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    Assist with writing a position paper based upon Union Organizing. Thoroughly research it to make judgments, recommendations, etc. What are the proposed solutions to this topic or issue? Assess why this particular topic is of interest to you and why society should also share this same concern as you.

    Reference: Support document with a minimum of seven (7) external resources. In addition to the attached resources, other appropriate scholarly resources, including older articles, may be included.

    Length: 12-15 pages

    Use current APA standards.

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com December 24, 2021, 11:58 pm ad1c9bdddf


    SOLUTION This solution is FREE courtesy of BrainMass!

    In compliance with BrainMass rules this is not a hand in ready paper but is only guidance.

    Union organizing refers to how trade unions recruit, operate, and advance the interests of workers who are its members. It means taking steps that lead to the formation, working, and growth of trade unions for the good of workers.
    The starting point of union organization at the work place is when one person or a small group starts discussion on workplace issues. External union leaders are contacted who in turn help form an organizing committee. Leaders are identified and all major departments and shifts are included in the organizing committee. The committee identifies the issues in the workplace. These issues are used to create a program of demands at the workplace. Further, a strategy for union election campaign is developed (1). The issues at the workplace are highlighted in the union election campaign. The demands for improvement are stressed on. The issues program is highlighted in the workplace through organizing campaign activities. The next important step in organizing the union is to ask co-workers to join the union program by signing membership cards. The objective is to sign up a sizable majority. The card campaign is normally done quickly so that a large number of cards are collected before the employer initiates a campaign to prevent the formation of a union. The signed cards are required to request the labor board to hold an election. The signed cards are evidence that a sizeable number of employees want a union to be formed. Also, the signed cards serve the legal purpose of petitioning the labor board. It is critical that after the petition is made the union campaign is continued and if necessary intensified. The momentum must continue during the period the labor board takes to find out who is eligible to vote and when to schedule the election. The campaign must stress on the necessity of voting for the formation of a union. When the board conducts the elections and wins it the employer must recognize and bargain with the union. The collective agreement is formed, agreed to, and signed by the employer and the union. There are three requirements for successful formation of a union. First, the organizing committee must be strong, well represented, and should have representation from all departments/functions. Second, the issues program must be well developed, must address the needs of the employees, and should cover most issues of direct concern to the employees. Third, there should be strong plan to counter the employer's anti-union campaign. Once the union is recognized, the union bargains with the employer on the issues it has raised during the union forming campaign. These issues must be reflected in the union contract (2). The union contract must cover everything from wages to how disputes should be handled. The union contract must have the contents of issues it has raised with the employees and at the same time must have standard clauses that protect the interests of the members of the union.
    Union Organizing is done by a group of workers who organize a union to gain a voice in their workplace through their strength, impact wages, work hours, employee benefits, workplace health and safety and other work related issues. The right to form a union is protected by the National Labor Relations Act 1935. Union Organizing brings several tangible benefits to its members. These include higher wages. Statistics have shown that unionized workers typically earn higher wages than un-unionized workers. The employees come together and decide what pay is appropriate for the jobs they do and the services they provide (3). The union communicates these to the employer in an organized way. Union Organizing leads to higher job security for the members. The agreement has terms of terminations. An employee can be terminated for just cause only if it satisfies the terms of terminations. The union representatives negotiates with the management if there is a dispute and this helps increase the job security of employees. Union Organizing brings the employees together as a cohesive group. The labor unions come together through a union and speak collectively. This has far higher credibility than single employees talking to supervisors or managers. In fact, if individuals talk to supervisors or managers verbal abuse follows and the issue is set aside. Union Organizing leads to higher benefits including health benefits and retirement benefits for the employees. If a union is not organized, health and retirement benefits are entirely left to the employer (4). This leads to lower benefits for employees.

    Union Organizing is also helpful to the employer. Collective bargaining helps set productivity standards and the members of the union comply with those standards. This increases the productivity of the employee. Union Organizing also brings important benefits to the employer. The employer finds that the union simplifies the negotiation process. The employer simply has to negotiate with the labor union. It does not have to bargain with multiple employees. The head of the union is the person the employer speaks to and the union head represents all the union members. Several employers use methods of improving employee morale and motivation. When dealing with unions this problem gets solved. Negotiating a contract with the union increases employee satisfaction, employee morale, and employee motivation. The employees through the union have found a voice to speak for them. This helps them get higher wages and benefits package but at the same time the motivation of employees to work increases. The key takeaway that employers experience is that when employers deal with unions the employee turnover declines. This saves money for the employer. It prevents disruptions to work and production. Several employers face the problem of introducing change in the work place. Some retain expensive consultants, and others introduce changes by themselves. Often the results are disastrous (5). Union Organizing eliminates this problem the employer simply negotiates the changes he wants with the union head. The union head then introduces and implements the changes in the workplace. Resistance from individual workers is not experienced in a unionized environment.

