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Labour Unions
updated by rck, 2005-01-20

Here's a summary for the Business English 1 lectures I've been attending this term. Today is the end-test, so it's a bit late. Then again, we did that topic last week so it's not as late as it might seem.

Why not to join the union?

There are so many benefits you get by joining the union it seems. So why could there be people that don't want to join the union?

Sharon Renshaw puts it this way:

“Well my first guess would be that they wanted to move to upper management, and that would make them look good, if they didn't join.”

And then, there's religion.

“And what I've seen here where I work is that some have religious objections to it.”

Reasons to join the union.

Reading the first paragraph, I immediately thought, that joining the union would be a bad idea. Sure, you have a couple of benefits. But on the other hand, you'll never get to management. What are Sharons experiences on that?

“when I first started here I was in the union. I was forced to , agency shop. now I'm management.”

So basically, Sharon was forced to pay the union dues. Still, she also pointed out that the union gives additional job security. And that's a nice thing, from a workers point of view.

Why management could like unions.

Because it eases negotiations. As a manager, you would have to negotiate with every single employee. Sharons company has over 17 thousands of them! It's easier to negotiate with only 25 labour unions instead There's that concept of collective bargaining.

On the other hand, Wal-mart, one of Americas biggest companies, keeps the union out of their business.

Objections of the management.

Why is that? Why could companies dislike unions? You've probably already guessed it by now. Unions interfere with management rights. A company can't promote good workers, they will all be payed the same based on seniority.

Also, a company cannot choose, whom it wants to keep and whom it wants to throw out. Then there's crosstraining -- unions don't like it, companies on the other hand often need it.

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