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Trade Unions

I am study trade unions at the moment and I just need a couple of things cleared up. Please help me with the following questions:

1. How would trade unions argue against the criticism that businesses they operate within aren't flexible enough?

2. What are the benefits of being in a trade union rather than on an individual contract?

3. How has privatization of industries effected trade unions?

Solution Preview

Please see response attached (also presented below).

RESPONSE:

1. How would trade unions argue against the criticism that businesses they operate within aren't flexible enough?

Trade unions (labor unions) are not concerned about flexibility; they are concerned about meeting their objectives. Flexibility is more about improving and meeting the needs of the employers, not the employees. thus, trade unions might argue that flexibility translates into longer and less predictable hours for the employee, and works against their main objectives.

"A Trade Union (Labour union) ... is a continuous association of wage-earners for the purpose of maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment." (Webb, Sidney, Webb, Beatrice (1920). History of Trade Unionism. Longmans, Green and Co. London. ch. I).

Over the last three hundred years, trade unions have developed into a number of forms, influenced by differing political and economic regimes. The immediate objectives and activities of trade unions vary, but may include:

? Provision of benefits to members: Early trade unions, like Friendly Societies, often provided a range of benefits to insure members against unemployment, ill health, old age and funeral expenses. In many developed countries, these functions have been assumed by the state; however, the provision of professional training, legal advice, and representation for members is still an important benefit of trade union membership.

? Collective bargaining: Where trade unions are able to operate openly and are recognised by employers, they may negotiate with employers over wages and working conditions.

? Industrial action: Trade unions may organize strikes or resistance to lockouts in furtherance of particular goals.

? Political activity: Trade unions may promote legislation favourable to the interests of their members or workers as a whole. To this end they may pursue campaigns, undertake lobbying, or financially support individual candidates or parties (such as the Labour Party in the United Kingdom) for public office. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_union#_note-webb
Labor unions in the United States today function as legally recognized representatives of workers in numerous industries, but in recent years have seen their ...

Solution Summary

By responding to the questions, this solution examines aspects of trade unions e.g. how trade unions argue against the criticism that businesses they operate within aren't flexible enough, the benefits of being in a trade union rather than on an individual contract, as well as how privatization of industries has affected trade unions.

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