Pros and Cons of a Unionized Workforce

Subject: Workforce
Pages: 25
Words: 6940
Reading time:
24 min
Study level: College

Executive Summary

This literature review focuses on the pros and cons of a unionized workforce with regard to how it can affect various parameters in a business organization. Managers who are entitled with the duty of hiring, supervising and rewarding workers in an organization have been impacted by the prevalence of unionized workforce. The management strategy in place is more of a team approach than the issuance of orders to workers for certain duties to be performed. Through collaboration with employees in an organization, managers can tap the best of talents I the unionized workforce.

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On the other hand, there exist other alternatives and channels which can be used in addressing benefits due for workers as well as specific challenges facing both the business organization and its workforce. A coherent and more understanding approach can be put in place to address the emerging challenges. Employers can take an active role of treating workers with due respect and fairness. Even as unionized workforce is embraced in business organizations by workers, merits such as motivation of employees which in turn leads to increased firm output and hence higher profit margins cannot be ignored. However, in cases where unionized workforce has failed to reach a harmonious agreement with the employing firm, it can lead to industrial actions like go slows and strikes. Such attempts can lead to heavy losses and negatively impact on business operations of a firm.

Governments can also regulate the activities of the unionized workforce especially in the public sector where professionals who provide sensitive services like firefighting cannot be permitted to belong to a unionized workforce. Moreover, social and financial implications of unionized workforce include improved welfare and standards of living of workers.

Introduction to the Problem

A unionized workforce is a joint collaboration of workers in an organization who have a common goal of defending their terms and conditions of working. This union has to be formed within the provisions of the law and strict adherence to legal structures in place. Usually, a unionized workforce has its lawful team of elected officials who are mandated to bargain for the interests of the workers with the concerned employer. In course of the bargain, legally binding agreements are usually reached (Smith 1981). Agreements to do with wage level, working hours, procedural methods for forwarding complaints, the by-laws on hiring and firing of employees as well as raising the rank of employees can be deliberated upon by the leadership of a unionized workforce. In addition, the working welfare of employees especially in regard to safety concerns and any regulations to be followed are usually some of the pertinent issues surrounding a unionized workforce.

Background of the Study

The concept of a unionized workforce had its origins in Continental Europe when there was demanding need to legally seek ways and means of checking the excesses of employers in regard to how they treated employees. There was need for a more humane structural relationship between workers and employers. This ideological practice then spread throughout other parts of the world. Moreover, the need for a more harmonized unionized workforce was accentuated by the emergence of Industrial Revolution (Beaumont 1987). This era was marked by serious lack of skilled and competent laborers who were highly required to fill the knowledge gap due to the fast growing industrial innovation and invention. Consequently, most employers took advantage of the poorly skilled workers in terms of remuneration. Workers received low wages which were not commensurate with their inputs into industries. On the overall, workers were mistreated, a malpractice which led to incessant go-slows, demonstrations and strikes. However, individual bargains with employers did not yield much fruit thereby culminating into the formation of unionized workforce.

Statement of the Problem

There are a myriad of legal issues surrounding the formation and operation of a unionized workforce. Both the society and the business world are either directly or in directly affected by organized workforces in one way or the other. To begin with, a unionized workforce has the potential of organizing employees into unions from the lowest job group to the highest cadre. This on the other hand can prove to be disastrous especially if such unions are not run within the legal framework as required by the authority. Abuse of the mass power which emanates from a unionized workforce through organizing of strikes and demonstrations can on the other hand lead to losses both to the business unit and to working group. However, a well organized unionized workforce can ease the management of a firm through the involvement of workers in a holistic approach towards decision making. Poor and incoherent management of business organizations in relation to workers has been witnessed in organizational set ups where there are no legally recognized unionized workforces.

The demanding nature of certain types of unionized workforces is yet another legal problem caused by the establishment of such unions. In case there is lack of a common agreement reached between workers and employers, firm managers are often left with the task of seeking harmony within the contested issue. Depending on how this is handled, it can prove to be catastrophic especially if an industrial action is sought by a unionized workforce. Such actions might result into paralysis of the operations of a company hence leading to losses. In addition to increasing wage level of workers, a unionized workforce is found to be a powerful machinery in dealing with the challen ge posed by the operation of one fir m in the market. The concept is referred to as monopsony which can lead to workers being deprived of their rights at work place. This research paper looks at ways through employers can exploit workers in different levels of discharging their duties. Workers can be overworked and underpaid. This may lead to soaring relationship between the employing firm and the workers’ body. For instance, if an industry has full control of a particular geographical labour market, it can decide to set minimal wage limits which will on the other hand work towards depriving employees financially. Nevertheless, contemporary economies have the extent of market control by employers is highly regulated by both internal and external factors. External factors such as government regulation of labour laws can hinder such firms from going overboard in their recruitment and remuneration process.

