The reason being, they both had very different beliefs and perspectives on laborers, working conditions and benefits. In this paper, we will briefly discuss the start of unionization, the roles that both management and unions play in an organization and some strategies that can help management and unions create a better irking relationship with one another.
Start of unionization As stated above, unionization started back in the mid 19th century as a result of the industrial revolution. Due to poor working conditions, such as 12 hour work days, it was felt that something needed to be done so that workers were treated more fairly. Unionization, in the early years, had a very turbulent time until the late sass, specifically 1 881, when the American Federation of Labor (FALL) was created (Sloane, 2010). The FALL catered to skilled workers and was able to build up its members.
There were other unions, such as the Knights of Labor, that armed but due to rapid member growth and many dispute defeats, the Knights crumbled. In 1935, John L. Lewis formed the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO). In 1955, the FALL and CIO joined forces and became known as the FALL-CIO (Sloane, Bibb). Unions today have seen a huge decrease in members. This is due to the fact that the workforce has changed greatly since unionization began. To give you an idea, here are some numbers to show the decline.
In 1959, thirty-five percent of the labor force was represented by a union, in 2013 that number dropped to 1 1. 3 recent (Bureau of Labor and Statistics, 2013). That is a loss of over a 20 percent. So as we can see, there has been quite a decline in union memberships. Part of the decline is due to the change in the workforce, we have more white-collar workers in the United States than blue-collar workers, which contributed to the high membership rate in the early years of unionization. A lot of the blue-collar work (mill workers, etc. ) have moved overseas where labor is cheaper.
The role of management in an organization Management is the core to a successful business/organization. Management deals with every aspect of the organization so it operates smoothly. Planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling are the basic functions that management handles (Reilly, et al, 2011). Management gives direction so that the organizational goals may be reached. Managers use planning to choose appropriate organizational goals and identify courses of action to best reach those goals. They determine the best way to organize and use resources.
Management recruits, selects, trains, evaluates, compensates and disciplines the employees within the organization. They coordinate and motivate their employees to help them reach their individual goals as well as the organization’s. The measure, compare and evaluate the standards and goals of the organization and decide the next course of action. There are different levels of management but they all perform these functions; depending on what level of management determines how much time is spent performing the functions, however.
Top level managers such as the CEO would spend more time planning, i. E. , defining goals and procedures to reach those goals. Middle management for instance a general manager would spend more time organizing and reporting back to top level management. Supervisors or foremen (low level management) spend their time directing others. They assign tasks, provide direction and guidance to employees, and ensure the quality and quantity of production, make recommendations, and solve employee problems (Boundless. Mom, 2013). It is up to management to make sure the work environment is safe and that it promotes productivity. The role of a union in an organization The role of a union is to make sure that management does not take advantage of the workers. This generally constitutes ensuring that the management does all that is necessary to keep the workplace safe, secure and healthy (Researching. Com. 2013). The union also helps ensure that established guidelines and/or policies are followed by employees.
Anyone belonging to a union has to pay union dues but all employees at a unionized organization receive any benefits the union secures for the workers. Labor unions are associations of workers who are banded together for the purpose of improving their employment conditions and protecting themselves and their coworkers room economic and legal exploitation. Members of labor unions engage in collective bargaining with their employers, as well as general political activism (Weeklies. Com, 2014).
Strategies an organization can implement to create and maintain a conducive, working relationship with unions A strategy that an organization or management could implement to create a conducive, working relationship with a union is to let the union, therefore employees, be more involved in the decision making process. Employees are vital to an organization’s success and by letting them be involved and having a voice it loud go a long way in creating a good relationship. Also by letting them be involved their concerns can be addressed and guidelines, policies, and/or procedures could be created with that in mind.
Having the union more involved allows them to see where the organization is financially. For example, if the organization is facing a hard financial time, the union would be able to see this and react accordingly, that is, not ask for a wage increase. In the end by allowing them to be more actively involved with the organization they would be more inclined to act in the best interest of the organization. A second strategy that would help create a conducive relationship is open communication. Communication is important in any relationship so it would be no different in this case.
Having open communication would eliminate many problems. If an issue arises, it could be discussed and handled before it got out of hand. It could possibly eliminate or at least reduce the amount of grievances filed. It would allow for a more honest relationship between management and the union. Things could not be hidden so easily if there was open immunization. For instance, if management was planning on putting a freeze on all wage increases, the union would know about it before it was announced and they, management and the union, could possibly come to a compromise so that would not happen or if it did, only for a short time.
Strategies a union can implement to create and maintain a conducive, working relationship with management A strategy that the union could implement to help build and maintain a conducive working relationship is to look at what is best for the organization as well as the employees. As we all know, unions focus on the employees. When they are looking to unionize an organization they look at how the employees are treated, the work environment, what type of wages are being earned or what type of benefits are given/received.
It seems unions look at organizations with scorn if people are not getting what the union feels they should. To a point that is okay but what about the organization? Sometimes the demands the union puts on the organization could cost the organization a lot of money, something it might never recover from. If the union comes in and looks at the whole organization, not just the employees, it would be better able to make decisions that will help the employees along with the organization in the long run.
Another strategy that would be useful is having skilled and knowledgeable union members. We all have had a person lead or represent us and because he or she was not really qualified for the job, we ended up looking bad and nothing was gained. Since unions are comprised of employees it should not be too difficult to accomplish. The representatives for the union need to have the skills and knowledge to effectively communicate with management, which in itself is en of the most important skills the union needs.
If the liaison does not have good communication skills, not much if anything will be gained. Having all the necessary skills and knowledge will make communications and relations between the union and management much easier and better. Conclusion We should all have a better understanding of what unionization is and how it affects our workforce. We discovered the roles that unions and management have in organizations, how and why unionization got started and we discussed some strategies that could be used by management and unions to create a deter working environment.