The union or employee union is referred as an organized group of employees who collectively bargain to protect & promote the mutual interests of the group members. The importance of employee union is clear from its influence on the policies of the human resource management. When there is no union of employees in the organization, then the HRM department develops and advice such policies that only depends on the efficiency. But when there is the presence of a employee union, the management must consider the preferences of the employees of the union while making policies of the organization. The employees of the union have the following preferences that can stand in front of the preferences of the top management of the organization.
- Job security
- High Wages
- Freedom of showing dissatisfaction with the actions of the administration
- The participation in the development of rules of work that can affect the jobs of the employees
Objectives of Employee Union
There are many objectives that are established by the union of employees in an organization. These objectives are as follows.
01- The security & improvement of the economic status & living standards of the members of the union.
02- The security of the employees should be increased & guaranteed from the contingencies & threats arising from certain factors like management decisions, market fluctuations & technological change.
03- The influence of power relations that impact the social system in a favorable manner which are not resulted into a threat to the goals of the union.
04- Efforts should be made to enhance the living standards of all employees of the organization, whether they are members of a union or not.
05- The application of the caprice & arbitrary policies in the workplace is guarded through a specialized system or mechanism.
For the attainment of the above mentioned objectives, the union tries to increase its power and growth in a continuous way.
The growth of a union is essential for the accomplishment of its objectives. When the number of members in a union increases consistently, the effectiveness of the union enhances and it acquires the ability to achieve its objectives. So, union leaders should focus the important aspect of attracting & retaining new potential employees that can enhance the strength of the union.
The portion of external control that is exerted in an organization is called is referred to as power. The possibility of growth in the future and the size of membership determine the power of a union. When union obtains enough power, it can then influence the organization in the favor of its stated objectives.
Factors Leading to Employee Unionization
Following are the four kinds of factors that are playing basic role in the employee unionization.
- Working Environment
Mandatory overtime, poor working conditions, inadequate staffing
Inequitable pay raises, inadequate benefits, Non-competitive pay.
- Management Style:
Caprice decision making of management, lack of recognition, use of fear
- Organization Treatment:
Unfair discipline & policies, harassment & abuse treatment, job insecurity, not responsive to complaints.
Why Employee Union is Necessary – Why Employee Join Union
There are a number of reasons that can make an employee to join a union & these reasons change with the passage of time. These reasons may take the form of a need for a social outlet, Peer pressure, forced unionization, dissatisfaction with the management, opportunity for leadership etc.
The important issues of employees related to the wages, working conditions, hours are presented to the management by the organized union. Following are the reasons that result in the unionization of employees.
- Dissatisfaction with Management
The problems in the organization are identified by the union & then the emphasis of membership of the union is shown that can be helpful for solving such problems. When the employees in the organization are dissatisfied from the management, they prefer to join a union so that their problems would be effectively resolved.
When the wages or salaries in the organization are not satisfactory to the employees, they prefer to join the union so that their wages & salaries should be enhanced through the power of organized union that would ultimately enhance their living standards.
- Job Security
When there is the insecurity of job among employees in an organization, the employees try to join a union. Especially in certain industries like automobile, steel & rubber, employees tend to join a union so that their jobs are secured under the shelter of union.
- Management Attitude
When the management makes capricious & arbitrary decision that do not take into account the needs of the employees of the organization, then the employees prefer to join unions because they consider that they cannot influence the job related matter individually.
- Social Outlet
Employees possess some social needs & that needs are better satisfied through the social activities provided by the union like day care services etc. All these social activities of union develop a sense of solidarity among members.
- Opportunity for Leadership
The union leaders are also promoted into managerial ranks like supervisors, therefore employees prefer to join a union.
- Forced Unionization
Forced unionization is not prohibited & unethical in the organizations because the freedom of the employee is affected through it. But in certain Business Organizations it is obligatory for a new employee to join a union otherwise his working life is affected. But it is illegal for an employee to join a union before starting his job in an organization. However, there is a certain law for workers that specifies that a new employee must join a union, but after completion of a particular period of his job.
- Peer Pressure
In certain cases the peer group of an employee exerts pressure on him to join a union & so he is positively forced to join the union in the organization.