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Another research statement being addressed is the financial impacts of a unionized workforce in an organization. Unionized workforce is believed to downplay the non-unionized form of labour. Those who support unionized labour argue that the higher pay outs which are usually pushed for by the respective unions cannot affect the financial stability of companies (Marjoribanks 2000). This additional wage in form of fringe benefits can be obtained from the portion of the profit which the firm makes. When this is achieved, employees will definitely be in a position to earn better and higher wages which will on the other hand motivate them to continue putting desirable efforts towards increasing the output of companies they are working for.

Purpose of the Research

The purpose of this research aims at developing the technical know-how on the performance of a unionized workforce compared to workforces which are not unionized. In retrospect, city has been observed that the origin of a unionized workforce came along with the dire need to protect the rights and privileges of workers in organizations. The inception of the idea was noble as can be observed from this genesis. However, as the concept became popular and spread to other parts of world, both the limitations and merits of this practice became more visible. That is why this research paper does not only consider the initial advantages that were associated with unionized workforces but also gives an in-depth analysis of the drawbacks of a unionized workforce. The discussion is classified into two broad areas namely the pros and cons of a unionized workforce. The importance of this research study cannot be over stated. It is definite that the socio-political and economic views surrounding the operations of a unionized workforce are rife with some employer camps attempting to oppose union activities at work places. On a similar note, it has also been observed that certain government employees may not belong to labour unions due to the sensitivity of their professions. It is therefore necessary to underscore both the merits and demerits of a unionized workforce to help enlighten the society in general.

Research Questions

This research paper seeks to give response to quite a number of questions which have not been sufficiently addressed in the past. To start with, the effect of a unionized workforce to the management system in an organization is discussed. Are there any due advantages of a unionized workforce to members of the managerial team or is the concept a liability both to the firm and management procedures? Secondly, this research also attempts adequately to investigate if there are other alternatives apart from a unionized workforce which can be used to channel specific challenges, disputes or relative benefits. Should workers and employers rely only on the establishment of unionized workforce in order to solve employment disputes? Are there other alternatives to this effect? Additionally, what are some of the impacts of legally instituted unionized workforce to business operations? Both the pros and cons are fairly discussed in respect to the well being of a business organization. Other research questions addressed in this paper include how the government involves itself in matters of legislation in regard to regulating the activities of a unionized workforce. Is the authority influence which emanates from the government a key factor in controlling union membership or not? Finally, what are some of the social and financial implications of a unionized workforce on productivity of global business operations?

Significance of the Research

By answering these pertinent questions, this research study will by no doubt give an incisive analysis and the redress needed to understand the operation portfolio of a unionized workforce.

In any working environment whereby there is an employer-employee relationship, matters of labour disputes usually arise. For this reason, workers’ movements have been formed to foresee the welfare of the working population. In cases where a hostile relationship exists between workers and the employer firm, unions have been formed to represent workers in their quest for better terms and conditions of working. One particular aspect under dispute between workers and employers is wages paid which most workers in both public and private organizations have had to protest over one time or the other.

As a result, unionized workforces have become a common feature in the employment sector whereby workers loin unions which in turn articulate their views directly to the employer. Being a labour issue, there are definitely the associated pros and cons of its practice both to the business organizations and workers themselves. It is however, common knowledge that a unionized workforce will mainly have a positive impact to the workforce with much of the limitations of such a union falling back on the employing firm. This paper explores the pros and cons of a unionized workforce in relation to business operations, organizational management, government and industry regulation as well as both the financial and social impacts.

