Free Essay SamplesAbout UsContact Us Order Now

Union Labor Laws

0 / 5. 0

Words: 1100

Pages: 4

34

Name:
Course:
Tutor:
Date:
Union Labor Laws
Labor unions surfaced during the 19th century as momentous political lobby groups. Workers formed groups to address issues such as low wages, long working hours and the lack of safety regulations in the workplace. They allowed employees to have input and the power to make decisions where the management was previously the sole authority. However, the 21st century labor force has created unions that are more of a luxury than a prerequisite. While they offer a variety of direct and indirect benefits to employees, unions may also have various demerits to employers, such as the enactment of stricter labor legislations to govern workers’ rights in relation to the unions.
Unions may be frustrating to the management, especially in instances when the relationship between the two is not harmonious. The result may be frivolous accusations or irrational resistance to decisions by the management. While this may be an essential advantage for employees, it creates a momentous impediment for managers. Unions tend to prevent disciplining employees or termination even in cases where such actions are permissible.
According to Weiler (76), the laws that govern labor unions cause considerable restraints on an organization’s management powers. They provide union leaders with means of influencing employees on various aspects. An organization’s management is constrained on the decisions it can make regarding its workers without the involvement of union leaders.

Wait! Union Labor Laws paper is just an example!

As a result, these restrictions inhibit an organization’s ability to achieve the set goals. An unionized workforce makes it difficult for the management to reward employees on the basis of productivity, merit or other subjective parameters. The majority of labor unions bargain the rules applicable in a workplace, opting for means that protect and promote workers on the basis of seniority instead of merit. The ability of the management to discipline employees is significantly reduced since the applicable union rules and responses on such matters limit the available options of dealing with less productive workers.
One of the primary roles of labor unions is to push for higher wages. Higher wages consequently increase a firm’s labor costs. Research shows that workers who are the member of a union earn about 22 percent more than their counterparts without a union. Collective bargaining allows employees to consult each other prior to appointing a representative to negotiate their benefits, wages and working conditions, increasing the overall cost of production. Increased production costs may reduce a company’s competitiveness when the company has to price its goods higher than those of the competition to accommodate the extra costs. Cooper and Catherine (104) note that collective bargaining results in an organization paying more to less productive and unskilled workers. Labor unions provide ways of adjusting workers’ benefits such as pension plans in favor of the workers. In addition, the requirement by labor union laws for every organization to retain a specific number of employees irrespective of the organization’s economic state creates additional strain on an organization. Companies that have hired unionized workers can hardly reduce their workforce even in times of crises without consulting with their respective unions. Sherk (32) argues that the fair wages advocated by unions imply an equal remuneration for all employees. Accordingly, employees who deserve higher wages are not rewarded for their efforts. This scenario reduces staff morale since there is no incentive for hard work, better performance or higher productivity.
A commonly debated issue regarding labor unions is the legality of workers’ strikes. Workers who feel that the set rules on benefits, wages or working conditions have not been met are legally permitted to engage in strikes. Federal legislations stringently limit a firm’s ability to lay off striking workers. Strikes result in direct losses to an organization in terms of lost production. The indirect costs of strikes include bad publicity for an organization, which may lead to the decline in sales levels in compassionate customers decide to boycott a company’s products or services. Previous relationships with commercial customers or vendors may be ruined if the vendors and customers anticipate the company’s inability to settle its bills or delivery of products (Weiler 83).
According to Fossum (57), laws governing labor unions are designed in such a way as to create equality between employers and the unions. However, these directives have serious drawbacks affecting both employers and members of the unions. For instance, the means employed to ascertain the levels of good faith in the bargaining process are not clearly outlined. Consequently, there is no precise technique of appraising the objectives of either party to the collective bargaining process. A union with ulterior motives may cause significant financial and time losses to an organization. Moreover, in the absence of any stipulation for coercing the parties towards an amicable agreement may prolong the process, leading to detrimental effects on an organization’s operations (Simon Par. 2-3).
Unions may result in increased legal suits and arbitrations for an organization. They create more challenges in issues of dealing with workers’ statuses. A non-union worker may lack the will or the financial resources necessary to dispute matters such as demotion, discrimination, alleged harassment, termination or lack of promotion. However, employees who belong to a union may feel motivated to file lawsuits or appeal the actions of their employers, and may receive the support of their respective unions to doing so (Estlund and Michael 96).
Union laws also have intrinsic weaknesses. Hall and Judy (122) note that the requirement by the “right-to-work” bill that all employees should be represented by a union, not necessarily as members of the union, affects the unions’ earnings. Such policies may cripple labor unions, affecting the capacity to influence worker’s wages. Hall and Judy (125) point to a potential severance between employers and their staff, which may limit a company’s productivity. Such regulations overstrain unions while limiting their sources of funding, thereby constraining their activities. The subsequent decrease in bargaining power may result in lower wages, reduced morale and slower economic growth for the employees. Gains that result from such rules only benefit the business owners, but are not mirrored in the workers’ earnings. In addition, there is a challenge of telling between the effects of these regulations and those of other state and federal laws in an organization (Plumer Par. 3).
Sherk (46) argues that the rate of joining labor unions has either declined or stagnated, which he attributes to an array of factors, including the numerous constraints in labor laws. Labor laws have not been amended for ages and have thus become outdated. For instance, some laws proscribe individual employees from airing their issues or grievances, however, necessary it may seem. Some clauses prohibit employees from taking part in Employee Involvement Programs, although such initiatives may enhance the skills of the employees. Accordingly, an organization stands to lose both personnel and organizational growth.
While labor unions provide a wealth of benefits to workers, the overall effect of their activities to an organization is negative. Unions always argue in favor of their members, without regard to the effect of their actions to the organization, including increased costs, low productivity, loss of competitiveness and loss of essential company time. The laws that govern such unions partly contribute to these woes and need to be amended.

Works Cited
Cooper, Laura J, and Catherine L Fisk. Labor Law Stories. New York: Foundation Press, 2005.Print.
Estlund, Cynthia, and Michael L Wachter. Research Handbook on the Economics of Labor andEmployment Law, 2011. Print.
Fossum, John A. Labor Relations. Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2002. Print.
Hall, Dee, and Judy Newman. ‘Union Leaders Say Right-To-Work Bill Will Affect Earnings.’Wisconsin State Journal (2015): n. pag. Print.
Plumer, Brad. ‘What Do ‘Right-To-Work’ Laws do to a State’s Economy?’ Washington Post. N.P., 2012. Web. 29 June 2015.
Sherk, James. ‘Labor Unions: Declining Membership Shows Labor Laws Need Modernizing.’The Heritage Foundation. N.P., 2013. Web. 29 June 2015.
Simon, Scott. ‘How Will Right-To-Work Law Affect Unions?’ NPR.org. N.P., 2012. Web. 29June 2015.
Weiler, Paul C. Governing the Workplace. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2009.Print.

Get quality help now

Thomas Rangel

5,0 (438 reviews)

Recent reviews about this Writer

I couldn't be happier with the essay provided by StudyZoomer. The writer's expertise and dedication shone through every paragraph. Truly exceptional work!

View profile

Related Essays

Cyberattack Brief

Pages: 1

(275 words)

Recism and Health

Pages: 1

(275 words)

THe US trade dificit

Pages: 1

(275 words)

Politics in our daily lives

Pages: 1

(275 words)

History Islam Text 2

Pages: 1

(275 words)

Bishop Stanley B Searcy Sr

Pages: 1

(275 words)

Phar-Mor

Pages: 1

(550 words)