Unions in America Today the Document Outlines Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Unions in America today

The document outlines the pros and cons of unions in America. It takes into consideration how unions improve the working environments for workers. The paper considers the power of unions on law makers, collective bargaining and other advantages. The cons include decline in competitive advantage for American companies, low productivity and motivation and many others.

In any organization, unions act as binding agreements between employees and management. In this case, a group of persons are responsible for conducting negotiations with the management for the purpose of enhancing the welfare of workers. Unions originate from the period of American depression when workers faced various work challenges including low remuneration, and unfavorable working conditions. The purpose of this essay is to explore the pros and cons of unions in America in the current times.


Unions improve the working conditions and welfare of workers

One of the positive aspects of unions in America is their ability to improve the working conditions of most American workers. Employees who have registered with unions receive protection from unfavorable working conditions. The unions also safeguard workers from unfair dismissal and hiring (Saez, 2013). Managers of organizations have a responsibility of ensuring safe conditions for workers. The presence of unions ensures that the management complies with various rules that guard employee welfare. Without the unions, the management may create unsafe work conditions, for example, they may replace workers and increase workloads.

Unions can communicate on behalf of employees

Another positive aspect of unions in organizations is apparent where the employees have an opportunity to convey their grievances to the top level management, where a single worker cannot make a significant impact. This is because unions have a higher 'bargaining power' than a single individual (Holley, Jennings & Wolters, 2012). With the absence of unions in an organization, the management treats employees unfairly because they can easily replace a single worker than several workers in groups. Unions are thus fundamental for the welfare of employees in every organization.

Value -- added unions benefit both employees and management

Value-added unions can improve the welfare of both the organization and the employees. This is because the aim of value-added unions is to respond to various organization problems. The unions are responsible for the creation of a succinct contract language in addition to resources. It is apparent that most of organization developments regarding systems emanate from the efforts of value added unions (Bennett & Kaufman, 2002). Although value-added unions are important, there are various issues that threaten their existence. The challenges include changes in industrial structure of economy, employment security and wages (Bennett & Kaufman, 2002). This condition is responsible for the complexities experienced when organization try to employ enterprise-based unions with an intention of adding value in an organization. Intra-firm union-based networks are capable of increasing flexibility, quality and productivity.

Collective bargaining

Unions are crucial to employees due to the advantage of collective bargaining, especially for wages. Through unions, the employees of an organization can negotiate for better wages, and proper working conditions. Negotiations are possible where selected union representatives convey the needs of workers to the organization management. Their views on how to deal with workers are more powerful than a single person because they are recognized as union representatives. Through unions, it is possible to implement various issues that concern workers because the negotiations agreed upon are documented. Collective bargaining is beneficial to the management because it allows indisputable agreements (Holley et al., 2012). The management or the employees cannot dispute an agreement unless the period of the contact terminates. This situation helps the organization to predict costs concerning pay and benefits, which benefits organizations operations. It is apparent that, with undisputable contracts, the issue of turnover is does not become a problem (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, 2012). This is because the unions create a favorable environment to the workers. The organization can, therefore, concentrate on employee training for the purpose of improving productivity in the organization.

Reduce stress and time wastage

The presence of unions in organizations is crucial to the welfare of employees because they allow handling of worker's grievances as a group, rather than one employee at a time. When managers deal with employee grievances as a group, they reduce unwanted costs and waste of time. This process also reduces undesired stress on the side of workers because the approach targets all workers and not one or two employees (Saez, 2013).

Job security for workers

When unions are present in an organization, job security in the side of employees becomes a guarantee. Without unions, employers can fire workers because of the notion that there are always jobless individuals to replace the one dismissed (Saez, 2013). The employees have peace of mind are free from stress because they can make plans for their future based on the guarantee that they will retain their jobs.

Long lasting relationship

An important aspect to the welfare of both an organization and employees is the ability of the unions to create a lasting relationship. This occurs between workers and managers of an organization. Because the workers know that they stay for long in an organization, they ensure that their operations are efficient for the purpose of developing the organization in which they work. Since the worker remains in the organization for a considerable period, the organization receives long-term benefits (Holley et al., 2012). This is because workers become experienced, and there is no need of training. This saves an organization the costs, time and stress related to the hiring of new workers.

Influence law makers

Unions are important to employees because they are capable of influencing the law makers to make laws that benefit the employees. They enable implementation of organizational policies as long as the contract between the organization and the workers is valid. The laws are crucial because they do not only protect employees but also their siblings.


Decline in competitiveness

The disadvantages of unions in America are such that the country is declining in terms of competitiveness in the international market. This is occurring because some countries that do not have unions in their companies incur less labor costs than most of the American companies. Lower labor costs means that the overall costs of a company will reduce. The company can, therefore, avail products and services at a lower price compared to a unionized company. Unions in America cause more costs to companies than in other countries hence making America unable to compete with other countries (Holley et al., 2012).

Affects consumers

The presence of unions in America is influential to consumers because corporations have a responsibility of compensating workers in accordance to union agreements and labor laws. When labor costs go high, the consumers will buy products and services at an elevated price. The increase in price is for the purpose of passing the costs of labor to the user of the product.

Reduce dollar investment

Many investors may fear investing in a company because of the risks of high costs, inflexible management, and stoppages of work. When making an investment, rate of return becomes a fundamental aspect to consider. If, there is a possibility of losing the money once invested, investors will use reduced the amounts. The risks make investors consider other alternatives of putting in their money. The unions are disadvantageous because they become an aspect of risk. Investors fear the losses that may emanate from union strikes, which may completely stop organizational operations. With the presence of unions, a strike means that that the entire body of workers ceases from contributing to organizational processes.

Union membership fees

Unions become disadvantageous because of the membership fees involved. All forms of union require a membership fee payable in regular terms. This process is inevitable for employees who want to be sure of their job security. The process may foster corruption and also the lack of liberty. Also, some organizations have made union membership paramount to new recruits.

Reduced productivity and motivation

Some workers may not put much effort ion organization operations because there is no fear of losing their jobs. This is brings negative impacts to the organization leading to low productivity. This happens because, with union membership, remuneration is a matter of position instead of performance. Employees become less motivated because incentives and increases in pay are lacking in unionized organizations (Griffin, 2011). The aspect of promotion and other aspects are lacking; hence reduced motivation and productivity are inevitable.

Prevents dismissal of incompetent workers

Since unions guarantee job security to employees, it is difficult to fire even the employees who are inherently unproductive. This situation makes organizations incur unnecessary costs while keeping workers who have low motivation (Saez, 2013). This is usually evident in government organizations where it becomes difficult to dismiss workers because the unions have rules which protect them. In such cases, unions become negative to organizational welfare.

Divides employees and the management

In order for organizations to achieve their objectives, both the management and…

Cite This Research Paper:

"Unions In America Today The Document Outlines" (2013, April 09) Retrieved January 21, 2018, from

"Unions In America Today The Document Outlines" 09 April 2013. Web.21 January. 2018. <

"Unions In America Today The Document Outlines", 09 April 2013, Accessed.21 January. 2018,