Unions and Collective Bargaining/Discrimination in the Workplace

3444 Words May 30th, 2007 14 Pages
I. ESSAY ONE - Collective Bargaining is essential component in any industrial democracy. "Labor market" can be defined as the mechanism in which workers compete for jobs and employers compete for workers. In a labor market, wages, benefits and responsibilities of workers are bought and sold. Unlike traditional markets however, labor is not a good that can be differentiated by conventional rules of supply and demand. While workers are the suppliers and employers are the buyers, overall supply cannot be manufactured as people only have a limited amount of time in a day. Additionally, companies are strong and can often directly manipulate the market by setting strict labor rules, triggering potential reductions in any supply side …show more content…
Once a union is initially formed, the Labor Relations Act ensures that management must recognize these institutions and the central bargaining authority on the workers behalf. The principles/field of economics provide workers with a valuable tool when evaluating advantages of union membership. Through education and advancement, a united workforce can limit the market supply of skilled labor. Through increased education and training, unions can differentiate itself from its non-union competitors. As a result, members are paid higher salaries, thus pushing wages outward from W1 to W2 on a supply model. Collective bargaining can also shift wages outward, while guaranteeing future workers will not work for less than W2 based on seniority, years of service and collective bargaining terms. Economics show us these are principles that employees can not achieve individually as wages would either be set at W1 or driven below W1 through management's monopoly over wages. It would be misleading to not introduce potential negatives involved within union membership at the employee level. While often unions do create much needed value for employees, there is some cost that must be sacrificed. First, the negative side of unions and more importantly, collective bargaining is the fact that individual needs are rarely taken into consideration. An individual worker may not or may not be in financial position to go on strike, however

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