The development of fast-growing non-union manufacturing companies depends on many factors, and one of them is promoting a union organizing process. In the current scenario, employees start complaining about wages and working conditions. A decision to create a union is made to help workers and minimize organizational conflicts. This paper discusses major union characteristics, employee responsibilities, effects, and legal aspects. Unionization plays an important role in establishing and understanding the relationships between employees, managers, and leaders to protect mutual interests and enhance bargaining activities.
Union Organizing Process
In the private sector, the unionization tendency is common today. Modern organizations join unions for different purposes, including wage changes, job security, and working conditions (Robbins et al., 2019). In most cases, similar steps must be taken to maintain the organizing process. First, employees should request a union or employers initiate the membership. Following the standards defined by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the next step is signing authorization cards by at least 30% of employees (as cited in Robbins et al., 2019). This element proves that people wish to implement some changes through negotiating. Then, secret-ballot elections are organized to approve offered bargaining unit. As soon as the majority of votes are obtained, certification and recognition of the union occur. If some employees are not satisfied with the union work, there is a chance to change the situation through a petition to the NLRB for a representation decertification election (Robbins et al., 2019). The expected outcome is that all participants become union free.
In this case, the conditions under which a union has to be organized are associated with particular challenges. The choice of the union type must be properly examined and explained. A labor union with open membership (open shop) to all workers is preferred. Although this type is characterized by the weakest security form, it allows employees to address their interests while joining the union (Robbins et al., 2019). At the same time, in the United States, the open shop is the only legally approved arrangement in the right-to-work states (Zullo, 2021). Such labor unions can be horizontal and vertical, representing employees with similar skills within the same industry. A vertical choice helps employees and their managers strengthen relationships under the same rules and regulations, organize discussions, and share ideas for analyzing working conditions and wage changes as the major goals.
Responsibilities During the Unionization Process
To promote a fair environment, all union members should clearly understand their functions. According to Choi (2018), active and constructive behaviors like voice and loyalty are highly appreciated to enhance the cooperation and success of the union. Thus, such responsibilities as negotiation, collaboration, mutual problem-solving, and decision-making cannot be ignored. In addition, collective bargaining should be based on a contract agreement. Finally, there has to be a person or a group of people who have to manage grievance procedures to resolve concerns in a short period. These tasks must be organized according to the existing legal rules and working standards.
How the Unions Can Help Workers
As soon as union members learn how to cooperate and negotiate all critical points in their work, unions can help workers in a variety of ways. First, it is expected to discuss current labor violations and consider the conditions under which improvements are mutually possible. The next outcome is related to the discussion of job security and working schedules that might bother some employees and lead to increased job satisfaction and organizational commitment (Choi, 2018). The union is a good opportunity to speak and be heard by all the participants. The last aspect of help is related to the intention to unite people and create an environment where support and understanding are highly promoted.
Legal Aspects of Managing an Organization Movement
When an organization movement is in progress, management should define its legal responsibilities and restrictions even if leaders are not interested in unionization. The Taft-Hartley Act is one of the common laws to specify unfair labor practices like discrimination, coercive joining, compensations for services, and discriminatory fees (Robbins et al., 2019). According to the Wagner Act, employees are free to organize and join unions and bargain collectively to achieve their professional purposes (Robbins et al., 2019). Thus, legally, management cannot restrict or forbid the union creation process. They have to engage employees in activities without interfering with their personal abilities and interests. Such steps like threats, discouragement, inequality, and termination are not encouraged, and the management can join the union to cooperate with workers and make their contributions.
Globalization and the Bargaining Process
Today, most organizations cannot neglect the impact of globalization on their business and the development of interpersonal relationships. The collective bargaining process in private companies consists of preparations, negotiation, ratification, and contract approval (Robbins et al., 2019). When people choose this process to improve a working environment and organizational quality, they should understand that globalization introduces several critical and usually negative elements. Outsourcing may be challenged by the presence of new players in the field. The chosen organization has several locations, namely in the USA, France, and China. Globalization allows other countries to address the same sources, which affects wages and working conditions. As a result, the organization should include cheaper labor during its bargaining process, which is not convenient for employees.
In general, as a worker in a fast-growing manufacturing organization, I cannot ignore the possibility of creating a labor union. Some workers have already complained about unfair working conditions and wages and want to obtain some positive changes. Thus, a labor union is a unique chance to unite employees and employers and create an environment where negotiations and collaboration are highly promoted to solve current problems and offer effective solutions.
Robbins, S. P., DeCenzo, D. A., & Wolter, R. (2019). Supervision today! (9th ed.). Pearson.
Zullo, R. (2021). Does the open shop harm union collective action? Industrial Relations Journal, 52(2), 183-197. Web.