Employment Relations Assess the Impact Essay

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Some unions and their federations, however, presently have notable welfare programs, including human services. As of 2007, there were more than 10 million union members in Japan, and the organizational rate was 18.1%. The members were two thirds the number but 1.5 times the rate of those in the United States. Japanese union's mission is to be "maintaining and improving the conditions of work and raising the economic status of workers. Enterprise unionism is traditionally accompanied by lifetime employment and wage and promotion by a seniority system, particularly in large organizations. These three are commonly included in a set as the major characteristics of Japanese industrial relations or personnel management. They are intimately interwoven and confine employees to the internal labor market and strengthen their attachment to enterprises (Akimoto & Sonoda, 2009).

As is the case in other advanced capitalist societies, the trade union movement in Israel has undergone a very significant process of transformation over the last decades. From a nation with one of the highest levels of unionization in the 1980s, the proportion of salaried and waged workers now belonging to unions in Israel appears to be less than that in many other industrialized societies. To a certain degree the reasons for this transformation are similar to those that have been identified in other nations in a period of growing globalization and the restructuring of labor markets along neoliberal lines. However, local factors have also been at play during this period and have contributed to a process by which the Histadrut, the General Federation of Labor, lost its very dominant and, to a large degree, its unique position in the Israeli labor market, economy, and society (Gal & Bargal, 2009).

Hong Kong has been a special administrative region of China since 1997. As an international financial center, Hong Kong has maintained its capitalist economic system and infrastructure in the last decade. However, the move of manufacturing industry from Hong Kong to the Chinese Mainland and the growth of the economy; in Hong Kong, the government has always maintained that the relationship between employers and employees is not adversarial. Avoiding the conception of the zero-sum power game, the government promotes the idea of mutual partnership. The extended family is often the metaphor used to describe Chinese businesses (Ming-Sum & Lui, 2009).

Legislation regarding labor welfare in Hong Kong is in its early stages compared to that of welfare states in the West. There are still no established laws governing minimum wage or maximum working hours. Workers do not have the right to engage in collective bargaining with their employers. Although most workers are entitled to benefit from the Mandatory Provident Fund managed by a centralized public body, if they lose their jobs, they do not have any unemployment insurance. The only safety net is the Comprehensive Assistance Scheme, which provides a minimum monetary allowance to cover basic living expenses. Additional statutes include an Employment Ordinance, which stipulates allowances for paid holidays, annual leave, work-related injury, sick days, maternity leave, and severance payments; a Provident Fund Ordinance, which spells out the provisions of an employment-based retirement system; and an Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance, which extends workplace safety and health protection to employees in the non-industrial sector (Ming-Sum & Lui, 2009)

Trends in unemployment in the United States, also may affect those already employed by local government. In the past, conventional wisdom held that government employees accepted lower wages because they had more job security than private sector workers. This nonwage benefit may have become less valuable as unemployment rates declined in the private sector during much of the 1960s. Thus, without the "reward" of superior job security, public sector workers in low unemployment areas have moved more aggressively to obtain increased money wages to bring them more in line with the private sector (Tsuru & Rebitzer, 1995).

Throughout virtually all of the mandate period, the British authorities adopted a policy of minimal intervention in social and economic spheres. This was particularly true with regard to social welfare. Indeed, apart from a short period at the end of World War II, the British government in Palestine preferred to leave interventions in this field to the respective ethnic communities and their institutions. Within the Jewish community, most social welfare activities were spearheaded by the Histadrut. The Histadrut adopted a strategy similar to that of many European trade unions in the pre-depression period. It offered its members a wide range of social protection. Thus, for example, unemployment insurance and health services were offered to all members of the trade union federation, regardless of specific occupation or place of work. Other forms of social protection were part of specific workplace agreements negotiated between Histadrut representatives and employers (Gal & Bargal, 2009)

HRM comes in both 'hard' and 'soft' models, suggesting that the differences between the two are largely incremental. The soft model of HRM is seen as a form of 'developmental humanism' where employees are considered as 'assets' whose intellectual and creative skills contribute to a competitive advantage, associated with HRM practices that are values-based and built on cooperation, consensus, and mutual trust. This integrative approach emphasizes the development and nurturing of human capital in order to achieve strategic 'fit' through adopting a qualitative approach to HRM practices thereby enhancing competitive advantage. The emphasis is on behavioral approaches. HRM practices adopted here include employee consultation mechanisms, emphasis on training, skill formation, career planning, adoption of high performance work systems and job security as means for enhancing employee commitment, loyalty, and 'high trust' underpinning quality and flexibility as competitive advantage. The 'hard' version of HRM is defined as 'utilitarian humanism' where cost minimization is paramount, requiring close surveillance, supervision, and control of employees. The 'hard' approach has a preference for t values that emphasizes high managerial control. (Employee relations (ER), 2005)

The labor market has also shown a direct correlation with the amount of grievances filed. Numbers of studies have suggested that grievance procedures, by offering employees an alternative to "exit" behaviors, result in lower rates of turnover, and thus lower staffing and training costs. In 2001 researchers argued that such voicing options enhance the efficiency of employment relationships by offering a solution to the problem of employee reluctance to respond to managerial caprice. Given such findings, it comes as no surprise that a grievance procedure is a core element of nearly every collective agreement in the United States, and has become increasingly prevalent as a mechanism of dispute resolution in non-union settings as well. Nevertheless, grievances are far from cost-free for either labor or management. Although most grievances are resolved without the involvement of costly arbitrators, there are still substantial productivity and time-related costs for both labor and management. Consequently, from a practical perspective, it is in the interest of both labor and management to better understand those work -- and context-based factors that may cause employees to file grievances (Verrucci, 1999).

The term employee turnover is used to describe the exit of employees from an organization through resignations, retirements, layoffs, or firings. This phenomenon is part of a larger category of behaviors known as employee withdrawal behaviors, which includes events such as chronic absenteeism and employee disengagement (in which employees remain on the job but diminish their effort and contributions). Employee turnover is one of the most heavily researched topics in the organizational literature, and it has long been a major concern for managers and executives. Most research on employee turnover has focused on specific employee attributes (such as sex, age, and psychological traits of the employee). Turnover, however, is also affected by the changing nature of the employment relationship. During the past decade, commitment in the employment relationship has eroded. The focus for employers in the "new" workplace is "What can you do to earn your keep today?" Conversely, employees now tend to focus more on advancing their self-interests and careers, even if it means switching jobs frequently (Schanzenbach, 2003).

The results of the research conducted by Verrucci (1999) indicates that the direct effects of market-based instrumentality factors on grievance filing are likely to be influenced by power-dependence contingencies, and that market-based instrumentality variables may themselves moderate the effects of work context factors on grievance filing. In terms of power-dependence contingencies, our results suggest that the direct effects of at least one labor market variable -- the wage premium -- on grievance filing may depend on perceived employer dependence, or what we refer to as labor power. Specifically, our findings suggest that under conditions of high labor power, consistent with the predictions of efficiency wage theory, the likelihood of employee grievance filing rises. However, under conditions of low labor power, the positive relationship between the wage premium and grievance filing weakens and even appears to reverse itself; In terms of the moderating effect of market-based instrumentalities, (in particular, high unemployment) that…[continue]

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