University of Phoenix
Human Resources Management
October 26, 2009
In any working environment, employees on all levels want to be treated in fair and equitable regards. This sentiment is not the newest and hottest trend in this country. From the late 1700s, until now, labor unions were formed to ensure no mistreatment, over-working, under-payment or inequality of treatment was given to employees. This purpose of this essay is to discuss unions, labor relations and their effect on organizations; how unions have changed employee relation strategies, policies, and practices on organizations; and if unions are still relevant in the United States (U.S.) Unions, Labor Relations and Their Effect on Organizations
Before discussing how unions effect organizations, knowing what a union is and why it would be needed is important. A union is “a group of workers who have banded together to achieve common goals in the key areas of wages, hours, and working conditions” (Boone & Kurtz, 2007, p. 414). Oppressive conditions led workers to look for ways to improve their conditions and they learned that by banding together and bargaining as a group, they could pressure employers to respond to their demands (Answers.com, 2009).
Employees began to stand for themselves, and “as more and more workers united to improve their situation, two types of labor unions emerged; craft unions and trade unions” (Answers.com, 2009, ¶ 3). The growth of modern unions reached an all-time high during World War II of roughly 15 million members, but then gradually began to decline when the economy began the change from production oriented to service industry orientation (Answers.com, ¶ 1-3). Unions had been created to offer a united front for workers. Employers did not have a choice but to bend an ear and listen to what the bargaining members requested. The employers realized that bullying and coercing their employees was not...