We all remember the story of a father teaching his son that a single tree branch is easily breakable, but many branches together become rather tough, add even more branches and the whole becomes unbreakable and unbendable. We face similar situations in our daily lives special in our work areas, where an individual employee’s voice is not heard or ignored by the higher ups, but when each employee teams up to form a collective body or unions, then the management or employer will hear them out.
Gambling of Employment Rights
At many places companies have willingly or unknowingly cornered workers into unhealthy and unsafe work environments. Often employees don’t receive adequate pay for their kind of work and sometimes are made to work overtime or are given more work without the providing suitable payment or no payment at all. Such places gamble with employment rights and are prone to strikes etc
There are many environments where they encourage interaction between the employment tiers and boldly speaking any grievances. But due to certain factors such as peer pressure, fear of the employer’s reactions and feeling that the issue or the workers problems won’t be addressed, many of these issues go unsettled and keep on troubling the employee.
Employee Unions & Collective Bargaining
For the sole purpose of carrying the workers voice to the management, workers have formed unions, which act as a representation of the employees themselves. Their role is to collectively bargain with employers on various work clauses and parameters such as wages, healthy environment standards, safety measures, training, working hours & overtime, mechanisms for addressing employee problems and also level of participation in the organizations affairs.
How it works
Unions form a significant part of any entity and hence command some attention from the top brass, such as the management, employers or owners. There is no legally enforceable method to ensure compliance of the union’s demands and some owners & employers may choose to ignore the workers, but at their own peril.
The unions consist of employees who on the whole form a major cog in the progress of the organization. If certain demand for necessities and employment rights are not met with approval or acceptance of negotiations, then the unions can call a strike from work. This causes disruptions in the workplace and on the whole organization progress. To avoid facing such unproductive situations and avoid the eyes of the media and through them the public, employers choose to accept reasonable demands and provide a mechanism for settlement of union grievances.