Sample Business Studies Paper on Learn: Labor Unions

Labor unions/trade organizations are employee-centric organizations/collectives that champion the interests of the employees. They are the vehicles through which employees negotiate better terms of service at the workplace. Trade unions not only offer employees a sense of security but also accord them advantages that non-unionized members do not get.

Trade unions accord both employees and employers advantages. For employees, it is easier for them to negotiate better terms of service as a collective, a fact that may be difficult for individual employees. Labor unions additionally help employees get better benefits (Craver, 2011). For instance, through negotiations, unionized members get more vacation days and better medical benefits. For employers, labor unions provided them an assurance of a stable and well-trained workforce as most unions provide training programs to their employees. Employers additionally can plan for their operations as they can factor in the predictable labor costs.

Labor unions, however, have disadvantages to both employees and employers. For employees, unions discount their education and experience for seniority. Here, despite better experience and qualification, individuals who have been at a firm longest get promotion rather than those that merit (Craver, 2011). Traditionally, workers have to pay dues to the unions from their salaries, which eat into their earnings. For employers, rewarding employees is difficult, especially for exceptional employees. Additionally, contractual negotiations with unions can mean paying higher wages and benefits to employees making the business less competitive.

Some factors affect labor unions, which have an effect on employee-employer relations. One of the factors is divisiveness. Where one union wins higher wages for its members, others do not, creating a strain between the employers and employees. Additionally, labor unions remove management discretion. Here employers must work within the terms of negotiation with the unions. Managers can therefore not reward employees that deserve recognition.

Labor unions are a welcome addition in the workforce given their role in employer-employee relations. They accord advantages and disadvantages to both employers and employees. It is possible to strike a balance between the advantage and disadvantages for a balanced workforce.


Craver, C., B. (2011). Impact of labor unions on worker rights and on other social movements. 26 ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, 267, 1-20