According to Budd (2013), labor relation is the system to balance employee relationship goals (voice, equity and efficiency) and the labor rights and their management. Labor union is the traditional approach of representing employees.
Employee representation through labor unions
Labor union of a company often represents the collective interest of workers (West, 2015). They negotiate with employers about different aspects rebated with employee welfare and employee rights. They are such as wages, working hours, working condition and employee benefits. Mahoney and Kor (2015) mentioned that labor unions are generally industry specific. It is common in mining, manufacturing, construction, transportation and in many other public sectors. However, labor union representation is significantly declined in the private sector (Budd, 2013).
Labor unions protect the right of employees in an industry or a company. Mahoney and Kor (2015) stated that labor unions work just like democracy, where an election is held to select members. These selected members are in charge to represent employee’s demands in front of employers. The employees have to pay their due to the unions, in return the union acts as the advocate of workers. National Education Association (NEA) is one of the major examples of labor unions. They represent teachers and various other education professionals. With more than 3 million members, National Education Association (NEA) is the largest labor union in U.S. It works in local and state level schooling system and help to set wages for its members. They also negotiate with various other aspects with employers as well. Their aim is to advocate education professionals and unite them to fulfill their promise to provide best quality of education service in U.S. schools (West, 2015).
Alternative strategies for employee governance
In private organizations, there are various alternative strategies used for employee governance. They are discussed below:
Mahoney and Kor (2015) stated that, in most of private organizations executive meetings are held with every department heads to take necessary decisions related with employee welfare. The major aim of this executive meeting is to enhance employee productivity, taking their advice is crucial decision making and appraising their performance. Deputy secretaries, group managers, and team leaders are mainly the part of these meetings. However, often employees are also involved in these meetings.
Many companies develop governance committees to facilitate decision making and providing a forum of discussion for employees. Flammer and Luo (2017) stated that governance committee often conduct audit in various department and force them comply with PGPA Act obligations. Employees can easily share their issues and point of view with the committee at any time of their work.
After analyzing the labor union and other employee governance strategies, it has been found that executive meeting and governance committee are more professional approach than labor unions. In most of the cases discrimination and partiality can be found in labor unions. Labor leaders often take decisions, based on their personal interest rather than for overall employee benefits (Budd, 2013). On the other hand, in private sectors, employees can discuss their point of view directly with the governance committee. It helps the management team to understand issues of employees without any distortions and take actions accordingly.
Budd, J. (2013). Labor relations: Striking a balance. McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Flammer, C., & Luo, J. (2017). Corporate social responsibility as an employee governance tool: Evidence from a quasi?experiment. Strategic Management Journal, 38(2), 163-183.
Mahoney, J. T., & Kor, Y. Y. (2015). Advancing the human capital perspective on value creation by joining capabilities and governance approaches. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 29(3), 296-308.
West, J. P. (2015). Labor-Management Relations in Public (and Business) Administration: A Textbook Case?. JPAEjourNAl of Public AffAirS educAtioN volume 21 Number 3, 2015, 449.