Unit 1 Essay

Unit 1 Essay


Unit1 Essay

Question1: Whydo employers resist the formation of unions in their companies?Provide at least four reasons.&nbsp

Formany years, there has been serious resistance against the formationof unions by the employers. According to Sloaneand Witney (2010), one of the reasons why managers resist unions isbecause they view them as outsiders. Managers dislike theinterferences caused by unions among employees. Unions are argued torepresent the interest of the employees and hence their presencecannot present the best interest of the management. Secondly,managers view unions as troublemakers. Unions are organizations thatare argued to create issues that destroy the employer-employeerelationships. Sloane and Witney point out that union grievanceprocedure allow management actions to be challenged giving anopportunity for controversies that does not exist in non-unioncompanies (2010).

Thethird reason why employers resist unions in their organization is theidea that unions damage their employees’ loyalty. Sloane and Witneyargue that employee appreciation through wage increases and rewardsdoes not guarantee a permanent loyalty (2010). Irresponsible unionsmay mislead employees by turning them against the management to hidetheir failures and weaknesses. The fourth reason why there is muchresistance towards unions among managers is the values associatedwith labor movements. Some of the values are: emphasis on seniority,reduced workloads, freedom to make decisions, all of which threatenand hinder management decision-making.

Question2: Inthe 1960s and 1970s, what were some of the reasons for the growth ofunionization in the public sector? Choose at least three and discuss.

Oneof the reasons that resulted to growth of unions in the public sectorin the 1960s and 1970s is the legal developments during this period.According to Sloane and Witney (2010), during this period of time,there were major legal development that offered some form ofprotection and encouragement to organized labor. In 1962, PresidentJohn F. Kennedy issued an executive order which allowed all federalgovernment employees to join unions to collectively bargain withexecutive agencies, which they worked for. Another milestone in thegrowth of unions in the public sector was in 1971, when RichardNixon’s ordered the abolishment of both formal and informationrecognition of unions. The two executive order and several otherlegal activities encouraged many civil servants to join unions.

Anotherreason leading to the explosion of unionism in the 1960s and 1970swas the fact that the public sector employees received minimal wagescompared to their private counterparts. The public sector employeesalso worked in poor conditions compared to private sector’semployees (Sloane and Witney, 2010). Therefore, many employees in thepublic sector opted to form unions to bargain for salary incrementand better working conditions. The other possible reason for thesignificant growth in the formation of unions is the spirit of thosetimes. According to Sloane and Witney, the period between 1960s and1970s was characterized with social upheaval, and societies wereforced to come together in solidarity to exert collective pressurefor recognition. Therefore, the public sector’s employees joinedunions for solidarity and avoid being overlooked at the nationallevel.

Question3:Whyhas the individuality of white-collar employee working conditionschanged?

Accordingto Sloane and Witney (2010), the individuality of white-collar isdisappearing at a very fast rate in the industrial sector. As theindustries expand and grow, the need for technology also increases.Technology is replacing many of white-collar jobs and is creatinginterdependence between the white-collar job categories. As a resultof technology advancement, white collar professionals such asengineers, computer operators and managers cannot work individuallysince most of their roles and functions have been integrated toachieve one common goal. Just like the blue-collar jobs, white–collar jobs are becoming significantly bureaucratized (Sloane andWitney, 2010). Current research indicates that, due to the variousissue facing white-collar employees, few blue-collar employees admireand focus on graduating to white-collar professionals.

Sincetechnology will continue improving with time, it is speculated thatwhite-collar jobs will continue losing value in many industries.Before the current technological advancement, white-collarprofessional were of great value in solving the complexities ofdecision-making and management. However, technology has eroded thisvalue by making such tasks simple. Sloane and Witney points out that,white-collar unions may face many obstacles in the future in tryingto fight the issues facing this group of professionals. The primarycause of the problems facing white-collar employees is technologicalimprovement and this cannot be derailed in any way in order to solvethe emanating issues.

Question4: Whyhas union membership in the United States declined in the blue-collarsector?&nbsp

Oneof the reasons why union membership has declined in the blue-collarsector is the changes in the labor markets in United States.According to Bureau of labor Statistics, there has been a significantdecline of the United States’ manufacturing jobs between the year1980 and 2007. Currently, less than 15% of the United States’workforces get jobs in the manufacturing and construction industriesmeaning fewer blue-collar jobs. Private companies such as theMcDonald and Wal-mart have expanded and are employing most of theblue-collar workers in their companies. Many private companies arestill not unionized meaning a decline in union membership.

White–collar employees’ desire to join unions has decreased. Accordingto Sloaneand Witney (2010), since late 1990s, there has been an increase inthe number of blue-collar employees who lose their jobs despite beingunion members. Research points out that, unions have not beenperforming well in terms of protecting their members from severalissues such as job losses. Therefore, many blue-collar employees arereluctant in joining unions. Another factor contributing to a declinein blue-collar union members is the fact that many manufacturingindustries have shifted their production overseas to take advantageof cheap labor. The shifting of production to foreign countries hasleft many blue-collar employees jobless leading to a decrease inblue-collar sector and hence a decline in union membership (Sloaneand Witney, 2010).


Sloane,A. A., &amp Witney, F. (2010).Labor relations(13th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.