The Positive And Negative Influence Of Trade Unions Over Employment Relations In An Organisation

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Executive Summary

The purpose of a union is to represent the interests of workers; therefore, union participation involves a collective bargaining process so that rewards and agreements can protect around application performance evaluation and performance-related compensation. The union also participates in the development, implementation, revision and modification of everything related to its members through negotiation. Protect employees from unfair labour practices, encourage employee training, and provide member incentives such as medical insurance, legal advice, and short-time work. The broad membership of the union leadership and the promotion of fair distribution between central departments and companies have strengthened the union’s position, giving it more significant opportunities for negotiation or cooperation and achieving successful results. In the UK, trade unions represent a wide variety of different professions and industries. Much larger unions cover various industries. These unions provide support to workers with other skills and interpretations of their job. Today, the role of trade unions in the labour law system has evolved, and the numerous procedures and guidelines have led companies to evaluate various trade union labour issues. It can therefore be reiterated that in the past and for the foreseeable future, trade unions will play a decisive and vibrant role in shaping the financial and social trends in the UK.


In the current market situation, employees strengthen and enhance their interest by showing a collective face to the company, especially when they reach consensus on the basic conditions for the minimum wage for the supply of labour (Thomas and Doerflinger, 2020). A union is one of the better examples of workers representing companies. These representative organisations, such as trade unions, are often indispensable because employees have almost no power to influence management decisions. Being a member of the workers’ collective will lead to an advantage in listening to their concerns and can, therefore become more critical. A union is an organisation that represents people at work, and its goal is to maintain and improve people’s wages and working conditions (Kelly, 2019).

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In the following report, the organisation which will be discussed with regards to the impact of trade unions and employment relations is the NHS, which is the most significant government health organisation in the UK. The primary role of a union is to trigger discussions with employers to ensure the privileges of its members (O’Sullivan et al., 2020). These are obtained by fighting for laws and regulations and improving salary conditions (which the workforce can benefit from). Few unions provide convenience to members by providing legal services and counselling in the areas of welfare, such as sickness and vacation facilities, disciplinary representatives and education.


The composition of the workforce in the UK, along with the types, forms and structure of the organisational forms have undergone significant changes since the past few decades (Armaroli, 2020). Variables such as the size and structure of the company, the technology they use, methods of ownership and control, and the characteristics of the product market have gradually been seen as having an important influence on the process and results of the relationships with the employees. Equally important is the nature of work and the composition and conditions prevailing in the broader labour market from which individual employees are drawn. State-owned organisations such as NHS is among one of the organisations which are operating under market conditions that are very different from those of two decades ago (Jansen, 2020). Additionally, as the state strives to commercialise and eventually privatise public sector organisations, increased competition in the private services sector is also reflected in the public service sector’s fiscal cuts. Within the organisation, the design and implementation of activities are always changing.

The impact of trade unions on the employment relations of NHS

The union’s primary purpose is to protect the work of its members through collective bargaining and political lobbying and to improve their wages and working conditions. It should, therefore, be remembered that organisations that recognise trade unions must ensure that any evaluation or communication strategies they develop are appropriate and can complement existing collective bargaining procedures (Slukvin et al., 2020). Unions play a dynamic role in improving the organisational performance of the NHS by increasing employee performance and engagement through management performance and decision-making. They also help to build trust relationships, increasing job satisfaction, and improving employee relations as a result.

The definition of a trade union can be given as ‘any workers ‘ organisation, whose primary purpose is to determine the relationship between ‘one or more descriptions’ of workers and employers or employers’ associations (Dundon and Wilkinson, 2020). It provides a broad definition that includes several organisations, each with a different commitment to the general principles and ideology of ‘unionism’. The formation of the union structure started with a professional organisation formed by discussion groups, and its functions such as perform negotiations or provide better wages, working hours and working conditions. The labour movement is the result of the gap between the power of employers and the power of individual workers.

Its primary concern is to act as a bargaining force to improve the working conditions for its members. In addition, it advocates for the promotion of education and culture, provides assistance to teachers in legal and professional matters, educates the public about the value of education, improves teacher qualifications and performance standards, and negotiates for better conditions jobs (Armaroli, 2020). The creation of trade unions is mainly intended to implement multiple models to avoid the needs and concerns of different groups of workers.


The positive influence of the trade union

The union’s lifelong positive impact means that employers don’t have to have specific conversations with employees, so the process can be time-consuming. Unions can deal with trivial and personal problems of individual employees. The system of collective representation helps to better negotiate various labour and employment issues, such as salary increases and better working conditions (Kelly, 2019). The union will also remember that wages are not much lower than typical market prices. If employees face management problems, they can seek legal advice and guidance from the union labour representative (ULR). This practice of labour representatives prevents employers from deploying too many staff. Employee enthusiasm is increased as employees work together as products rather than as individuals, increasing business productivity.

The negative impact of the trade unions

The negative impact of the union on the business can be understood as there may be no assistance for problems seeking service and fire coverage issues. For example, employers would not be able to ban underperforming workers; employers must give employees the same salary increase, which may have nothing to do with the performance of individual employees. In negotiating, the union can make excessive demands on income growth, which are difficult for employers to easily accept and give up (Ringqvist, 2020). Union dealings can be unreasonable, and demands can put excessive pressure on the company to pay limited income and benefits, as all staff can demand strikes and cause severe damage to services and financial loss. Any of these will lead to strikes, work stoppages, development backlogs, and the overall business production will be hampered.

