The world over, unions have been part and a parcel of human existence for a very long time. People form unions for a variety of reasons to agitate for different things. Unions help to bring a sense of commonality and a sense of belonging among the members. There are some advantages and disadvantages of forming unions. We take a look at some of them.
1. Increased pay and benefits for workers: Unions are good because they agitate for increased pay for workers. Unionized workers usually get better benefits than workers who are not under any union.
2. Disputes and disagreements arbiter: Unions play a crucial role especially when it comes to solving disagreements between the employer and the employee. They usually take the side of the employee in cases where the two have disagreed.
3. Unions make political organizing easier: Unions are a great platform for political mobilization. In cases where there is a union, it is easier to advance a political cause by getting the members of the unions, through their leaders, to subscribe to the cause.
4. Unions set policies that reverberate to the rest of the economy: Unions play an important role in the economy. Through the policies set by the different unions, they may play an important part if they are replicated to the rest of the economy.
5. Job security: Workers and employees who are unionized are usually assured of their job security. A unionized worker will not just be fired arbitrarily without due process being followed at any time.
6. Sense of belonging: Union members usually get a sense of belonging knowing that they are not alone in case of any problem. They get the feeling of being together in a team especially in times of trials.
7. Protection from harassment: Unions are created to protect the members from any form of harassment from either the government or the employer. Any member of a union is protected by law from any form of harassment.
8. Freedom of expression: Unions gives members the freedom to express themselves since they are protected by the law. A member of a union can easily stand up to a controlling and abusive boss knowing that they are protected by the law.
9. Health benefits: Unions ensure that members get additional fringe benefits that may not always be available to other non-unionized employees. They get benefits such as health benefits and so on.
10. Strength in numbers: There is strength in numbers. Members of a union are more likely to get their voice heard due to their strength in numbers than those who are not unionized.
1. Ongoing dues to be paid: There are a lot of dues that need to be paid if you are a member of a union that are not provided for if you are a nonmember which makes it a bit costly.
2. Misuse of union funds: Union leaders are sometimes accused of misusing the funds that are remitted every month by the union members. The monies are sometimes channeled to other non-worthy causes.
3. Discourage individuality: Unions tend to discourage the aspect of individuality owing to the fact that you always tend to think as a group and not as a person.
4. Poor public reputation: Unions have a poor public reputation for being rowdy and stubborn. Any time there is an unrest, the public is always disadvantaged in some way.
5. Higher wages for an employer: The employer is usually forced to pay unionized workers more than the average salary paid to other workers. This may come as a disadvantage to the employer since it increases their cost of operation.
6. Decreases human resources control: There is usually very minimal control on unionized workers from an employer’s perspective. This makes it difficult to reprimand an employee who is under an umbrella union.
7. Exposes employers to lawsuits: Employers are vulnerable to multiple lawsuits when dealing with unionized workers because the union always protects its own.
8. More civil unrests: Unions are known for their civil unrests whenever there is a problem to be solved either by employers or by the government.
9. Majority always wins: Being a member of a union means that you must always accept the wishes of the majority even if you do not agree with it. This makes one feel more of a captive as long as he/she belongs to that union.
10. Discrimination in seniority: Members of a union are usually discriminated based on their seniority. For instance, a senior member may not be fired during restructuring but a junior member is likely to be fired.