Overview of the topic of interest
A trade union is an organization of workers who have come together to achieve many common goals, such as protecting the unity of its trade, upgrading safety standards, and obtaining better wages, benefits which are vacation, health care and retirement, and working conditions through the increased bargaining power wielded by the creation of monopoly of the workers. The most common goals of these associations or unions is maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment. Workers join unions because they realize that overall they will be in a position to push for higher wages and better terms of employment. This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies.
Furthermore, unions take actions to protect their member’s rights or stop such an unfair practices among their members. The main element historical view is that a trade union “is a continuous association of wage earners for the purpose of maintaining or improving the conditions of the employment” – History of Trade Unionism (1894) by Sidney and Beatrice Webb. Besides, the Australian Bureau of Statistics states that a trade union is “an organization consisting predominantly of employees, the principal activities of which include the negotiation of rates of pay and conditions of employment for its members. unions were illegal for many years in most countries and it should be remain illegal as it has to fix wages or prices by employer or employees.
Trade unions encouraging the government to pass legislation and introduce policies which will benefit employer and employees in general. Union activities are thus three-pronged that approach of trade unions that they focus on individual employers and that employer’s treatment of his workers, second, on national issues which are common to all employers and affect all workers, third is they represent individual workers who request their help. TGWU is an example of a trade union which has been involved in a sequence of DAF-supported projects designed to raise awareness on questions of the global economy, international development, and international trade union organisation.
The issue of this analysis is either by having repressive laws that inhibited the influence of trade unions affect the attention to the role of trade unions in a society’s welfare among Malaysians.
Trade unions are important in creating strengthening of collective bargaining power between the employees and employers. A good relationship between trade union and employers can helps the employees to enjoy more benefit and can get the better pay equivalent with increased of productivity. A strong trade unions is very essential in making sure the rights of the employees are not contravene by the employers, besides being a medium to increase the labour productivity.
Malaysia Airlines is the one of the company that contributed in the trade union issues which is over 50 civil society groups have demanded that MAS cease its anti-union action against the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM) and its members. As the president of National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM), was terminated by Malaysian Airlines Systems Berhad (MAS) for issuance of a media statement urging the CEO of mas to resign. It was stated by NUFAM that the CEO had failed to take care of workers’ plight since his appointment. The list continues about such an actions by employers that weaken and inhibit the activities of the trade unions.
The issue occurred because of the comprehensive analysis of current legislation pertaining to Malaysia’s labour laws show that such provisions introduced by the British still exist since the British oppressors enforced registration of all trade unions according to the possible damage that had been cause by such a labour unions in many issues especially for opposition of federation of Malaya 1948 proposal. All of the government servants were prohibited from joining unions of non-government employees as they wants to pursuit of a divide in unity of the domestic workforce. the further action was taken to command registration of trade unions in which trade unions’ membership could only be opened to workers’ in same occupation and industries.
POINT OF VIEWS
In my opinion, the presence of a labour union or trade union can be quite challenge for a company especially human resources department to handle. As the human resources department develop the policies related to hiring, compensation and benefits based on their research and management determination of business needs and also interact directly with individual employees to resolve unfairness and performance issues. So that, when the workers start the unionize, human resource department must work through the union to make sure the policies, and in some cases is to resolve the unfairness in the company.
However, there are a few suggestions for the company to deal with trade union problems without jeopardize the spirit and production of the workplace.
First, improve the communication. In order to solve the problems, the employer needs to improve communication with the employees. As there is two-way-communication between employer and employees. As employer, it is very important to know the validity of the feelings of the union workers where they have right to speak of the issues and as employer, they need to accept it. Also for employees, they need to hear the employer’s opinion regards their concern.
Second, improve the perceptions that can be improved by the both sides. Set a positive perception that a union is the solution for an organization and not a problem as union has been a helping hand towards an organization whereby it actually help to ease communication between staff and employer and it also help to improve working conditions and practices as employer accept and fulfil some of their needs. Apart from that, employees need to view employer as a person who running the business and keep the business alive so that employees can understand the challenges face by employer in order to fulfil employees’ concern.
Third, the employer should make union as a partnership. Indirectly, the gap between employer and the union will be close by working together to find solutions toward the problems and will develop a positive relationship. If the employer can gain the trust and respect from the union, the representatives will likely come to the employer before any problems turn into the disadvantages in the employer’s perceptions such as strikes or other major incidents. Lastly, by asking them to involve in decision making and their ideas to work in some issues can make the workers feel more appreciated by the employer.
Based on this issue, I believe that it is important for the MAS and NUFAM to negotiate the problems between both through collective bargaining. The aim of collective bargaining is to improve conditions in some way to make things more efficient , economical, safe and enjoyable. Through the collective bargaining, unions are able to negotiate an agreement with employers that not only benefits the future of business, but for the whole society. These processes therefore keeps employers or employees from being taken advantage of or hurt.
To summarize up, I do think that communication is very important for the employer to dealing with the trade union. This is because trade unions have an important role in effective communication between the workers and the management. They provide the advice and support to make sure that the differences of opinion may not turn into major conflicts. The central function of trade unions is to represent people at work and they also have a wider role protecting their interests.
Apart from that, employers need to perform work practices that assist legitimate workers’ interests and the unions legitimate interests. Unions are important to protect workers’ interest as there are employers who are unprofessional and immoral when it comes to worker issues. Employers and management can be partners by supporting the employers’ business and they should change their mindset and consider trade unions as a close partner in their development and also in enhancing effectiveness and efficiency at work place.