Literature Review

Effect on organizational Management

Business management is increasingly becoming more sophisticated and demanding than ever before in regard to leadership skills which are usually needed especially in a unionized workforce. There are business responsibilities which are central to the task of managing a workforce which has got a universal representation for its needs. The contemporary business organizations as witnessed the dire need of involving workers in all grades within a firm in the tasking process of decision making so that there is harmony between the top business managers and the rest of the workforce. In retrospect, the challenge has been evaluated to be greater in a set up where employees are in an organized union. This has definitely altered the conventional roles f business mangers who were basically professionals bound with duty to issue orders to workers. The modern management system in a unionized workforce is rather consultative.

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Business managers who have implemented such consultative strategies with their workers have made it less imperative for employees to form unions and fight for better and sustainable deals at work place (Smith 1981). Moreover, due to the prevalence of unionized workforces in many organizations, adept business managers have come into the realization of the fact that pursuing the conventional dictatorial and enemy like relationships with workers does not yield any positive fruits as far as the global business economy is concerned. Managers have realized that the best way to improve an organization’s output is by harnessing small harmonious teams and groups within an organization which are then assisted out on how to cooperate and meet certain targets within set time. As a result, management strategies have greatly changed with the existence of unionized workforce which requires constant consultation to ensure each individual need is well catered for.

Another significant impact of unionized workforce to management is that it has made the latter to actively participate in management roles which are primarily aims at making the workers happy and contended with their line of duty. This has been used to avert crisis which may emanate out of employee dissatisfaction in the event of poor or sometimes misunderstood policies. Therefore, the roles of managers in organizations where unionized workforces prevail have greatly been changed due to the incessant demands by workers.

Nevertheless, this seeming control of managerial roles by unionized workforces might not be productive when exercised beyond certain level. There are instances when certain demands from unionized workers may lack realism. In such cases, the managerial roles in leadership has to come in handy to expound such demands and how negatively it can affect the operations of a firm.

Human resource mangers have assumed new responsibilities. These new duties are as a result of unionized workforces which are equally demanding in terms of how their issues are handled at the managerial level. At the point of compliance professional managers agree to work with collaborative teams in an organization, the demanding and remarkable roles of the latter will be going down with time. This is true in the case whereby these business managers adopt and implement an open administrative system which encompasses multilateral approach to issues affecting workers. This will also assist mangers to focus on the key goals of the organization.

In the course of developing a harmonious working environment, mangers have had to improve on their communication skills t be able to effectively deliver the desired messages to workers. New forms of business studies which target business managers have been developed in order to effectively cater for this communication need.

The pros and cons do exist in a unionized workforce both on the side of the management and workers. According to Jenkins & Sherman (1977), the prevalence of unions in work places will make managements develop clear and concise rules and regulations which will enable them to harmonize the managerial procedures alongside fulfilling the needs of the workforce. The intense pressure which sometimes emanate from the unions themselves will trigger the management team to draft guidelines which will act as action points towards meeting the organizational goals and long term objectives.

Through a well organized workforce, the management will be positively impacted by thorough understanding of cost implications in relation to hiring of human resource. This understanding may not be feasible in a labour environment where the employer is the only architect in the bargain process. When management practices leads to increased output from an organization, the management will equally enjoy higher wages due to their superb performance (Smith 1981). This is definitely good news to the management team which obviously are faced with day to day duties of making sure that the firms they are managing meet the market goals.

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When embroiled in negotiations with a team from a unionized workforce, it is generally more economical than engaging a single a single individual in such negotiations. Hence, addressing the concerns of a unionized workforce is easier because the needs of a larger group are catered for by a common approach. This can save an organization both time and finical resources.

The cons for a unionized workforce cannot be overlooked either. For instance, it is commonplace to encounter a workforce which is not flexible in articulating its issues ad concerns. As much as the process of management of an organization alongside its workers requires understanding and flexibility, there are some instances when unionized workforces are not ready to change their views or demands. This can be disturbing to management and can negatively impact on the overall management of a firm. In cases where there are no unanimous decisions reached, industrial actions may follow and such detestable acts such as strikes can demean the gains which have already been achieved by the organization over time.

Alternatives to address specific benefits / problems

Apart from resorting to the formation of unions to assist in the resolution of labour conflicts, there are other open channels which employees can utilize to address their work specific concerns (Dundon & Rollinson 2004). For instance, I f employees enter into a contractual agreement with the business organization they are working with, it will assist I creating a harmonious working environment in which both the employer and workers clearly understand their rights, roles and privileges as pertains to the terms of agreement contained in the contract. This alternative to the formation of a unionized workforce can assist eliminate the dispute gap which usually exists employers and unions representing workers.

