Resultantly workforce diversity has become a major concern and Diversity Management has emerged as an important aspect of HRM.
"Workforce diversity has, indeed, become an imperative for organizational competitiveness and effectiveness and diversity management is increasingly becoming a principle of human resources management. Forces like globalization and internationalization of public issues contribute to expand the flow of labor across national boundaries and facilitate the constant exchange of materials, as well as symbolic and human resources. To remain competitive, organizations must adapt to and manage these environmental forces". [Ospina,2001].
Such diversity has serious implications for any organization, business concern and, indeed, the national economy. Therefore its management forms an important part of policies and regulations these days. At the same time more and more players are entering into this field to reap the benefits that it envisages. The concept of diversity management is that "an organization can effectively manage the differences between employees to the benefit of business objectives. The ultimate aim of diversity management is to utilize the best qualities and ideas of all of the different people in the organization in such a way as to reap diversity dividends in the form of measurable business outcomes." [Nankervis et al, 2005].
According to Samson and Daft "There are three necessary steps to changing corporate culture in an organization. The first is to work on the culture so diversity is valued, the second is to provide the supporting policies and structures for diversity, and the third is to provide diversity training." [Samson and Daft, 2003]. Trade unions are perhaps the most vital link in bringing about these changes.
Unions are important for both individuals and companies alike. Good unions work with employers to help their members manage any difficulties they may have with their working lives. The migrant workers face many difficulties in Britain for which trade unions can play an effective role in their solution. These problems are:-
Recruitment and Conditions of Employment. Many migrants need help in finding suitable employment because of a number of reasons e.g. insufficient proficiency in English for the post, being unaware of the job market trend and recruitment formalities etc
Language Problems. Some migrants may have little or no knowledge of English. Though they may have required educational back-ground in their native language, but this aspect makes them unable to understand safety manuals or health regulations. Moreover, long working hours, pattern of shifts, transport and finance problems, and family obligations are some of the barriers in gaining the required proficiency of the language. Research has also shown that the smaller the community the more limited the information it gets about health and safety regulations and opportunities for improvement.
Skills Training. Many migrants may need skill straining while taking up employment in Britain. It may be training from the scratch or enhancement of skill because of standards and regulations different from their native country.
Induction, Orientation and Access to Services. Migrating and settling in a new country poses a number of problems which go beyond the job and work-place. These may be familiarization