Workers in many occupations want a stronger voice in the workplace and there is increasing recognition that this is a fundamental human right. Do you believe that voice in the workplace is a fundamental human right?
In many cases, workers want to have a stronger voice in the workplace. Sometimes, it is argued that this bargaining power should be a fundamental human right. In other words, this right should be granted to every individual regardless of his/her citizenship. It seems that this argument is justified to some extent. For example, employees should require a safe work environment, and this demand should be recognized by state officials.
Moreover, they should discriminate against workers based on their nationality or citizenship status. In my opinion, it is unethical to deprive people of their dignity only because they come from a different country. However, one should not forget about the rights of employers who should ensure the profitability of their businesses. Therefore, workers and entrepreneurs should reach a certain compromise that can suit both sides.
Do you believe Unions are still relevant today? Why or why not?
In my view, the role of trade unions remains relevant today. These organizations can be viewed as a system of checks and balances that avert the violation of workers’ rights. The role of trade unions can be better appreciated when they are absent. For instance, in many parts of the United States, the government adopted right-to-work laws. These legal acts prevent labor unions from intervening in the interactions between employers and workers. Yet, the average wages in these parts of the U.S. are lower than in other regions of the country because the bargaining power of employees has weakened (Holley, Jennings & Wolters, 2011, p. 164). Certainly, the role of unions has decreased, but one should not suppose that the activities of these organizations are completely irrelevant.
Has Union membership increased or decreased since World War II in the U.S.? Why do you think that is?
On the whole, the union membership in the United States has decreased after World War II. This outcome can be attributed to several factors. First of all, the U.S. economy began to recover from the effects of the Great Depression, and the income level of Americans increased (Holley, Jennings & Wolters, 2011, p. 164). Furthermore, the companies were better able to meet the demands of employees because of their increased profitability (Budd, 2009). This is why the role of trade unions declined.
Should soldiers be allowed to join unions? (Hint: consider both the environment and ethics?
In my view, soldiers can request an improvement in their working conditions. Such a requirement is quite justified. However, they should not be allowed to join labor unions. The main problem is the efficiency of an army depends on the speed and efficiency of its operations. In turn, this goal cannot be easily achieved provided that there is a non-governmental organization that can dictate its terms to the state officials or military leaders. Moreover, one cannot say how these organizations can affect the loyalty of soldiers to the interests of the country. This example shows that the internal environment of military institutions may not be compatible with labor unions.
Can an employer refuse that a Union is created in an organization?
Employers are not allowed to forbid workers from joining trade unions or creating them. The management can only persuade workers not to join these organizations. In some cases, they can do it by bringing improvements to the working conditions. In turn, a company cannot prohibit employees to create such unions because, in this way, they can limit the bargaining power of workers (Budd, 2009). This is one of the main aspects that can be identified.
Is joining a Union free to employees?
As a rule, workers cannot join a trade union for free. In the majority of cases, they have to pay a monthly or annual fee for the services of this organization. This argument is particularly relevant when one speaks about unions that represent a large number of workers.
Budd, J. (2009). Labor Relations: Striking a Balance. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education, 2009.
Holley, W., Jennings, K., & Wolters, R. (2011). The Labor Relations Process. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.