In order to address specific benefits which workers are entitled to, managers in a business organization have the option of running an open system of administration. This can be achieved through various ways. For instance, it is the noble responsibility of firm managers to ensure fair treatment of workers at all times. Usually, the main cause of concern that leads to the formation of a unionized workforce is the inability of employers to build a trustworthy and fair working environment for its employees. It is therefore upon the employer and the employees to adopt alternative measures which can adequately address arising labour disputes.

Impact on business operations

A unionized workforce has a tendency of fighting for the rights of employees in an organization. The championing for the welfare of employees can take different forms some of which may be disastrous to business operations of a company. This type of a workforce often guarantees higher wages which on the negative end creates a highly competitive labour environment. If the labour market becomes extremely at the center of attention, it can create a acute lack of employment because firms will only hire a specific number of employees who will be paid highly at the expense of many others not employed. In addition, the coercive method used by unionized workforce to demand for better wage deals can grossly impact on the day to day business operations of a firm. For example, there are several instances when unionized workforces have engaged business operations in industrial actions through strikes and go slows. Such acts mainly witnessed in organized labour force can act as catalysts in pushing back the operations of a business through loss in working hours.

In the same vein, a unionized workforce in a firm with minimal number of employees who are receiving optimum wages can trigger a phenomenon called market wage imbalance where the individual average wage paid out to workers is above the equilibrium value which can be sustained by the market at the present time (Dundon & Rollinson 2004). This will enrich workers on one side while at the same time fleecing the organization they are working for. It will equally be cumber some for the business operation to effectively meet its financial obligation like purchase of raw materials if it is a manufacturing firm and so on.

Government or industry regulation

A unionized workforce can sometimes be considered to be harmful to the operation of a business activity. There are certain activities which can be conducted by unionized workforces that can be detrimental to the success and well being of an organization. This is why there is a portion of professionals who may not be liable and fit to form or belong in a unionized workforce. Moreover, governments have put in place various rules and regulations which govern the operation f these unionized workforce so that they do not go overboard in their quest for rights and privileges.

Similarly, there are those professional officers who serve mainly the public sector whose services are highly needed at any given time. A case example is the police officers who are charged with the duty of maintaining law and order. If such a group will go into strike for whatever reason, it can be disastrous to the nation at large. On the same note, fire fighters and other emergency responders at the scene of accidents are equally sensitive group of professionals who may not be allowed by law to be part of an organized workforce represented by a union. On this account, unionized workforce can lead to catastrophic outcome if such sensitive areas of operation are affected by go-slows, strikes and other forms of labour struggles. The worst challenge which is faced by both the government and departments which host such important services is the strategy which can b used to resolve labour disputes without necessarily engaging in a tuff war which can lead to heavy losses of both human life and valued property. Moreover, the worst managerial challenges emanate from such cases whereby managers have to resolve such challenges without causing any harm. Unionized workforces which comprise very demanding sections of the public service are faced with tough decisions to make whenever such eventualities come on their way.

On the contrary, privately run firms and business organizations are purely focused towards making higher gains. They are therefore liable beyond any reasonable doubt to provide the best for their employees. In such a case, the formation of unionized workforce to foresee the interests, welfare and fair treatment of workers is a welcome idea. Indeed, most private firms have had to go through tussles with workers unions which have been on the bargain side of employee. Needles to say, unionized workforce in private sector is undoubtedly a welcome idea but not in some public sector departments which are highly sensitive to be left at the mercy of labour dispute.

Issues governing regulation of unionized workforce in the public sector has been streamlined a great deal by most governments because different situations present themselves differently when both the public and private sector jobs are brought into discussion board. Although the public sector still has some level of unionized workforce in some selected departments, managers I these departments find themselves in a fix at times when they cannot enforce certain laws and regulations regarding work ethics due to poor incentive and reward programs of employees compared to the private sector where such values are keen issues in the managerial agenda. In some instances, workers in the public sector do not receive fair and ethical treatment while they have to contend with the prevailing situation so as to maintain their work status. For a fact, unionized workforce performs dismally in regard to championing for the welfare of workers. This is inevitable due to an upper hand which governments have on its employees. In practice, there are a myriad of anti union laws which blatantly restrict unionized workers from receiving the full benefit of their service endeavors.

