It is voluntary for a worker to join union or not but what it brings to the table is the right to bargain or negotiate collectively. It ensures that you are not victimized in your organization, as you are not the sole individual, who is fighting for his/her right. Sometimes you might have no preference in this regard.
Definition of Unions
Labor unions or trade unions are specific type of recognized organization in an industry with common interests, which collectively puts effort for pay parity, working environment, hours of work and other benefits. Unions act as the medium between the worker and management, thereby settling the grievances of the workers.
It was way back in 18th century, when the need for trade unions was first felt in Britain following rapid expansion of industrialization. In 1799, Combination Act was enacted and passed to nullify the collective bargaining by the British workers. Around 1810, the first labor organization was formed together to bring the workforce of varied occupation under one umbrella.
Benefits of Unions over Non Unions
Everyone wishes for a job, where he is ensured that he will not be asked to leave for illogical reasons. Non-union workers are hired at will and can be fired at will. A worker can be easily discriminated on the basis of region, religion or caste. You can’t raise your voice against any such discrimination, as you will be asked to leave without any explanation.
The settlement between a union and the management fixes the career growth of workers in an organization, i.e. certain promotions after achieving fixed years of experience and attaining certain qualification. For non-union workers promotion changes are only at the mercy of their seniors or management.
Owing to better negotiations backed by support of its members, unions discuss each point of wage settlement with great fervour and tend to approve good wages for its members. According to U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, the average income of union worker was $ 917 against wages of non-union workers at $717.
Better access to benefits
According to a survey conducted by U.S Bureau of Labour Statistics involving 101 million private industry workers and 19 million government employees 93% of unionized workforce were entitled to complete medical benefits against 69% for non-union workers, that too only for restricted medical benefits.
Shield against recession layoffs
In event of layoffs owing to recession, non-unionized workers can easily be fired without any explanation but for a unionized worker; the management will have to give an explanation for the same.
Demerits of Union over Non Unions
For some workers fixed wage can be a boon but for aspiring workers, who work with more dedication and passion, it can lead to demotivation and overall loss.
With their stubbornness towards improved methods of production, they have retarded the nation’s progress and reduced its income.
Personal Benefits of Union Leaders
It is often seen that, the union leader call for strikes on flimsy issues for personal benefits leaving all the workers and organization in jeopardy.
Minimum wage vs non minimum wage
1. Minimum Wage may be defined as the lowest wage necessary to fulfill a worker’s basic necessities to maintain minimum level of subsistence for his family, which includes food, clothing and shelter.Under non minimum wage system, a worker works under the discretion of its employer.
2. Minimum wage agreement shields immoral employers from exploiting unaware persons, who possess very little negotiating traits.
3. Such kind of agreement tends to diminish chances of discrimination in wages because of favouritism.
4. Non minimum wage stimulates the workers, as minimum wage tends to encourage workers unwilling to work sitting idle and killing working hours.
5. Employers with high values are protected against understating done by competitors with low standards.