Trade Unions Essay Research Paper A trade

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Trade Unions Essay, Research Paper ?A trade union is an independant self-regulating organization of workers created to protect and advance the interests of its members through collective action.? Over recent years, it has become fashionable in many quarters to write off Britain?s trade unions, to label them as obsolete institutions out of touch with new realities and incapable of change. In today?s world of individual employment contracts, performance-related pay schemes, Human Resource and Total Quality Management and all the other ingredients of the so-called ?new? workplace, trade unions are often regarded as anachronistic obstacles preventing success of the market economy. As collective voluntary organizations that represent employees in the workplace, it is argued, trade

unions no longer serve a useful purpose. The main priority of this essay is to represent the arguments for and against the relevance of trade unions in todays working society. Furthermore, I shall comment on the future of the trade union movement, based upon the facts and findings that helped construct this text. Trade unions exist because an individual worker has very little power to influence decisions that are made about his or her job. The greatest advantage in joining a trade union is because, by doing so, individuals possess more chance of having a voice and influence in their place of work. By joining forces with other workers, an individual?s opinions and beliefs regarding their job will also be voiced by other union members, thus creating a stronger stance against

management, if needed. Therefore, the main purpose of a trade union is to protect and improve people’s pay and conditions of employment. This objective is usually achieved through negotiation and representation. Negotiation is where union representatives discuss with management, issues which affect people working in an organization. The union finds out the members? views and relays these views to management. Pay, working hours, holidays and changes to working practices are the sort of issues that are negotiated. However, not all views will be taken on board by management; there may be a difference of opinion between them and union members. Negotiation, therefore, is about finding a solution to these differences. This process is also known as collective bargaining. ?In many

workplaces there is a formal agreement between the union and the company, which states that the union has the right to negotiate with the employer. In these organizations, unions are said to be recognised for collective bargaining purposes.? People who work in organizations where unions are recognised are better paid, and are less likely to be made redundant than people who work in organizations where unions are not recognised. Most collective bargaining takes place quietly and agreements are quickly reached by the union and the employer. Occasionally disagreements do occur, and in these cases the union may decide to take industrial action. ?If the problem cannot be resolved amicably, the matter may go to an industrial tribunal.? The purpose of industrial tribunals is to make

sure that employees and employers conform to employment laws. They are made up of people outside the workplace who make a judgement about the case, based on the employee?s and employer?s point of view. Cases that go to industrial tribunals are usually about pay, unfair dismissal, redundancy or discrimination at work. The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) is often used to help find a solution to a dispute, which is acceptable to both sides. ?Its duty under the Employment Protection Act is to promote the improvement of industrial relations and in particular to encourage the extension of collective bargaining. Also to develop (and where necessary to reform) collective bargaining machinery. Its main functions are: advisory work, collective conciliation, individual