Impact on productivity of global businesses operations

According to Beaumont (1987), the level of productivity of workers is not only measured in terms of profit accrued by a business organization. It is also evaluated in terms of the overall global business operation which is measured on a large scale depicting the value obtained by both the firm and the individual worker. In essence, a unionized workforce may in some instances breed negligence among workers who have a preconceived idea that a union is in pace to fight for their rights irrespective of the work complains from the employer which may sometimes be genuine. Although the modern economies seem to be less vibrant when it comes to unionized workforce, it should be noted that this has been facilitated so much by the slow growth in the sectors which handle goods while the service sector has continued to thrive. In the case of the service industry, employment terms are usually very different from the manufacturing sector. This is evident from the fact service industry jobs are sometimes not permanent and are done in part time basis. In such cases, the presence of a unionized workforce may as well jeopardize the well being of these temporary workers. This is because an employee with temporary job tenure can easily be dismissed with a very flimsy reason. If a unionized workforce would exist in such an employment set up, then workers may not enjoy the benefits associated with a free and harmonious working condition. It is unfortunate to learn that few employers would be ready to hire temporary workforce who at the same time belong to a union. On the same note, workers who will not belong to a unionized workforce due to temporal nature of their jobs stand to miss out on the benefits.

Another merit of a unionized workforce is the ability to negotiate for better deals between the employer and employee. Whenever an employer feels that there is room for expansion, he can opt to discuss the details with the workers before such ideas can be fully implemented. In the deliberations, different thoughts are shared out which are not only beneficial to firm workers but also to the industrial setting itself. Unlike in the case of a unilateral decision being made by the employer, a unionized workforce ensures clarity and coherence in issues related to firm’s expansion and so on. In the end, such unanimous decisions will help the firm to improve its output in production. If this is the case, then it is inevitable that employees in a unionized workforce will have a higher chance of being paid higher wages (Beaumont 1987).

On the other had, such consultations which are usually done in a unionized workforce may prove to be counterproductive in the long run. Bearing in mind that it involves decision making, the final verdict on proposals put forward by a company will take a long period of time. It is a cumbersome work to engage the entire workforce of a firm in elements of decision making. This will create a long trail of events before important implementations can be effected. Besides, it is often not definite that when employees are put to task in matters of decision making that a positive feedback will be obtained at the end. Additional resources can be carried to organize meetings among other utilities. Should this be the case, then a unionized workforce can be a liability and counterproductive in some cases. If a form ends up at a loss, workers will equally experience the impact of this downfall. In some unfortunate cases, low productivity deals may result into lower wages.

The strength of unionized workforce has further been affected by the devastating effects of globalization which has been coupled with subsequent loss of employment opportunities. However, in looking into its advantages, it has managed to defend the rights of workers who have been affected by job losses. The productivity of these affected workers could have gone down completely were it not for the role played unionized workforce. Similarly, the high competition for the few slots of available employment opportunities both in the developed and developing world has witnessed the important role played by unionized workforce.

Social implications

In a unionized workforce, employees stand a chance of benefiting from social amenities which are products of union bargain. In cases where workers are not represented in a union, there are usually several reported cases of labour misuse coupled with exploitation of workers who have little say as far as their social welfare is concerned(Colgan.& Ledwith 2003). For example, workers who operate on very dangerous zones in industries and are not well covered just in case they incur accidents in course of duty are greatly disadvantaged. In the event of healthy risks encountered, it is often cumbersome for a single employee to push for the necessary compensation. This may be due to several reasons. To begin with, a non-union worker who is not represented at any level has a weak legal mechanism of seeking for justice in the event of accidents arising from work zones. Moreover, this non-union worker may equally be in a financial position to adequately deal with the all powerful employer whom is well endowed with financial resources. Therefore, a unionized workforce can sufficiently ensure that workers who may not be having access to legal representation are equally catered for in case of an eventuality.

Nonetheless, membership into a unionized workforce in order to pursue fair social benefits may lead to negative effects both to the firm in question and the entire labour force (Marjoribanks 2000). For example, in the event of a legal action taken by the union representing workers, there is a possibility that huge sums of money will be spent in pursuing the course of justice which is usually long and resource consuming. Additionally, the firm affected will end up losing a lot of time resources which could have been dedicated towards innovation and increasing the level of production.

