Trade Unions and their Role in a Steel Plant...

Trade Unions and their Role in a Steel Plant Trade unions are independent, membership-based establishments of the employees that represent and negotiate on their behalf. They function in the organization with their presence registered with the management. They give advice when their members have problems at work, represent members in discussions with the management, and help improve wages and working conditions through negotiations.  Trade unions also make sure that the statutory requirements are met. Other functions carried out by trade unions are to arrange education and learning opportunities for the employees, promote equal opportunities at work, fight against discrimination and help to ensure a healthy and safe working environment. Many unions also provide services for their members, such as welfare benefits, personal legal help and financial services. Trade unions function on the principle that if all the employees speak with the same voice, their concerns are more likely to be addressed. This involves union members in the same workplace getting together to talk about common problems, democratically taking collective decisions on workplace issues, and putting these views to the management. It can be very difficult for employees to speak individually to the management about workplace problems and to resolve their difficulty individually even assuming that they have the confidence to raise the issue. Individual members usually elect someone to speak on their behalf (a shop representative) and to discuss their concerns with management, whereas the trade unions normally have regular formal discussions. These negotiations are referred to as ‘collective bargaining’. Trade unions are financed through the individual contributions of their members. They continually seek to recruit members (encouraging new members to join by ‘organizing’) and to build an active membership, as this give unions stronger bargaining power in negotiations with the management. Trade unions...