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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Labor Unions

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Labours with the same or similar collective interests are united and workers’ rights are protected by the labour union. Trade unions are formed globally, covering some countries around the world, such as China, Chile and Belgium. The National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labour union in the United States, with 3 million members. The pros and cons of the labour union emergence have been already assessed by experts for several years. It attracted social attention and became a hot issue. In this essY, the advantages related to labour rights will be discussed first, followed by gender democracy. On the other hand, the disadvantages of economic growth and unemployment will be discussed finally.

A platform is offered for employees to combat inequitable treatment in the workplace and reasonable treatment is achieved through protesting and negotiating with the enterprise. Since the concept of labour rights prevails, the labour union has potentially helped to empower employees and raise social awareness of labour participatory rights (Braun & Gearhart, 2004). Hence, it has drawn government attention to legislation on labour rights. Labour unions not only raise employees’ concerns about the health and safety of the workplace but also satisfy workers’ desire for fair payment. The fruits of progress can be shared equally by all workers and the dignity of employees is maintained. By implementing different policies, labour unions have significantly protected the employees’ rights.

In addition, the labour unions help workers to overcome gender barrier and achieve gender democracy and equity in the workplace. Labour unions helped to rectify gender inequity and the issue of women underrepresented in the position of leadership (Amini et al., 2010). It revealed that women labours are tackling the problem of inequitable treatment such as receiving low wage compared to man and lack of employment opportunities. Labour unions also consist of female members who intend to take an important role at work. Opportunities are offered to both sexes equally and attract talented workers. Labour unions are essential for pursuing gender liberalization in the workplace.

However, prolonged protesting activities organized by labour unions especially going on strike adversely influence economic growth that lower the productivity of the firm. The study on labour unions indicated that both international and private firm have obvious adverse effects on productivity. Participating in protesting events are criticized for wasting numerous time and effort. Due to the low labour productivity, the profits of enterprises have been decreased, which negatively impact the economic growth. Besides, International companies are reluctant to invest where labours are always on strike causing business and economic activities lagging behind. The drawback brought by labour union is huge and influence economic growth.

Finally, Labour unions cause unemployment potentially as the more benefits labours pursued, the higher production cost the firm needs to reduce hiring labours. The linkage between unemployment and income inequality is demonstrated due to the intensive labour negotiation. As unions developed, the decline of employed workers is facilitated, but each employee has to provide longer working time. Excessive collective bargaining may lead to firms primarily agreeing with workers. Cheap workers could be hired previously due to weak labour rights awareness. Labour’s wages are usually disproportionate to their overwork. As labour contracts have improved, strategies to reduce workers’ salaries costs have become drastic redundancies. As a result, unionization worsens the situation of unemployment.

To conclude, labour unions must be established because it represents the collective opinions of workers and empowers them to confront powerful enterprises that balance the interest between workers and enterprises. However, it gives rise to unemployment and adversely influences the process of economic growth. Expect the drawbacks, labour unions mostly are beneficial to society. Demand from workers promotes the emergence of labour unions. The labours’ voice will keep growing loud until the requirements are fulfilled. People of different professions also need to be respected and a harmonious society can be achieved.  

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