Workers become members of unions seeing the past record, strength of the union and the reputation of its leaders in the organization. Union security often works to the advantage of the organization as well, because in such a situation the management holds discussions with a representative body of the workers and comes out with requisite policies. In addition, the management also gets a feel of the shortcomings prevailing in the organization.
Ensuring the basic minimum wage standards: Law of the land stipulates some minimum wage for different types of jobs. But at times, some companies try to maximize their profits by cutting on the salaries and perks of their workers. The individual worker finds it difficult to raise his/her voice against such practices fearing adverse reaction from the management. But when such instances are taken up by the management, it helps in resolving the issues without any adverse impact on the individual worker.
Protection of the basic human rights of workers: While working in difficult situations like coal factories, steel furnaces, chemical and fertilizer industry, colder places etc. the workers are supposed to have some protective equipment or shorter working hours in the harmful conditions. In case the management tries to compromise on these aspects, unions try to highlight it with the management or at other appropriate forums.
Collective Bargaining Agreements: Quite often the wage stan...
fixed by the management in consultation with the workers representatives by way of mutual agreements termed as Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA).
Protection against discriminatory policies: If there are any effort by the management to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age etc. the union will take up the matter with the management.
Providing an informal forum to discuss problems concerning personal issues or official matters: Union meetings, conferences and conventions provide opportunities for interaction amongst the members, union representatives and the management. Quite often, it proves a very useful forum for coming out with remedial measures and taking feedback.
(3) Identify actions by Government that have tended to strengthened or weakened union security in the private sector.
Unions are not always liked by the government and the management, for a variety of reasons. Therefore the tug of war continues between the management and union representatives. Some actions of the government in the recent past which have resulted into strengthening the unions are;
i. Enacting laws protecting the rights of workers
ii. Fixing minimum wage standards and working hours
iii. Taking cognizance of the hazardous situations in which workers of some industries have to operate and stipulating the requirements for adequate safety precautions.
One of the key actions initiated by the governments which have resulted into weakening of the union movement is the excessive emphasis on outsourcing and contractual employment, which at times makes the workers ineligible for the membership of unions. Off-shoring and outsourcing implies that works are done by people in other countries, which again results in attrition in the organizations, thus weakening the unions.