Restrictive work practices reduce labour productivity. For example, in some cases, overtime policies are set up to limit the workload during regular working hours, increasing the total payment due to overtime. Union action can reduce production or performance, but overtime can improve production (Thomas and Doerflinger, 2020). Therefore, this action or its threat creates uncertainty in the level of output, reducing the effectiveness of the means used for marketing and distribution. Thus, the company will suffer damage if the delivery date is not met. With regard to unions, it is believed that salaries will evolve through negotiating ‘management power’ between the organisation and the union, as long as the union is concerned about the employment prospects of its members. In this case, the union will allow bargaining wages to fall to mitigate the decline in employment after labour demand changes. The union also provides job placement facilities, insurance and other benefits for members and their families.

Legislation related to Trade Unions and Employment relations

The primary law regulating trade unions is the Trade Union and Employers Organization Act (as amended by the Trade Union and Employers Organization (Revision) Law (1992)), supplemented by the Trade Union and Employers Organization Regulations (1984). Below is a list of the essential parts of the revised bill: Article 2, first paragraph, is the definition part. It is critical for two reasons: a trade union is defined as ‘an organisation composed in whole or in part of more than 30 employees, and its main objectives include overseeing the relationship between employees and organisations (Weber et al., 2020). The members of the union must be employees as defined in this section: people who have signed an employment contract to employ their workforce, excluding civil servants or persons hired by local authorities (except industrial workers).

The constitution provides for collective bargaining rights for trade unions that have joined 25% of the workforce. In fact, only miner’s unions have the ability to organise collective bargaining, and there is no collective bargaining in most other industries (Ho and Kuvaas, 2020). There are two main types of unions: unions made up of all people who perform specific jobs (such as electricians, carpenters, or printers); and unions covering all industries in a particular sector, such as auto workers or steelworkers. In some countries/regions, large federations include all semi-skilled and unskilled workers in an organisation.

It has been indicated by research that the committee has fundamentally ignored income distribution requirements in the ‘Vision 2016’, which calls for ‘fairer income distribution to ensure that as many people as possible participate in economic success. The Worker Education Program of the Bureau of Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV) of the International Labor Organization aims to help trade unions promote their training programs to expand their activities and memberships, and enhance their ability to promote the rights and interests of their to represent and protect members (Jansen, 2020). The president of BTU stated that trade unions play an essential role in encouraging employers to perform this task. The union’s defence for high salaries and job security comes into play in this process as it encourages employers to invest in skills to maximise employee productivity.

Functions of Trade Unions in Strengthening Employee Relations

Unions play many roles in promoting the well-being of their members. For example, unions play a negotiating role to minimise any form of discrimination, the sense of participation of members, a platform for self-expression and improve relations with employees (employee and employee relations, personnel management, management and unions and unions). Other stakeholders) and their members’ sense of job security (Ringqvist, 2020). Likewise, the existence of unions can increase labour productivity, as the company’s response to the impact of unions on relative wages can lead to higher labour productivity. Unions can play a supervisory role on behalf of employers, and unions can stop exploiting them labour, which increases productivity.


Research from the ‘Employee Relations at Work Survey’ shows that companies that recognise trade unions and employ very determined personnel practices are likely to have better financial performance and productivity than other competing companies (Valizade et al., 2016). As the primary responsibility of the union is to provide support and encouragement to users to improve their existing skills, improve training and development of the workplace by offering suggestions and guidance therefore the employment relations with local union committees are observed to be improved in the organization of NHS by the implementation of positive changes in the management of the organisation. For organisations like NHS that require faster consensus, better communication, efficiency, the higher productivity and labour relations with better change management due to the impact of trade unions have the ability to drive the profitability of the business. In return, employees will enable insurance companies to take advantage of better development opportunities, job security, overall flexibility and living standards, training, better management accountability and transparency (Thomas and Doerflinger, 2020).


In the UK and other countries where such formal relationships do not exist, unions can engage in political activities of their own, including lobbying for legislation and supporting political candidates who benefit the workforce. The widening pay gap has divided workers as a result of the widening skills gap and weakened the union’s solidarity platform. Unions are under pressure to formulate wage policies that must be adapted to differences in productivity in order to improve the efficiency of resource allocation. Traditionally, the role of trade unions in managing active labour market policies and distributing benefits (such as improving skills, employment services, unemployment insurance, health care, and pensions) has raised workers’ awareness of the effectiveness of trade unions. Moreover fierce competition and the emphasis on privatisation seem to undermine the status of trade unions as a primary service providers.


Therefore it can be recommended that that the interaction with workers through trade unions should be more effective, influential and democratic than by treating workers as individuals. As the workers’ commitment to the current trade unions appears to be declining with the rise of individualism, the organisation’s attitude towards the union should improve the strategies and procedures required to influence the employee relations with the organisations. At the higher end of the technical realm, workers seem to be indifferent to collective identity and less dependent on unions. Moreover their personal identity is defined in terms of social functions, autonomy and mobility, therefore it can also be recommended that the industrial relations in the public sector in the developing countries should also learn from the positive impact of the trade unions in the UK for improving the employment relations in their respective organisations.


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