Essay On Current Issues Affecting Labor Relations And Collective Bargaining

Introduction

Labor relations can be described as the employment relationship in the organization of employment. Public and private enterprises both are faced with the labor relations problems. In this context, collective bargaining can be defined as the process of negotiation between an employer and group of employees to reach at an agreement (Zhang et al., 2014). The interests of the employees are represented by a trade representative and the process mainly aims to regulate the working conditions and bring harmony between the relations of employer and employees (Zhang et al., 2014). In this context, the present essay aims to evaluate and examine the current issues impacting the labor relations and collective bargaining. In this regard, the thesis statement of the present essay can be stated as ‘whether there exists differences in employees interests on comparison to those employed in the private sector and the governmental organizations.’

Differences in Employee Interests in Comparison to Private Sector and Public Sector Organizations

Collective bargaining is generally regarded as a specialized area in the field of general negotiations that occurs especially between labor unions and corporate employers. The process is largely impacted by the underlying legal and economic conditions prevailing in a country (Gerson, 2013). Collective bargaining is mandated and regulated by external laws unlike other general business negotiation and law suit. In private organizations, collective bargaining process is regulated by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and the Railway Labor Act (RLA). Unionization of employees and the employment conditions varies in accordance with the economic conditions. For example, full time employees and part time employees in an enterprise are impacted by the economic conditions of a country (Garson, 2013).
Larger enterprises having employee’s more than 100 employees are more likely to have union members in comparison to small enterprises having employees less than 100 (Unions on decline in private sector, 2012). The membership of trade unions is also impacted by the economic conditions of such as trade union density is uneven across all the European countries. For example, in Ireland the trade union members mostly consist of younger people in comparison to older people and there is also significant difference between the workers working part-time than in full-time (Unions on decline in private sector, 2012).
The collective bargaining system of the public and private sector organizations are different from each other. The trade union density differs substantially in private and public sector organizations (Craver, 2012). The trade unions density has declined almost in recent years in private sector organizations in comparison to the public sector organizations. The employment law terms and conditions vary in public and private sector. The legislation of private sector and public sector organizations differ significantly in the matters of unfair dismissal, redundancy compensation, health and safety, equality, maternity protection, parental leave, working time and national minimum wage (Craver, 2012).
Unionization is higher in public rather than in the private sector and gender proportion also varies in the trade union members. It has been estimated that about 71 percent of the private sector organizations are unionized. On the contrary, only about 16 per cent of the private sector organizations are believed to be unionized (Zhang et al., 2014).The rate of unionization is gradually on decline in the private sector companies due to greater implementation and adoption of new employment terms and conditions. The difference in the unionization rate is also largely on account of the number of employees working on both the organizations. Public sector organizations employees about thousands of people while in private sector the numbers of employees employed are significantly less (Craver, 2012).
The employee’s interest in private sector and public sector organizations also varies on account of the compensation factors (Zhang et al., 2014). Public sector organizations employees are paid more as compared to the private sector organizations. For example, in Canada public sector workers are paid 12% more in comparison to the private sector organizations. Public sector employees also enjoy other benefits such as better job security, earlier retirement and more pension benefits. In this context, there exist also facts that almost 88% of the public sector organization has registered pension (Craver, 2012).
On the contrary, only about 24% of the private sector organizations have registered for pension. Moreover, in the public sector organizations, 94% provides defined benefits whereas in private sector organizations only 53% provides defined benefits (Garson, 2013). The salaries and wages conditions of the public sector organizations are regulated by wage boards and various other legislations. In the public sector organizations, Croke Park Agreement structures regulate the public sector collective bargaining process whereas in private sector organization the collective bargaining process is largely decentralized to enterprise level (Garson, 2013).
The collective bargaining process in the private sector organizations is regulated by the rules and regulations administered at enterprise level whereas in the public sector organizations the negotiation takes place in according to the standardized governmental rules (Unions on decline in private sector, 2012). In the public sector organizations, labor unions are selected mainly by the majority of workers that consists of homogenous industrial workers and heterogeneous skilled workers. The workers have the right to demand bargaining over the wages, hours and working conditions of the employees. Labor-management negotiations in the private and public sector organizations are different from each other. There is a centralized process of negotiation in the public sector organizations of negotiation. However, in the private sector organizations the process of negotiation is decentralized and generally occurs only at the enterprise level (Garson, 2013).
The employees working in the public sector organizations have number of advantages such as job stability, retirement benefits and favorable insurance policies. In most of the private sector organizations, employees are generally given permanent employment soon after joining the organizations (Garson, 2013). On the contrary, in public sector organizations, employment is offered only after probation period has been met. The employees in the private sector organizations can be terminated on the basis of any ground by the employer whereas after completion of probation period in governmental organizations it is unlikely for an employee to get terminated. All the decisions regarding the promotion of employees are taken at a company level in governmental organizations whereas in private sector organizations, the decisions are taken at a central level (Garson, 2013).

Conclusion

Thus, on the basis of above discussion it can be stated that the employee’s interest and collective bargaining process are significantly different in private and public sector organizations. On the basis of it, thesis statement can be restated as ‘there exists large differences between the employees working in private and public sector organizations’.

References

Craver, C.B. (2012). Difference In Compensation Between Private And Public Sector Organisations. Retrieved on 25 July, 2015, from: http://www.negotiations.com/articles/collective-bargaining/
Gerson, J. (2013). Public-sector workers paid 12% more than private-sector counterparts: Fraser Institute report. Retrieved on 25 July, 2015, from: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/canadian-politics/public-sector-workers-paid-12-more-than-private-sector-counterparts-fraser-institute-report
Unions on decline in private sector. (2012). Retrieved on 25 July, 2015, from: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/unions-on-decline-in-private-sector-1.1150562
Zhang, X.Q. et al. (2014). Research on labor relations based on the theory of conflict management. Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Pharmaceutical Research 6(1), pp. 369-374.

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