More often than not, employers and employees rarely see eye-to-eye in the workplace. It is something common in every line of work, owing to the fact that both parties usually find themselves on opposite ends of the table, mostly when dealing with issues that directly concern the latter. This is where labor unions usually come in; to help deal with the issues that concern the employees at work. While doing so, these labor unions also help to keep the powers of the employer in check at every step of the way.
What is a labor union?
Basically, a labor union is a union, or a group formed by employees in the workplace, in order to uphold the values that matter the most to its members. The values and issues these unions usually deal with are things, such as better employee salaries, favorable working hours, safer and secure working conditions, and the like. Generally, a labor union is geared towards the enhancement of better working conditions in the workplace, regardless of the line of work.
The benefits of a labor union
Due to the nature of a labor union, the benefits that usually come with forming one are extensive. First and foremost, a union gives the employees a voice in the place of work, allowing them to air their grievances and pleas to their employers. In turn, this offers them a firm ground to stand on, as they strive to negotiate for better working conditions with those in power. If used correctly, a labor union can negotiate for better employee salaries, appropriate working hours, pension benefits, protection of immigrant workers, medical leave, vacation times, along with many other benefits.
Who can form a union?
Labor unions aren’t restricted to a specific type of employee in a given line of work; meaning that anyone can form them. This applies to doctors, engineers, nurses, teachers, and the like, even lawyers. In fact, the stats show that more and more people are forming unions as time goes on.
How are labor unions formed?
When it comes to forming a union, the numbers matter. This goes to mean that workers have to come together first and agree to form one. When this happens, employers can offer the workers what they want, and give them the go-ahead to form a union. However, in other instances, elections are usually held first, in order to show that the workers actually are for the idea.
The challenges that come with forming a union
The major challenge when forming a union usually occurs when employers work to undermine it. When this happens, employers threaten to sack the employees, threaten to close the company and use other forms of intimidation and harassment to demoralize the workers. Regardless of this, workers can seek the assistance of the community and the law to push for the formation of the union.