The Adaptability and Pragmatism of British Trade Unions

The Adaptability and Pragmatism of British Trade Unions

Document details
Category: Business Studies Essay
Subcategory: Business Administration
Words: 1554
Pages: 2

Trade Unions - a future? "A trade union is an independent self-regulating organization of workers created to protect and advance the interests of its members through collective action." Over recent years, it has become fashionable in many quarters to write off Britain's trade unions, to label them as obsolete institutions out of touch with new realities and incapable of change. In today's world of individual employment contracts, performance-related pay schemes, Human Resource and Total Quality Management and all the other ingredients of the so-called 'new' workplace, trade unions are often regarded as anachronistic obstacles preventing success of the market economy. As collective voluntary organizations that represent employees in the workplace, it is argued trade unions no longer serve a useful purpose. The main priority of this essay is to represent the arguments for and against the relevance of trade unions in today's working society. Furthermore, I shall comment on the future of the trade union movement, based upon the facts and findings that helped construct this text. Trade unions exist because an individual worker has very little power to influence decisions that are made about his or her job. The greatest advantage in joining a trade union is because, by doing so, individuals possess more chance of having a voice and influence in their place of work. By joining forces with other workers, an individual's opinions and beliefs regarding their job will also be voiced by other union members, thus creating a stronger stance against management, if needed. Therefore, the main purpose of a trade union is to protect and improve people's pay and conditions of employment. This objective is usually achieved through negotiation and representation. Negotiation is where union representatives discuss with management, issues which affect people working in an organization. The union finds out the members' views and relays these views to management. Pay, working hours, holidays and changes to working practices are the sort of issues that are negotiated. However, not all...

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