While the responsibility for providing a safe work environment falls onto the employer and its Human Resources management team, it is the responsibility of the employee to comply with the rules that are required to ensure a safe working environment. In this brief outline, the phenomenon of Labor Unions will be critically analyzed and explored, discussing the purpose of a union, experience with unions from a Human Resource perspective, Good Faith, and a number of associated terms that bring clarity to the whole labor union movement.
Since before the 1950’s, United States employees have been fighting for equity, fairness, and to be treated with dignity and respect. It is through the labor union movement that the AFL-CIO was able to form and demand fair practices and acceptable working conditions on job sites all across America. The reasons why many workers from various industries came to join a union, and continue to do so to this day, is to ensure that their rights are preserved and that their health and safety are protected. In many cases, currently and historically, there are unfair practices going on around the world. American union members are now encouraging laborers in other countries to organize unions in order to do the same thing. Dressler states that as many as 14.7 million U.S. workers belong to unions, about 11.9% of the total (Dressler, 2013, p. 496) (Dessler, Human Resource Management, 13th Edition).
The views of this outline concerning labor unions have more to do with the theoretical discourse that is ascertained through reading both historical and current events. Its perspective is also influenced by images in the news media of labor union strikes displaying angry blue collar workers and picketers marching and shouting in front of their place of employment, or at least the corporate office. It has much less to do with the limited knowledge and experience on a professional level. With that caveat being