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Labor Relations and Unions in Organizations

Labor Relations

- Define unions and labor relations and their effect on organizations.
- Examine the effect of changes in employee relations strategies, policies, and practices on organizational performance.
- Are unions still relevant in the United States?

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I. Unions and Labor Relations Defined and their Effects on the Organization

Labor unions are groups of workers that are formed for the purpose of protecting the common interests of employees and improving their working conditions. Union leaders represent the workers and they engage in meetings with the company management regarding concerns of the employees and ways to improve the conditions of all the members of the union. Aside from that, unions provide a bargaining process that aims to resolve conflicts between the supervisors and subordinates. Unions benefit not only the employees of the organization but they can also work for the organization in relation to the concerns of the employees under its management.

Labor unions meet with the management to talk about the enhancement of the social and economic welfare of the union members. The union members represent the workers by negotiating with the organization about working conditions, salaries and wages, employment contracts and anything related to their employment. At times, workers believe that they are not rightly compensated hence they resort to labor unions to air out their grievances.

While unions are groups or organizations of workers that are formed to represent their members' interests with their employers, labor relations is defined as a field that focuses on the skills of managers and union leaders that are used to peacefully negotiate concerns and problems so that costly forms of conflict such as strikes are reduced. Labor relations is about seeking win-win solutions to conflicts and disagreements.

Labor relations have three levels of decisions:
1. Labor relations strategy - Management decides if the organization will work with unions or develop their own nonunion operations. For labor unions, ...