Unionization in America According to Bohlander and Snell, employees unionize for the following reasons: to meet their economic needs, to adress their general dissatisfaction with managerial practices and to fulfill social and status needs. The clip from “Bread and Roses” demonstrates the workers’ attempts to organize to fulfill all of these needs. Sam Shapiro specifically points out healthcare and respect at work as the primary reason for the workers’ organization. Throughout the process of organizing the workers have subjected themselves to loss of jobs, insults and deportation in oredr to improve working conditions for all janitors. All in all, unionization is beneficial in our society and is necessary to ensure fair wages and fair treatment of employees.
Despite all the laws aimed at protecting and supporting the individual worker in our society today, the individual workers have relatively little power in their relationship with the employer; therefore they organize to achieve results they cannot achieve individually (Bohlander & Snell, 2010). Unions elevate wages and benefits for all workers including those that are unionized. A good example is wages for healthcare workers in hospitals in the Las Vegas Valley.
All hospitals offer similar wages and benefits whether they are unionized or not. In fact, when negotiating contracts at their unionized facilities, the impact is calculated for all facilities whether or not they are unionized. This means, when Desert Springs and Valley negotiate their contracts, United Health Services (UHS) calculates the financial impact of negotiated terms for all five (Desert Springs, Valley, Spring Valley, Summerlin and Centennial Hills) of their facilities and not just the two that are unionized. 1 Unionization helps to boost the United States (US) economy.
The elevation of wages increases the standard of living for many individuals in society, thus allowing for increased spending which boosts our economy. The healthcare benefits which are frequently advocated for increase the number of insured individuals and families, which in turn supports the healthcare infrastructure in the US. Without unions, wages and benefits would have dwindled during the recent economic downturn that was experienced in the US. Unions also play a role in maintaining a minimum standard for wages and benefits in many industries, thus improving the ordinary laborer’s livelihood. Individual employee rights would be adversely infringed if unions did not exist.
There is a high prevalence of union avoidance programs today in which “employers are providing wages, benefits and services designed to make unionizing unattractive to employees. In addition, a participative management style, profit sharing plans and alternative dispute resolution procedures are offered to counteract the long-established union goals of improved wages and working conditions (Bohlander & Snell, 2010). ” Unions have and will continue to set the standard for employers and employees in our Country; they are integral to sustaining and maintaining wages, benefits and workers rights! ReferencesBohlander, G.
& Snell, S. (2010). Managing Human Resources (15th Ed). Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.