Trade Unions and Globalization Essay
Trade Unions and Globalization
Globalization is an inescapable concept considering the effect it may have on trade unions. Because of the challenges globalization has often imposed on trade unions, solutions are required to quickly mitigate these problems which may affect the proper working of trade unions. A clear understanding as well as critical appreciation is required at all levels of trade unions about the concept of globalization and the effect it may have.
Globalization process is highly dynamic and leaders have not been able to capture rapidly changing issues (International Labor Organization, 2007). It involves the process of integrating local and national markets into one large global market. The market referred in globalization usually includes technology market and capital market as well as the goods and services. To some extent, labor market is also included in this integration. There are always disputes that are left unresolved in the fast changing economic environment.
Challenges of globalization have found a resting place in trade unions. However, trade unions have to be prepared in dealing with any challenge that may appear to be caused by globalization. Some of the challenges of globalization to trade unions include intellectual, economic, technological, organizations, political, social and the spread of negatives (International Labor Organization, 2007). Trade unions face a great social challenge in addressing the disparity between the poor and the rich. Although some have argued that globalization has some social benefits, there are issues related to the balance in economic standards among people in all social classes.
The political effects of globalization to the nation equally affect trade unions. The surrendering of the hegemonic power by the nations neutralizes trade unions to become powerless (International Labor Organization, 2007). The other challenge is the threat of the changing technology and the gap associated thereof. While developed nation have access to modern technology, poor countries have an extra mile to reach the required standards. Trade unions face this great technological challenge to effectively automate their functions.
What trade unions should do
In order to deal with challenges posed by trade unions, it is important that trade unions be built with the capacity to effectively function on behalf of the members. Trade unions are also supposed to organize the formal and informal sectors in order to address various challenges such as the social, economical and technological issues (International Labor Organization, 2007). In networking with other civil society agents, trade unions will be able to deal with various problems encountered in the process of globalization.
The fundamental labor rights for all workers have to be promoted and respected if trade unions are to achieve any progress (Reese, & Aquirre, 2004). This way the challenges that come due to diversity in races and other difference in workplaces will be addressed. A tripartite social dialogue expansion can be considered and the development of social compacts can be of necessity. Trade unions may also be required to develop strategies which can improve the competitiveness and relations in the cooperative labor (International Labor Organization, 2007). Other solutions such as those addressed to technological challenges will need to be applied. Trade unions can use information and communication technology in creation of networks that condemn business practices that are contrary to business ethics .
The importance of globalization to trade unions should be considered so that benefits associated with the integration of local and national markets can be reaped to maximum. If the challenges of globalization that are relevant to trade unions are not identified, there should be little to expect to come out of globalization which is claimed to transform the world.
International Labor Organization. (2007). Trade Unions and Globalization: Trends, Challenges and Responses. Retrieved May 25, 2010, from http://www.ilo.org/global/About_the_ILO/Media_and_public_information/Feature_stories/lang–en/WCMS_087711/index.htm
Reese, E., & Aquirre, A. (2004). Introduction: The Challenges fro Workers: Transnational and Transborder Issues. Social Justice, 31, 12-31.