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Different Roles: Employee versus Union Member

The case study addresses:

Active union members often have two roles to play: (1) employee and (2) union member. Please explain the difference between the two roles. Is it difficult to do both jobs effectively?

The solution thoroughly explains the two roles and the difficulty that may arise in having both. Union members may not agree with the actions of a majority of their membership and as an employee, may have differing views. But in simply belonging to a union, the single voice is no longer heard. Individual employees may agree with an employer viewpoint, but have the union advising in support of a contradictory action. This can create difficulty for the employee who wants to support their employer or even protect their personal interests; but must abide by their union.

Solution Preview

Employees typically have a workplace role that is hierarchical in nature, such as reporting to a manager or supervisor. In this scenario, the employee has performance standards that are monitored by the supervisor; often one person. The manager is also the person they report to in the majority of all employment related tasks.
Unions serve the purpose of collective bargaining for a group of employees with similar job duties in regards to ...

Solution Summary

In over 250 words, the solution addresses the different rolls of being an employee and union member. Employees typically have a manager or supervisor they report to. However, employment decisions are not made soley by the employee when that person is also a union member. Unions serve to collective bargain hours, wages and working conditions. This means the employee no longer has a roll of negotiating such items for themselves.