Changing Landscape of Unions

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BUS 372 Employee & Labor Relations

November 9, 2011

At the inception of unions, its members consisted of “blue-collar” workers concentrated in the manufacturing sector. Today, only about 35% of union members remain in this sector, requiring unions to expand beyond manufacturing to broaden their membership ranks. Unions are undergoing new developments to increase membership. Entering into the twenty-first century unions will emerge into a new dimension. The labor union is constantly changing, experiencing a decline in membership, losing influence and power but through experience and careful planning things change. Unions have gone through dramatic changes over the past century. The changing landscape of the unions is not only coming from decline in membership but from modern technology also. In order to show that they can change things have to change. Unions need to have the ability to show that they can effectively get their influence back, increase membership, and power. In the last century unions have been successful at negotiations especially when it came to bargaining agreements on behalf of their members. Union membership has evolved it a big way in the 21st century. No one can dispute labor’s staying power, given the labor movement’s deep penetration into virtually all the traditional parts of our economy and it continuing hold on these areas (Sloane, Witney 2011 p.20). Local unions at times have engaged in a variety of social, educational, and community activities. Union leaders realize that the welfare of their members depends on part on a progressive and well-run community. Having vital interest to the schools since union leaders must pay taxes to operate the schools that their member’s children attend. This will lessen the tension between management and organized labor. Many local unions also conduct regularly sponsored and generally effective educational programs...
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