Are Unions Bad for Businesses?


You might have heard of businesses fighting their employees’ plan to form a union. The idea of having a union has been around for a long time. It has always been controversial and it seems like most business owners have decided unions are a bad thing.

When employees have the ability to form a union, they will have a better bargaining power. It means that they can ask for higher wages or better work environment from their employers. As always, there’s strength in numbers. Companies have no choice but to give in to the demands since their operations could be crippled. While many employers view unions negatively and employees see them positively, it’s not necessarily black and white. There are pros and cons to unions.

Unions helps increase employee retention

increase employee retention

Many companies might not realize it, but unions help increase retention. When employees are given better pay and working conditions, they will find no reason to leave. They appreciate what they have and they feel secure with their job. Therefore, even if companies have to spend more for employee wages, they will get a lot out of the low turnover rate. Hiring new employees over and over again can also cost the business a lot of money.

Termination and promotion

Unions can be both good and bad in terms of termination and promotion. Employers will find it hard to fire an employee without probable cause because they’re part of a union. They know that unions can provide legal services that will put a dent on the company’s finances and reputation. However, unions might also be terrible when it comes to promotion. Young employees with potentials for a promotion might not be the priority since they have not been a part of the union for a long time. Some unions have a say on whom to promote since they work closely with the employer.

Fees and charges

Unions also collect fees from their members. When a company allows employees to unionize, there are rules to follow. Some unions force everyone to pay the dues, and it includes employees who might not necessarily want to be a part of the union. It is where the legal contention is for employees who refuse to join the union.

Recent successes

Unions might have a mixed record when it comes to championing the causes of employees, but they have undeniable wins recently. For instance, Amazon was forced to treat their employees better because of unions. If not, their practices were at least exposed. The same thing can be said about the practices of other big companies, including tech businesses.

The point is we can’t conclude for sure that unions are good or bad for businesses. We can’t say the same about its impact on employees, either. Employers should just take a more active role in making sure everyone is treated well at work. It might be an easy call, but it’s just hard for some employers to do so.

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