Unions and Management

Introduction

Unions are formed to protect the rights of the members. Some organizations feel that unions are a stumbling block to their progress. In most cases conflicts arise between Trade unions and organization management. An analysis of the effect of unions on organizations shows that unions can be profitable or disadvantageous to an organization.

Effects of Unions in Organizations

Unions affect the management of an organization either positively or negatively. Unions determine the number of workers who are employed in an organization. This brings to a rise of the workers’ salaries and wages but reduces opportunities of employment. Unions also speak out for the employees so as to increase their pay and conversely reduce the profits of the company. Though they are advantageous their disadvantage is that they affect the economy negatively by causing an escalation of prices in consumer goods and services at the expense of providing higher earnings to the employees (Sherk, 2011).

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Role of Management in an Organization

Good Management in an organization is vital for the achievement of its goals. It is the authority of any organization. Management is responsible for employing the workforce. Once they are employed, they should train them to be proficient so as to produce higher output from their work. Management should delegate duties to the employees and encourage them to do their best. They should ensure that all activities in the organization are legal and promote a healthy social environment (Mintzberg, 2009).

The management should lead the organization. They should supervise and monitor all operations in every department. Management should handle every type of problem that may come up at the work place. Managers should be entrepreneurs who come up with projects and work them through successfully. They should allocate resources appropriately so as to take care of the employees’ needs, materials and at the end make some profits. Managers should also be negotiators of their organization (Mintzberg, 2009).

Role of Unions in Organizations

“A trade union is an organization based on membership of employees in various trades, occupations and professions, whose major focus is the representation of its members at the workplace and in the wider society” Trade Unions team up with organizations management so as to maintain associations between them (TradeUnion, n. d).

The fact that trade unions’ leaders have a huge back in the unions’ members, the leaders can equally have a huge influence in the politics. Trade union leaders use the back up they have in the union members to play a role in formulating labor policies. This way, they are able to access funds from the government to improve welfare of the members. Trade unions usually determine political decisions through their leaders who are professionals such as lawyers and engineers (TradeUnion, n. d.).

Unions have an influence on the market. They determine the amount of finances to be used on employees so as to determine the prices of the goods and services provided by the organization. This makes the organizational goods to be competitive in the market. Trade unions work towards betterment of the employees (TradeUnion, n.d.).

Trade unions have a regulatory role in organizations. They regulate standards of working conditions to all members. They, therefore, protect workers by ensuring that they are not exploited by the employers. The effectiveness of a trade union determines its strength capacity in influencing an organization. Some unions share power with the organization to deal with “grievances, discipline, job evaluation, redundancy, work changes, safety and health and rights to negotiate terms and conditions” (TradeUnion, n.d., p. 1).

Trade Unions are also important in providing training for organizations. Individual interests include provision of equal rights, how to prevent sexual insults, harassments and provision of medication for those with chronic illnesses (TradeUnion, n.d.).

Unions encourage democracy. By providing good terms and conditions for the employees, they encourage their participation in the union. As they become more involved, they are able to get the best leaders for organizations. The workers are therefore a source of influence. Unions also enable employees to participate in decision making. This is in contrast to most of the past systems where employees who opposed any decisions or came up with new ideas were fired (TradeUnion, n.d.).

Unions provide services to their members. These include, “housing, land lease schemes, transport and service stations, launder mats, cinemas, stores, insurance programmes and other schemes” (TradeUnion, n. d., p. 1). Unions also help workers to get pensions through financial firms. This money accumulates and makes profits over a long period of time. Other services include legal representation and medical services (TradeUnion, n.d.).

Unions play a developmental role in organizations. They do this by developing the workforce. Members including youths, women and the elderly are given responsibilities which help them to develop leadership and professional skills. This brings their promotion from low levels to higher levels in management. This strategy promotes maximum utilization of potential and talent of employees (Mintzberg, 2009).

Unions provide welfare services to the organization members. These include “employment of those with disabilities, family services such as baby creches, child care centers, old people’s homes and play and recreation centers” (TradeUnion, n.d.).

Maintaining Conducive Working Relationships

An organization can maintain favorable working relationships by promoting effective communication in the organization and maintaining excellent connection with the union. Effective communication comes when employees are aware of the policies that exist in the organization. This means that employees require training. Employees should also understand their responsibility in case of any conflict at the workplace.

Managers should also maintain justice at all times. Whenever there is a dispute even in terms of finances they should handle them effectively. Communication becomes more effective if there is no any discrimination at the work place. It is also important to honor all the agreements made by the organization. Managers should also ensure that employees have first hand information concerning any developmental changes taking place in their organization (Resource, 2011).

The relationship between the organization and the union is very important in that when any dispute gets out of hand, it can be handed over to the union (Resource, 2011).

Managers should have an action plan that should be a guide at the work place. Plans differ according to the nature of organizations. The action plan should evaluate the present activities and develop policies that increase the working conditions of the employees. By this, every employee is well informed of his/her duties or responsibilities.

The plan should also focus on all people without discrimination including people with disabilities. The plan should also “address all barriers including physical, information, communication and attitudinal barriers” (Austrarian, n.d., p. 1).

Role of Union in Management of Organizations

Unions and management of organizations should emphasize on the significance of effective communication in the organization. They should come up with ways to support productivity and competitiveness of the organizations. This positively affects the organization managers by encouraging their participation. This can be at both national and enterprise levels. Unions should also ensure that they build trust in organizations. The Unions should focus on development of social capital at enterprise level (TradeUnion, n.d.).

Unions should assist organizations to get contracts. They should also help the organization to create awareness to all employees in the organization by helping them know their rights. The unions should also represent organizations in various contracts. They can effectively deal with disciplining issues of the employees and eliminate issues of injustice at the work place. They also have a legal role to play for the organizations by ensuring that they are not subjected to any unfair judgment (TradeUnion, n.d.).

Conclusion

Depending on the strategies used by the organization it can yield positive or negative results. Management of the organization needs to know its stand and strike a balance on the influence by the union. Unions should also strive to be beneficial to the organizations that they serve. Communication is the key strategy to maintain conducive working relationships and environment. This is because Unions have a great influence on organizations.

References

Austrarian. (n.d.). Developing an Effective Action Plan. HREOC. Retrieved July 6, 2011 from: http://www.hreoc.gov.au/disability_rights/action_plans/effective_plan/effective_plan.html

Mintzberg, H. (2009). Ten Management Roles. SAYECONOMY. Retrieved July 6, 2011 from: http://www.sayeconomy.com/ten-management-roles-by-henry-mintzberg/

Resource. (2011). Strategic Human Resource. Strategic Human Resource. Retrieved July 6, 2011 from: http://www.strategic-human-resource.com/industrial-relations-adversarial-approach.html

Sherk, J. (2011). What Unions Do; How Labor Unions Affect Jobs and the Economy. Heritage. Retrieved July 6, 2011 from: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/05/what-unions-do-how-labor-unions-affect-jobs-and-the-economy

TradeUnion. (n.d.). The Function and Role of Trade Union. Ilocarib. Retrieved July 6, 2011 from: http://www.ilocarib.org.tt/Promalco_tool/productivity-tools/manual09/m9_4.htm