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Chapter 11

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Dave Swanston

Chapter 11 - unions Union - an employee organization that has the main goal of representing members in employee - management bargaining over job - related issues. Management has the responsibility of producing a profit through maximum productivity. Workers originally formed unions to protect themselves from intolerable work conditions and unfair treatment. They also united to secure some say in the operation of their jobs. As the number of union members grew, workings gained more negotiating power with managers and more political power as well. Trade unions were largely responsible for the establishment of minimum-wage laws, overtime rules, workers' compensation, severance pay, child-labour laws, job safety regulations, and more. Some labour analysts forecast that unions will regain strength as companies become more involved in practices such as outsourcing; others insist that unions have seen their brightest days. Are trade unions essential in the canadian economy today? Historians generally agree that today's unions are an outgrowth of the economic transition caused by the industrial revolution of the 19th century and early 20th century. Over time, workers learned that strength through unity (unions) could lead to improved job conditions, better wages, and job security. Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, greed, incompetence, and self-serving interests of players from one side or the other, or both, can supersede the common good thereby creating conflict and negative perceptions about unions. The most effective vehicle for competing businesses to utilize in creating and sustaining a level playing field, in their respective markets, is a union. Through the union structure and the collective bargaining process, employers can level off labour costs across entire markets and create optimum standards in training and health and safety practices that can be properly enforced through their collective agreements. Unions can be bureaucratic, resistant to change, and political, whereby some union leaders may be self-serving and act counter to a union's best interests. A craft union is an organization of skilled specialists in a particular craft or trade. These unions were formed to address fundamental work issues of pay, hours, conditions, and job security - many of the same issues that dominate labour negotiations today. By forming a union, these skilled workers hoped to protect their craft and status from being undermined. An industrial union is one that consists of unskilled and semi-skilled workers in mass-production industries such as automobile manufacturing and mining. The union movement was greatly influenced by immigrants from Europe (especially Britain), who brought with them the ideas and experiences of a more advanced and often more radical background. The growing union movement in the United States also influenced Canada. Many Canadian unions started as locals of American unions, and this relationship persists today. The most basic unit is the union local (local union). One local usually represents one school, gov't office, or a specific factory or office of a company. Local can also cover several small companies or other work units. A local can be an independent organization within a specific geographic area, it is usually part of a larger structure, namely one that is provincial or regional in focus, or a national (a union that charters locals in only one country) or international body. Union locals typically belong to union centrals. The main functions of these union centrals has been to coordinate the activities of member unions when representing the interests of labour to local, provincial, and federal gov'ts as well as to organized labour on the world scene. LIUNA  international board of directors. Labour and management representatives. They have established national labour management funds that are responsible for training, health and safety, and promotion of unionized construction. Union density  a measure of the percentage of workers who belong to unions. CUPE  Canadian Union of Public Employees. This is Canada's largest union. The union represents workers in sectors that include health care, education, municipalities, transportation, emergency services and airlines. CUPE members are service providers, white collar workers, technicians, labourers, skilled trades people, and professionals. More than half are women, and about one-third work part time. CAW  Canadian Auto Workers. This is largest private-sectors union in Canada. Workplace laws  you have the rights to know about workplace hazards. You have the right to refuse unsafe work. Labour Relations Boards (LRB)  is a quasi-judicial body consisting of representatives from gov't, labour, and business. It functions more informally than a court but it has the full authority of the law. For example, the federal gov't has created the Canada Industrial Relations Board (CIRB). Its mandates is to contribute to and promote effective industrial relations in any work, undertaking, or business that falls within the authority of the Parliament of Canada. The CIRB plays an active role in helping parties resolve their disputes through mediation and alternative dispute resolution approaches. They investigate complaints. Collective bargaining - the process whereby union and management representatives negotiate a contract for workers. Certification - formal process whereby a union is recognized by the LRB as the bargaining agent for a group of employees Decertification - process by which workers can take away a union's right to represent them. The objectives of unions frequently change because of shits in social and economic trends. Today, we are seeing increasing emphasis on skills upgrading as the basis of job security. In some industries, union jobs have been declining due to outsourcing. Negotiated labour-management agreement, or called the labour contract, clarifies the terms and conditions and sets the tone under which management and organized labour will function over a specific period. This contract tells the responsibilities and obligations of both parties, itemizes the compensation package agreed to for services rendered or products purchased, and identifies a mechanism to be employed to settle differences in the event either party violates the terms of the mutually agreed to contract. Agreement that clarifies the terms and conditions and sets the tone under which management and labour agree to function over a period of time. Unions generally insist that contracts contain a union security clause. This security clause is a provision in a negotiated labour-management agreement that stipulates that employees who benefit from a union must either officially join or at least pay dues to the union. There are four types of clauses: • Clause favoured by unions is called a closed shop. This means that all new hires must be union members, hiring is done through the union. • Next is the union shop: a workplace in which the employer is free to hire anybody, but the recruit must then join the union within a short period, like in a month. • Agency shop: this is based on the RAND FORMULA. This is where a workplace in which a new employee isn't required to join the union but have to pay union dues. • The least popular hiring condition is the open shop: a workplace in which employees are free to join or not join the union and to pay or not pay union dues. • ANYWAY, no matter which hiring practice is chosen, the contract usually contains a check-off clause requiring the employer to deduct union dues from employees and pay and remit them to the union (except for non-members in an open shop). In the future, the focus of union negotiations will most likely shift as issues such as child and elder c
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