Mohan Thulasingam

Mohan ThulasingamGenerally, ‘Trade Union‘ means the formal association of the workers or employees in an organization, a group of trades or profession formed to claim the legitimate rights and promote their common interest i.e. welfare rules for their own welfare. When the workers are the members, it is known as Employees or Labourers Union. If the owners of  businesses join together, it becomes a ‘ Trade Association.’ Here we are going to analyze the usefulness of the Employees Union :-

1. Honesty matters: Employees and Employers/management both stand to gain if the Union leaders are honest and sincere in their approach. In the modern times, many of the leaders take sides with the management and strike secret deals to further their self-interest, but pretend to have achieved favors by compromising the welfare of the employees. For instance, the leaders claim success for agreeing to a 10% pay-rise against the original demand is 15%. On the contrary, the sincere leaders face all sorts of troubles if they incur the wrath of management for not acceding to the latter’s tactics.

2. Morality suffers: Work culture gets spoiled, and the production suffers affecting the entire economy and the standard of living. Generally, the leaders are a liability as they hardly contribute to the business income. These leaders incur costs during the course of the union activities, and these costs are borne by the employees by way of a monthly subscription. Not only that, the productivity and morality take a hit when a coterie develops around the leaders. For example, the work-loads of the leaders are passed on to the already hard-working staff thus staring the latter morally.

3. Public money wasted: When the government formulates schemes such as privatization, consolidation, mergers, and dis-investment, many leaders resist as a matter of trade union and not in the best interest of the society. Consider the case of merger proposal for commercial banks in a country. The union leaders oppose such initiatives to retain the positions and power. Because when the entities are merged, there will exist only one union with a set of leaders while the leaders of the dissolved institutions have no option other than the compulsion to work under the new union. When a merger is skipped, the executives, departments, and union leaders become redundant  in each organization leading to a huge loss to the public exchequer. Moreover, the situation of many banks leads to stiff and unfair competition among them resulting in the misuse and abuse of the powers and resources, which again adversely affects the economy and the social welfare.

4. Politicization spoils:  The moment a union gets affiliation to any political party, the union’s focus is lost. Because it has to tow the lines of the outsider, overlooking the welfare of employees. There are instances when the owners are forced to wind up the businesses due to the unfavorable labor conditions created by the political outfits through the unions.

 5.  Thirst for Power: Even after the retirement, some people crave for power and post. That’s why more than one association does exist for the retired staff members of a bank or organisation. If they really mind the interests of the retired people, they can work under a single banner.

Unless the leaders of the unions remain true and sincere in their assignments, no appreciable benefits will accrue to the constituents of the union. In fact, the spirit of trade unionism can be saved only if the people in the front conduct themselves to foster faith and strength in the minds of the workforce. Collective interest must take precedence over the individual.

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