    Union Organizing is often opposed by employers. They have a reason for such apprehension. Labor union systems are abused. The employees know what the company cannot fire them for and this leads to insolence and disobedience on the work floor. Further, Union Organizing harms the interest of hard working and skillful workers. The collective bargaining is done for every employee and the hard working and industrious workers are not rewarded for their initiative. Another problem with labor unions is that promotions lose their power to motivate employees. Companies with a labor contract must follow strict rules which are related to job promotions. The senior-most employee is promoted and the most deserving employee is ignored. This system leads to mediocrity in performance. Further, high fees are charged from members. These range from $200 to $2,000. The moment there is Union Organizing strict federal labor laws relating to the rights of employees in relations to unions apply. This sours the relationship between the employer and employees. The main problem that employers face from Union Organizing is that the labor costs increase. This means that the firm becomes less competitive than others in the same industry. The employees are prone to asking for more wages to the union which after consultation sends in a representative to negotiate wages, benefits, and working conditions. The end result is that the costs of the employer increase. Another problem with Union Organizing is that if the employer does not agree to the demands made by the union representatives, the union members are legally allowed to strike. The Federal laws circumscribe the ability of the employer to fire striking workers. The strike debilitates the organization. It costs money, production loss, loss of reputation, and loss of customers. Strikes have led to vendors stopping credit to companies. Banks are hesitant in lending to a firm that has experienced a strike. An employer has the right to promote workers bases on skills, merit, productivity, and other objective criteria. This right is lost when a union is organized. This means the employer now has lower means of controlling, and motivating the human resources of his own company. Even if an employer wants to reduce the workforce, he is compelled by the collective agreement to fire employees who have been recruited most recently and not fire the most incompetent employees. Merit is discounted by union organizing. The employer faces a situation when his ability to discipline an employee is reduced considerably(6). Even when an oral reprimand is given the union representative accompanies the worker and provides a shield to the worker. When an employee status is challenged, the individual employees do not have the resources to challenge a firing, a demotion, harassment, bullying, or discrimination. However, with Union Organizing, the union represents the workers and files lawsuits and arbitrations on behalf of the workers. This increases the problems faced by the employer. Another problem is that most members request their employers to deduct union membership dues from their paychecks. This increases accounting responsibilities for the employer. The employer must make changes to his payroll software and make payments to the union in a timely manner.

    Union Organizing also sometimes harms the interests of individual employees. The decisions taken by the unions are based on what the majority of employees want. What the minority wants or what the individual employees face problems are often ignored. This is harmful for the interests of individual employees. Also, the tool of strike is misused. A strike can often exacerbate the dispute and make it impossible to reach a satisfactory conclusion. Even after a strike the employer may not relent. Further, the employers are allowed by the law to continue their business activities during a strike. The employer can hire replacement employees and these may displace striking employees. Even if individual employees do not want a strike they are forced into a strike. They can be harmed financially. Those who are not in favor of a strike cannot resist if they are members of unions. An important problem faced by union members is that they have to pay dues to the union to support it financially. The unions are also known to fine members for activities that are perceived to be anti-union activities. For example, if a employee exceeds productivity quotas he might be fined. This is harmful both to the employee who cannot use his skills to the utmost but also to the employer who does not get full productivity from his employees. Unions are known to discourage production higher than average productivity. They feel that higher productivity harms the interests of other members. Even though it is argued that Union Organizing increases employee motivation, the reality is very different. The employees do not have incentive to work harder to gain pay increases or gain a promotion. Where there are no unions, employers regularly use rewards, recognition, and incentives to motivate employees. Union Organizing stops these practices because now all employees must be viewed the same and treated the same. In most cases the union reduces the ability of the employer to terminate an employee. This combined with the fact that an employee receives no incentives reduces the motivation of employees to increase productivity. When there is lower employee productivity because of Union Organizing, the employer becomes uncompetitive and this leads to loss of market share, and job losses. There are several companies in the United States that have suffered because of higher pay rates and have gone into bankruptcy.

    The result is that employers use several methods to thwart Union Organizing. The employer may warn that if a union is formed there will be a new set of rules and less flexibility. Further, the employer may play on the emotions of employees and warn them that open door policies will cease after union formation. Another method, used by employees is that they warn there will be violence if a union is formed. They circulate real stories of violence in which unions are employed. In some cases the employers may actually instigate violence to dissuade Union Organizing. Another argument that employers use to discourage Union Organizing is that unions force members to strike but once they suffer the negative consequences of strike the unions do not help them. Further, the employers point out that the union is only interested in the money of the employees. The employees cannot afford the union dues. To an extent this is true. Unions are expensive but they bring in higher wages for the employees. The employers go to the extent of threatening not to sign a union contract even if they vote for the union. This threat dissuades employees from joining unions. The employers ask employees to avoid unions because if they sign the union card the union controls everything about the job. The employee loses control over her job. Employers go to the extent of saying that if there is Union Organizing, the employees will lose their job. There is some truth about this argument. If the cost of the employer increases and makes him uncompetitive, he will be forced to wind down his operations and employees will lose their jobs. Employers try to influence unions through negotiations, labor relations, and other means but the National Labor Relations Act, 1935 has outlawed employer controlled unions. The law forbids supervisors from joining labor unions. The employer cannot assist or dominate any labor organization. In other words the employer cannot form a union that is favorable to his policies, nor can he form a competitive union. Further, the laws Taft-Hartley Act and Landrum-Griffin Act guarantee the rights of private employees to form and join unions. These laws protect the rights of employees to form unions. It is recommended that employees should know their rights under these laws and should exercise these rights during Union Organizing.

