April 4, 2015
Human Resources Management Wk5 Final
1. Are unions still necessary in 2015? Why, or why not?
While labor unions are alive and well in 2015, many pose the question, “Are unions still necessary in 2015?” To answer this question, one must first look at the pros and cons of both, having a labor union and not having one.
Starting with the pros of a labor union, from the workers perspective of course. Union employees can expect to make an average of thirty percent more than non-union workers. Not only that, but ninety-two percent of union workers have job-related health coverage versus sixty-eight percent of non-union workers. On top of all that, union workers are more likely to have guaranteed pensions than non-union employees. Other benefits of union membership include, but are not limited to, access to teamster privilege credit card, teamster privilege auto and home insurance, retiree health insurance, life and accident insurance, member rights, teamster 401k, access to teamster job bank, and scholarships. Along with all of those benefits, labor unions were established to fight for worker rights and fair labor practices, this is still their main function. Now that the pros have been covered from the workers perspective, management advantages are next. A significant advantage for managers is that agreements with unions establish a set agreement that cannot be changed until the contract ends. Turnover is also less of a factor than at non-union companies, this means that employee training is a better investment.
The disadvantages for employees can be serious, but are significantly less than the advantages. The threat of a strike can put the whole labor force out of work for months, even years. This can lead to hard times for employees, however if enough of the employees vote to strike, all of them must do so, or risk crossing the picket line and being labeled a, “scab.” The cons are not limited to employees, management feels the disadvantages as well. If not handled correctly, management risks establishing an,” Us versus them,” mentality. Trumped up grievances or resistance to management decisions are a real threat that management has to contend with if this is the case. Even if an employee deserves to be fired or terminated, the union will make every effort to prevent this. Lockouts are also a concern, this is when management halts workers from doing their jobs until they agree with a policy that management has brought to the table. Cutting hours, and layoffs when a company isn’t doing well are also difficult to make happen for management because of labor unions.
Ultimately, the question remains the same, “Are labor unions necessary in 2015?” To answer, one can look at a number of large and small organizations thriving in the United States that are non-union. The answer is no, labor unions are not necessary in 2015, however, they do offer some workers advantages that they would not afford otherwise. Many businesses function more than adequately without a labor union. This is proof that they are not necessary.
2. Where is human resources, the profession, going? Global. Why, or why not?
While some believe that advances in technology are creating a rift for the human resources departments of the future and the rest of management. This poses the question, “Where is human resources, the profession, going?” Trying to predict the long term for a profession is no easy task, there are many factors to consider. Rather than analyze each factor, individual predictions can be made, and are as follows. The first prediction is that in-house human resources will downsize, and outsourcing will increase. The second prediction is that strategic thinking will become in-house human resources new core competence. The third and final prediction is that managing a remote