A labor union can be defined as an organization of employees that uses collective action to advance its members’ interests in regard to wages and working conditions.
Two General Types of Unions
1. Industrial Union
* Members of this union all employees in a company or industry, regardless of occupation. 2. Craft Union
* Members of this union belong to one craft or to a closely related group of occupations
Labor relations are the continuous relationship between a defined group of employees (represented by a union or association) and management (one or more employers). This relationship includes the negotiation of a written contract concerning pay, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment, as well as interpretation and administration of this contract over its period of coverage.
Why employees join unions?
Employees generally join unions to satisfy needs that are important to them. Although needs and their importance differ among individuals, some of the more prevalent needs include the following: * Job security
* Socialization and group membership
* Safe and healthy working conditions
* Communication link to management
* Fair compensation
Consistent with these needs, the conditions in the workplace that are most likely to trigger union organizing are lack of job security, low wages, the use of subcontracting, hostile supervisory practices, and inadequate health care or other benefits.
Once a union is elected as the organization’s legitimate bargaining agent, a primary concern becomes union security or preservation of membership. Unions want to increase their security by requiring all employees to join the union, particularly if it was voted in by a slim margin. In such cases, some employees obviously don’t want to join the union. Different types of union “shops” have developed as a result. Levels of Union Security
* Open Shop