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  • Advantages of Labor Unions
    Updated On: Dec 27, 2016

    The Advantages of Labor Unions for an Organization

    Labor unions are organizations in which employees bond together to create a collective voice for negotiations with employers.  While some view labor unions as a negative, they actually can have several positive effects on the labor market in general.  They can help both employers and employees, if they are utilized correctly.

    Simpler Negotiations

    As an employer, one of the advantages of dealing with a labor union is that it simplifies the negotiations process.  When you deal with a labor union, you do not have to negotiate with multiple employees.  You simply talk to the head of the labor union and the head of the union speaks for all of the workforce.  By doing this, you can negotiate faster and more efficiently without having to worry about meeting with many different employees.

    Employee Satisfaction

    Another advantage of dealing with labor unions is that it can improve employee satisfaction.  When employees deal with unions, they may be more satisfied because they have a voice to speak to the employer.  They get higher wages on average and better benefits packages.  When you meet the needs of the employees better, they will be more satisfied in their jobs and will be willing to work harder for you.  This could lead to higher productivity and better quality production.

    Less Turnover

    Another advantage of labor unions for organizations is that they lead to less turnover.  When you have a workforce that is comprised of labor union members, they will not leave their jobs as frequently.  They have to pay dues to be a part of the union, and they typically do not want to lose their position in the organization.  When you have lower levels of turnover, it saves your business money in the long run by not having to train as many new employees.

    Easier to Make Changes

    Businesses regularly have to undergo change if they want to stay at the forefront of their industry.  When a business has a labor union to work with, they can partner together to facilitate change easier.  When the employer knows that change is required, it can disseminate this information to the leadership of the union and the union can then pass the information along to the employees.  When everyone is on the same page, it improves the chances of the company getting through the change.

    Disciplining Workers

    Union contracts often stipulate procedures for disciplining employees.  For instance, employers need to adhere to strict guidelines and follow due process when terminating employees as opposed to letting them go with little apparent cause. This ensures employees are disciplined fairly and consistently.  While union rules often make it more difficult for employers to terminate what they consider to be "problem" employees, they also protect employers against legal action taken by employees who believe their firings were unjustified.

    Workplace Safety

    Unions frequently strive to ensure that workplaces are as safe as possible for their members by including improved safety standards as a component of contract negotiations with employers.  While this provides obvious benefits for employees, it also can be important for employers.  A safer workplace means fewer accidents and injuries, so companies pay less in workers' compensation claims and experience less absenteeism resulting from work-related injuries.

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