    There are recommendations and proposed solution to the issue of Union Organizing. The recommendations are in face of global competition, employers are reducing their responsibility for giving health insurance, good pension coverage, reasonable work hours, and job safety protections. Union Organizing is all the more important because the workers jobs and incomes become less secure through downsizing, part-timing, outsourcing, and off-shoring. The solution is that instead of adopting an adversarial position, unions should become collaborators with employers so that employee goals are aligned with employer goals. This is essential because alignment will lead to survival and growth of business in face of global competition. Only if businesses survive and grow can they provide employment opportunities to workers. If unions proactively work with employers to align the interests of workers with those of employees, Union Organizing will remain relevant (8). There can still be collective agreements but these must include performance management systems and reward workers who show exceptional ability, productivity, and initiative. The unions must stop fining employees that exceed average productivity levels. The unions must stop viewing the employers as adversaries who need to be defeated (7). The unions should become partners with employers in developing workplace environment, in stopping harassment, discouraging bullying, and in disciplining employees. The unions must promote employee discipline, cost reduction, and increases in productivity. Only then will they remain relevant.

    A key proposal is that unions must change their image. Instead of being viewed as strike threatening, cost increasing, and productivity reducing hoodlums. They must change their image to those that support employers in their endeavor to compete successfully in the global market. The new image of unions should be such that employers will welcome Union Organizing. They will not fight it. The unions must show performance not merely to employees but also to employers. To remain relevant, unions must establish that they not only protect the rights of employees but they also help businesses reduce costs, increase productivity, and remain competitive. The solution to the current problem is that unions must change their image and activities to match the requirements of global business and competition.

    The topic of Union Organizing has interested me because trade unions play an important part in the society. Workers need fair treatment today as much as ever. Society should share the same concern today. Even today the right of the workers needs to be protected. The workers use the platform of trade unions to bargain collectively on behalf of the majority of workers. The society needs trade unions. Traditionally, the main objective of trade unions was to secure the maximum pay for its members. This goal is not sustainable today. The trade unions should adjust wages in such a way that the business remains competitive in the global environment. One sided pursuit of increasing wages can only lead to potentially harmful outcomes such as part-timing, contract labor, outsourcing, or off-shoring. In the past one of the key functions of the unions was to improve the working conditions of workers. Today the code of conduct of most large companies ensures that satisfactory working conditions of workers are provided. The unions should work with employers to provide safe and good working conditions but they also ensure that these do not unreasonably escalate the costs of the employers. In the past the unions have provided services to the members including job security and safety. In today's competitive environment, the unions should actively provide training in latest technology to its members so that their skills remain relevant to their employers. In addition, unions should actively work with management to create criteria for performance evaluation of individual employees. The days of mediocre performance are over. The unions should abandon the practice of setting average productivity standards that are middling and should instead towards increasing the individual productivity of all individuals. One of the key functions of union was dispute resolution. In practice, the unions blocked disciplinary action in the workplace and encouraged misbehavior with supervisors. This role of unions must change. They must become champions of discipline, control bullying in workplace, and root out harassment. if the unions improve the work environment and make it productive they will remain relevant and helpful to the society. Union Organizing is relevant today but it must align itself with the business necessities of 2016. Otherwise it faces the danger of becoming irrelevant. (3,022 words)

    1) Farber, H. (2015). Union Organizing Decisions in a Deteriorating Environment The Composition of Representation Elections and the Decline in Turnout. ILR Review, 0019793915592623.
    2) Fiorito, J. (2015). Union organizing commitment: Rhetoric and reality. Members-only Library.
    3) Fiorito, J. (2015). Union organizing and union revitalization in the United States. Members-only Library.
    4) Huang, C. C., Postmus, J. L., Vikse, J. H., & Wang, L. R. (2013). Economic abuse, physical violence, and union formation. Children and Youth Services Review, 35(5), 780-786.
    5) Raymo, J. M., & Iwasawa, M. (2017). Union Formation and Dissolution. In Diverging Destinies (pp. 31-41). Springer Singapore.
    6) Jang, B. J., & Snyder, A. R. (2015). Moving and union formation in the transition to adulthood in the United States. Advances in life course research, 23, 44-55.
    7) Byford, I., & Wong, S. (2016). Union formation and worker resistance in a multinational: A personal account of an Asian cabin crew member in UK civil aviation. Work, Employment & Society, 0950017016648871.

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