The pros in social implications are numerous. A unionized workforce upon meeting its goals will feel the strength of support gained from the community within the firm. In other words, the value of communal gain due to the collective pursuit of common interests will be experienced by workers who belong to a union. Similar to the management of the firm, a unionized workforce will be able to follow clearly drafted rules and regulations which have been agreed upon between them and the organization they are serving. These vivid rules set down will eliminate any doubts on the terms of agreement unanimously agreed upon.

Workers who do not belong to any union usually work under fear and sometimes highly intimidated in organizations which do not practice ethical values in management. In contrast, a unionized workforce has the guts to air its views to the firm they are in through the representation by the union. This can be done very safely without the fear of losing ones job or even being demoted. Besides, arising matters can be articulated upon with the urgency and seriousness it deserves than in the case of one person presenting his or her views to the management. This has seen unionized workforce membership enjoy their job security for as long as they adhere to the organization’s code of conduct.

Financial impacts

One of the advantages of a unionized workforce is the ability of members getting higher wages through the art of collective bargaining. Unionized workforces have a unique bargaining power on the wages which each of the individual member earns. Compared to non-unionized workforces, the former has a fair representation of each worker regardless of where they are working (Colgan.& Ledwith 2003). Due to increased wages and salaries, each union worker is bound ton benefit from the financial impact of increase in revenue. This is a positive attribute to union workers bearing in mind that the main purpose of securing employment and working for these firms is to earn better salaries and wages which will later translate into their well being. On the other hand, workers who belong to a non-unionized workforce may not be in a position ton enjoy such union fringe benefits.

Apart from increasing wage earning level of employees, a unionized workforce can effectively deal with the dominance of one or a few firms in the market. This is referred to as monopsony. When one or a few firms take control of the bargaining power for labour, it leads into an inevitable situation of workers being overworked while at the same time receiving marginal pay levels. For instance, if an industry has full control of a particular geographical labour market, it can decide to set minimal wage limits which will on the other hand work towards depriving employees financially. Nevertheless, contemporary economies have the extent of market control by employers is highly regulated by both internal and external factors. External factors such as government regulation of labour laws can hinder such firms from going overboard in their recruitment and remuneration process.

A unionized workforce may aptly lead to quite a myriad of financial impacts in an organization. Unionized workforce is believed to downplay the non-unionized form of labour. Those who support unionized labour argue that the higher pay outs which are usually pushed for by the respective unions cannot affect the financial stability of companies (Marjoribanks 2000). This additional wage in form of fringe benefits can be obtained from the portion of the profit which the firm makes. When this is achieved, employees will definitely be in a position to earn better and higher wages which will on the other hand motivate them to continue putting desirable efforts towards increasing the output of companies they are working for.

There is however, another fact which stipulates that slightly over 70 per cent of the total revenue earned by a country goes towards settling wage bill. At the same time, less than eight per cent is left as profit after the deduction of all tax elements. If this is taken to be true, then there is no provision for higher wages than the normal expected rates. In the vent all the profits gained after a certain fiscal period is utilized in paying out for the extra wage bill, it will still not be possible for unionized workers to receive the higher pay they expect. Moreover, profits earned by a firm over a given financial period are usually ploughed back into the business. This will on the other hand, affect the initially invested capital by increasing it (Curran 2007). An increase in capital margin of a business enterprise will lead to a higher demand for labour to provide mechanism through which the increased capital will be reinvested and grown further. If more labour will be required to grow the additional capital, it will imply that a business organization will be compelled to hire additional personnel to suffice the deficit. On the overall, the company will end up hiring more workers but with minimal market wage which is not beyond the equilibrium point.

Additionally, it should be understood that if a company decides to eliminate profits in its accounting procedures, then there will be no way at all of making any upward adjustments to the minimum wage. When all these considerations are put into mind, then the presence of a unionized workforce which is rigid and pushing for higher wages beyond what the market can hold is detrimental to any business operation. In some other applications, business organizations can only afford to increase the wage level of about ten to fifteen per cent of workers in an entire organization at the expense of effecting pay cuts from eighty five to ninety per cent of the total employees in an organization. If this is undertaken, then the profit margin of a business enterprise will not be affected at all (Jenkins & Sherman1977).

