Unions are associations of workers whether private or public. The idea behind them is to present a united front on behalf of the employees. This gives them an edge while also helping with protecting their rights. Unions are controversial in most parts of the world. Some say they are responsible for imposing a number of restrictions on workers while others believe they are the strongest supporters for the working man. The question that begs to be answered is whether the pros of working for a union outweigh the cons.
Does This Arrangement Benefit Everyone?
Some say membership in unions has decreased over the last few years while others would beg to differ. This is because union workers are seen to enjoy some advantages in comparison to their companions who are not unionized. Unions have been seen to drive up the cost of hiring employees and in some cases making the businesses go bankrupt due to the costs incurred. Reduced effectiveness in businesses has also been seen to be an adverse effect of these unions as well. The influence of unions is meant to be seen in terms of increased benefits to workers such as medical, reduced child labor rates and better and safer working environments for employees hired.
Employee Protection Vs Employer Limitation
Enhanced protection for the workers by the unions means that they cannot just be fired without a reason. A due process is created to ensure they get to keep their jobs and termination is done on grounds that are reasonable and lawful. Employers, however, can get caught at a disadvantage when dealing with unions. Terminating a worker due to poor performance may prove more difficult than usual. Even negotiating existing contracts becomes tasking.
Group Decisions Vs Individualistic Approaches
Employees have better negotiating power as a combined unit. In the absence of a union, they will be forced to negotiate benefits and wages individually. In such environments, workers can lose their individuality and, in some cases, also affect their creativity. Most of them end up opting to follow decisions made by the union even in scenarios where they disagree with them.
Encouraged Or Discouraged Collaboration?
Workers who are not unionized believe their employers treat them more openly and trust them more. This is in comparison to those who believe that working in a unionized environment results in discouraged collaboration. Instead of the employers treating them as equal partners they end up being at a disadvantage.
Cycles That Come With High Fees
Unions enable for collective bargaining agreements to be signed every so often. These will be in place for a period of between 24 months to 5 years based on the type of work involved. Workers thus have a chance to negotiate for better wages after each cycle which are short time periods. On the other hand, most unions require membership and in some cases initiation fees. This ends up becoming quite the expense for hired workers. The question remains, is it worth the expense at the end of the day?