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BUSINESS AND SOCIETY 1 PAGE ESSAY QUESTION (I'll give you thumbs up.) Describe the recent history...

BUSINESS AND SOCIETY
1 PAGE ESSAY QUESTION
(I'll give you thumbs up.)


Describe the recent history of Labor Unions in the United States.

Homework Answers

Answer #1

Brief flashback of the Unionization in the US:

It has been witnessed that in the past, about five decades before, close to one fourth of the total workers in the Organized sectors were the members of Labor Union in the US. However, over the years, the participation has come down to just ten percent of the overall employees in the private sector. The Unions were stronger in the past with more say in the management as compared to the recent years where they can only suggest and not really influence the management to implement their demands. The political advantage availed by the Labor unions in the past, has also been ruled out in the modern era of management and control. With the advent of Globalization, the collective negotiation power of the Unions especially in the area of demanding more wages and salaries, has been curbed down substantially as the Companies anyway offer better facilities and attractive packages to the potential employees to make them contribute towards the Organizational growth. In the past, Unions were truly regarded as the mouthpiece of the workers who were exploited by the management to a greater extent with lack of transparency in their working standards. As a result, it was necessary to have such Unions in place that could help to correct such unethical practices in the industry. In the early decades of the 20th century, the workers who gained the most through expansion of labor unions were the Black workers since the racial discrimination was more prevalent in those times. As against that, the Labor unions need not actually work in such welfare activities in today's era since the Organizations are itself trying to eradicate any racial discrimination practice at work places. As a matter of fact, Americans have shown the world the attitude the tolerance by even electing its Black president in the recent past.

Cause of the decline of Union membership:

However, in the recent past, the very purpose of the Unions has changed. More than demanding of better pay packages and compensations, the unions demand for the overall well being of the employees and to establish more ethical standards to make the Organization more accountable towards their activities. In earlier days, there was hardly any awareness about the conformance of Ethical norms and values in the Organization. As a result, Unions had to actively interfere in the matter of how the businesses were run by such Organizations. However, the scenario has much improved today. Hence the Union concerns about the same are not much visible as ethical issues are anyway an important matter of concern to the Organizations.

Personally, I feel the power of larger union would exist if more employees join the unions in today's era. Also there needs to be sufficient resources employed to organize the addition of new members if expansion of unions are on plans. There has been a rise in opposition posed by the employers as they get the right support from the labor laws itself which may probably lack the protection of laborers as expected by the laborers. Various other issues also need to be tackled well if the existence of larger union with the support of the employees needs to be made feasible. Such issues would mean to deal with the regionalization of unions, bureaus in the same and incorporating constructive oppositions in Unions.

However, in the age where, the American economy has evolved from highly unionized manufacturing units to lesser unionized services sector, the need for a strong union is anyway unessential. There has been a vast diversity observed in the work culture that resists the idea of collective bargaining which is an essential point of any successful union. Hence the future of the Union is US does not look very encouraging. Unions may further not work due the concept of Globalization where the manufacturing activities, in which the unionization was most prominent, itself is getting outsourced to various other countries and to the southern and western regions of the US where unionization is not very prevalent. Since the collective system of worker representation has taken the place of individual system of employee representation, the future of union further reinforce the employee's aversion to join the unions.

The Unionization demands for the overall well being of the employees and also demands to establish more ethical standards to make the Organization more accountable towards their activities. In earlier days, there was hardly any awareness about the conformance of Ethical norms and values in the Organization. As a result, Unions had to actively interfere in the matter of how the businesses were run by such Organizations. But the scenario has much improved today. Hence the Union concerns about the same are not much visible as ethical issues are anyway an important matter of concern to the Organizations.

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