Trade Unionism Essay Research Paper Work dominates

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Trade Unionism Essay, Research Paper Work dominates modern life. Work can be satisfying, enjoyable and rewarding. Many of the difficulties which face several nations today arise from the fact that, over many years, a lot of people who want to work have been denied the chance to do so. Most employers treat their workers fairly. But some do not. Complaints about the way they were treated by their employer are rampant. Even the best bosses can make mistakes from time to time. That is where unions come in. Unions exist to help people at work and make the work place a better place. Basically, unions work on the simple principle that while an employer might be able to ignore the views of a single worker, if all workers speak with one voice the employer has to take notice. Unions

encourage their members to take part in collective decisions on workplace issues and these views are then put to the employer. From time to time, Union members in the same workplace will get together to talk about common problems. The issues most likely to come up are pay, safety, unfair treatment of a group or individual, or simply the way the work is organized. The union members will usually elect someone to speak on their behalf – a shop steward or office representative. The rep will then discuss their concerns with management. Where the union has a recognition agreement with management they reach decisions together on key issues. In bigger workplaces there will be a number of representatives, sometimes from different unions, speaking on behalf of different groups of

workers. And in very big workplaces some of these union representatives will spend much of their working day dealing with union business, talking to management helping solve problems on behalf of their members. Most sensible employers welcome these arrangements. They understand it is better for workers to have an independent means of dealing with problems rather than letting them fester or hoping they will be sorted out by the supervisors or line managers who are sometimes the cause of the problems. However, is that enough? Shall Unions’ responsibility be limited to those of their kinds or should it be widened to apply coverage to the whole society at large? Ross M. Martin, in the book Trade Unionism – Purposes and Forms, p. 62 wrote: “The responsibility of the part to the

whole is inseparable from the idea that society is an organism. For the trade union that means a responsibility which extends beyond the membership, beyond the class, to society at large.” When we talk of trade union, we talk of association of workers for the purpose of improving their economic status and working conditions through collective bargaining. Historically there have been two major types of labor unions: the horizontal, or craft, union, in which all the members are skilled in a certain craft (e.g., carpenters); and the vertical, or industrial, union, composed of workers in the same industry, whatever their particular skills (e.g., automobile workers). A company union is an employee-controlled union having no affiliation with other labor organizations. The term closed

shop refers to a company that hires only union members. In a union shop, employees are required to join a union within a specified time after being hired. An open shop does not restrict its employees to union members. Labor unions are essentially the product of the industrial revolution of the 19th century. In Great Britain, miners and textile workers were organized in the 1860s. Most European labor organizations today are either political parties or are affiliated with political parties, usually left-wing ones. In Britain today there are almost 23 million people in paid employment. Most of them spend up to a quarter of their lives at work – longer, on average, than anywhere else in Europe. Today almost seven million people in Europe belong to TUC unions (founded in Manchester