Trade unions: What they are. Arguments for and against. Affects of changing government. developments. etc

Topics: Employment, Trade union, Collective bargaining Pages: 3 (690 words) Published: May 10, 2008
1) A and organization of employees united as a single, representative entity for the purpose of improving the workers' economic status and working conditions through collective bargaining with employers. There are two types: the horizontal union, in which all members share a common skill, and the vertical union, composed of workers from across the same industry.

2) There are approximately 9.2 million people employed in the Australian workforce. Latest union membership figures show around 25% of them are in unions. Over the last two years union membership numbers increased by 24,500 members a year. Union membership currently stands at 1,902,700 members.

3) For trade unions:-Give power to call strikes against employers. A strike is usually the last resort of a trade union, but when negotiations have proved unsuccessful, a strike may be the only effective option left.

-Workers who are unionized will enjoy better working conditions and wages than workers who are not.

-Improved worker safety-Increased wages for union and non-union workers-Raised society's standard of living-Reduced hours in a working weekAgainst trade unions:-restrict the supply of labour- Attempt to raise wages above market equilibrium, which may lead to unemployment and inflation of wage rates- Trade unions are often accused of benefiting the insider workers, those having a secure job and high productivity, at the cost of the outsider workers, consumers of the goods or services produced, and the shareholders of the unionized business. The ones that are likely to lose the most from a trade union are those who are unemployed or at the risk of unemployment or who are not able to get the job that they want in a particular field. The so-called insider-outsider theory analyses this problem-Usually, the marginal benefit of an additional worker decreases as the number of workers increase. This implies that the lower the minimum wage, the more workers a company can profitably employ. Thus, while...

Bibliography: Concepts in Commerce by Stephen Chapman, Malcolm Freak, Stewart Ross (printed 1994) published by Jacarandaupdated stats/changes info provided by teacher
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