hours, horrifying work conditions, lacklustre pay employers asked from employees and child labour. Owing to the surplus of workforce those days, if an employee protested with regard to the conditions of work, hours, or pay the manager would just fire the employee and employ another person; therefore, back then unions seemed sensible (Fernie & Metcalf, 2005, p. 131).
In this regard, the essay seeks to provide critical analysis of why trade unions are irrelevant and belong to the past. Critical Analysis The state as well as federal governments intervened (maybe unconstitutionally, but they did even so) and enacted rules to battle the setbacks observed during the industrial revolution. These days, there is a minimum wage outlined by the federal government and scores of states have more munificent laws for minimum wage (Lavelle, 2010, p. 59). Additionally, there are federal and state laws concerning child labour as well as work hours, safety as well as work conditions (OSHA).
In a nutshell, the issues used to be addressed by the unions have at the moment been addressed by our governments. However, Schnabel and Wagner (2006, p. 122) question why trade union continue fighting to exist, yet they are irrelevant. The reason for their continued existence is because they take a portion of employees’ checks to reimburse for their union workers, and senior officials in trade unions make inflated amounts of money without the knowledge of union members.
In nearly all instances, an employee has to join a trade union in case the employees at the company are unionized. According to Cooper and Briggs (2009, p. 102), the entity employee has no alternative, in so doing guaranteeing more money in the pockets of unions. In return for the money stolen from employee paychecks, union ruffians coerce the management hands by means of using strikes, sick-outs, and so forth. Fernie and Metcalf (2005, p. 132) posit that a business can simply subsist with no employees for so long and afterwards the management starts extorting from the coffers of its members.
The employees receive more benefits or more cash and they believe the union care much about them, and neither employees nor the trade union is bothered that they are damaging their country. Both the employees as well as union cares about receiving juicier paychecks; thus, making unions be an enormous business.
Benson, J., Zhu, Y. & Zhu, Y., 2008. Trade Unions in Asia: An Economic and Sociological Analysis. Melbourne, Australia: Routledge.
Buchanan, J., Oliver, D. & Briggs, C., 2014. Solidarity reconstructed: The impact of the Accord on relations within the Australian union movement. Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 56, no. 2, pp.288-307.
Buttigieg, D.M., Deery, S.J. & Iverson, R.D., 2014. Voice within trade unions? A test of the voice and loyalty hypothesis. Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 56, no. 1, pp.3-23.
Cooper, R. & Briggs, C., 2009. 'Trojan Horse' or 'Vehicle for Organizing'? Non-union Collective Agreement Making and Trade Unions in Australia. Economic and Industrial Democracy, vol. 30, no. 1, pp.93-119.
Cooper, R. & Ellem, B., 2008. The Neoliberal State, Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining in Australia. British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 46, no. 3, pp.532–54.
Fernie, S. & Metcalf, D., 2005. Trade Unions: Resurgence Or Demise? 3rd ed. London: Psychology Press.
Lavelle, A., 2010. The ties that unwind? Social democratic parties and unions in Australia and Britain. Labour history, vol. 98, pp.55-76.
Schnabel, C. & Wagner, J., 2006. Who Are the Workers Who Never Joined a Union? Empirical Evidence from Western and Eastern Germany. Industrielle Beziehungen, vol. 13, no. 2, pp.118-31.
Telegraph, 2010. Trade unions are irrelevant to working conditions in firms such as British Airways. [Online] Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/letters/7450028/Trade-unions-are-irrelevant-to-working-conditions-in-firms-such-as-British-Airways.html [Accessed 28 April 2014].
Thibodeau, P., 2012. Automation is making unions irrelevant. [Online] Available at: http://blogs.computerworld.com/it-outsourcing/21499/automation-making-unions-irrelevant [Accessed 28 April 2014].