Friday, August 9, 2019

How significant are trade unions in Britain today Essay

How significant are trade unions in Britain today - Essay Example In Britain, trade unions have been instrumental in promoting cooperation between management and workers throughout the history. However, the situation does not seem as favourable in today’s working environment. The paper examines the significance of trade unions in today’s Britain and concludes that trade unions have lost their influence in modern workplace due to increasing employer concern and direct voice of employees. With the closure of twentieth century, trade unions have to experience the challenge to deal with the issues which were considered to be resolved. Today’s trade unions are not as influential as they were in past. The period 1945-75 was exceptional because of the high tide of union power. However, unions represent significant and influential interest and the nature of their role and process of change is intensively debated (Mcllroy, 1995, p.385). Approximately 13.3 million people were members of trade unions in 1979; it is the highest level ever reached in Britain for union density at 55.4 percent. Impact of industry level bargaining and wage councils refer to 85 percent of working population catered by collective pay-setting process (cited in Howell, 2005, p.131).Furthermore, with the end of 2001,union membership level declines by 40 percent to 7.6 million, union density reached the lower level of 30 percent of workforce (cited in Howell, 2005, p.131). From 1980s to 1990s, there is a distinct diversion from closed shop to simple recognition (Fernie, 2005, p.5).In a statistical analysis, Millward et al. (2000, cited in Fernie, 2005, p.5) inferred that major reasons of decline in union density in unionised workplace were decline in closed shop and membership endorsement from management during 1984 and 1990.However, situation appeared to be different during 1990 to 1998 when employees appeared to have lost their interest in unionism(Fernie, 2005, p.5). Today, 1970’s steep decline in union membership seemed to be halted ; however, decline in collective bargaining has experienced their conventional impact in the workplace wane. Most unions are as concerned about upholding and reinforcing individual legal rights of their members as for the development of collectively bargained rights. Comparatively less discussed but just as crucial is the relative decline in the membership of different employer’s organizations (Donaghy, cited in Taylor, 2002, p.5). Considerable revival in union membership at the point of late 1970s when 58 percent of workers were union members appeared to be improbable. De-industrialization has stripped the earlier bastions of trade union power in textile, coal, steel, iron, engineering and shipping. Central driver for dramatic union growth during 1960s and 1970s, the public service sector, is not anticipated to flourish like past. With the termination of broader bargaining agreements, more personalized forms of wage negotiations at enterprise level countermined the role of t rade unions and ceased them to perform their conventional role of collective negotiators. Furthermore, trade unions are not benefitting by their role as collaborator in the management of political economy (Taylor, 2002, p.6). Today, their role outside the workplace is less enunciated and more challenged as compared to the initial times after Second World War. Illegalizing closed

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