Another consideration worth noting is the number of workers who are under a union. While the union representation fights for higher wages of the unionized workforce, the remaining lot of employees who are often the majority and not under any union are left unattended to as far as their wage increment is concerned. Therefore, a unionized workforce is a sure ingredient for harming a non-unionized workforce especially if the former are given due consideration and first priority in matters of pay increase (Smith 1981). Both forms of labour whether unionized or not are equal contributors to the workforce requirement of a firm and therefore deserves to be treated fairly. Moreover, when members of both a unionized and non-unionized workforce coexist in the same organization, rewarding the former by higher wages and ignoring the latter may lead to conflict of interest by the employer.

Recommendations

There are several recommendations which can be made as far as the pros and cons of a unionized workforce are concerned. To begin with, it is imperative to note that when workers join forces to fight for their common interests and welfare, it implies that there is some degree of discontent among them. Alternatively, it could infer lack of trust between the employer and the union in question. For this reason, it is highly recommended that the employing firms should work towards creating an environment of trust between them and workers. It is indeed factual that in an atmosphere of mistrust, productivity is equally hampered. Workers who operate in a free atmosphere are naturally found to be more productive.

In addition, managers should do away with the old dictatorial and bureaucratic ways of management which looked down upon employees. If team work can be embraced at all levels of the working groups in an organization, increased output can be achieved. Moreover, business managers need to incorporate all employees of a company workforce in the process of decision making. It is a common managerial mistake to exclude employees in the decision making process which affects them on their day to day work. By so doing, workers will feel honored and highly valued by the organization. This state of feeling has a direct positive impact on the way they (workers) will dedicate and commit themselves to the well being of the organization. Fortunately, an increase in output and therefore profit margin of an organization will translate into better wage return for both the management and the rest of the workforce. In a nutshell, if these recommendations are taken into account by business managers, it will resolve the need of unionized workforce in their organizations. Although there are some merits of unionized workforce, it is a labour tradition that has been passed by age due to the seeming application of force in articulating views and concerns.

Conclusion

In summing up this paper, it is worth noting that a unionized workforce can be a very vital tool to be used by workers I the articulation of their views and concerns. This system of resolving disputes at work place as well as creating a harmonious environment has its own merits and demerits. For example, a unionized workforce has the potential of ensuring that payment of wages is appropriate as per the market levels. In addition, business management who have implemented consultative strategies with their workers have made it less imperative for employees to form unions and fight for better and sustainable deals at work place. Moreover, due to the prevalence of unionized workforces in many organizations, adept business managers have come into the realization of the fact that pursuing the conventional dictatorial and enemy like relationships with workers does not yield any positive fruits as far as the global business economy is concerned. Managers have realized that the best way to improve an organization’s output is by harnessing small harmonious teams and groups within an organization which are then assisted out on how to cooperate and meet certain targets within set time. As a result, management strategies have greatly changed with the existence of unionized workforce which requires constant consultation to ensure each individual need is well catered for. Professionals who serve the public sector whose services are highly needed at any given time may not be allowed by law to join unionized workforce. A case example is the police officers who are charged with the duty of maintaining law and order. If such a group will go into strike for whatever reason, it can be disastrous to the nation at large. On the same note, fire fighters and other emergency responders at the scene of accidents are equally sensitive group of professionals who may not be allowed by law to be part of an organized workforce represented by a union. On this account, unionized workforce can lead to catastrophic outcome if such sensitive areas of operation are affected by go-slows, strikes and other forms of labour struggles. The worst challenge which is faced by both the government and departments which host such important services is the strategy which can b used to resolve labour disputes without necessarily engaging in a tuff war which can lead to heavy losses of both human life and valued property. Moreover, the worst managerial challenges emanate from such cases whereby managers have to resolve such challenges without causing any harm. Unionized workforces which comprise very demanding sections of the public service are faced with tough decisions to make whenever such eventualities come on their way. Union representation battles for higher wages of a unionized workforce, other employees who are often the majority and not under any union are left unattended to as far as their wage increment is concerned. Therefore, a unionized workforce is a sure ingredient for harming a non-unionized workforce especially if the former are given due consideration and first priority in matters of pay increase. Both forms of labour whether unionized or not are equal contributors to the workforce requirement of a firm and therefore deserves to be treated fairly. Finally, both unionized and non-unionized workforce coexists in the same organization and they deserve to be given fair treatment as a way of maintaining work ethics.

Reference List

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