The trade unions can be considered as organizations that play important functions although they are commonly wrapped up in controversy specifically in the British society. Upon the study of the society and social institutions, the trend in the importance and the roles that are being played by the trade unions can be considered essential not only to industrial welfare of the nation but also related to the political aspect. The issues related to the trade organizations can even be perceived as commonly included in the issues being tackled by any form of leadership and government (Kennedy, 1998).
Through the different issues that is related to the trade unions, it can be determined that the industrial dynamics are connected to the said issue. The importance of the issue can be considered relevant not only regarding the industrial survival but also a nation’s economic security. The said notion is presented through the course of the study. Also, the presentation of the evolution of the British Trade Unions along with the analysis of certain view related to the course taken by the said groups. British Trade Unions The study of the issues revolving around the British trade unions can be considered as one complex and complicated issue.
This can be attributed to the different aspect to which the said issue is connected (Beardwell, 1996). One of the ways undertaken is through the analysis of the roles played and still being played by the trade unions in the society. A. An Overview of Industrial Relations The industrial relations of a nation can be categorized as the overall state of the employment relations. It can be considered to be officially related to the labour relations and dynamics that occur in the different institutions in the society. Such view can explain the need to study the particular aspect in the nation.
The status of the nations industrial and employment relations can be considered as a way of determining the future state of the economy (Beardwell, 1996; Salmon, 2000). In the case of Britain, the country can be perceived to have undertaken different blows to be able to stand in the modern era as a society, with capability of industrial relations not only with the internal industries but also in the international arena. There is a presentation that can be compared to a cliche in the English land regarding the practice of the new industrial relations which is focused on the management of the labour systems and human resources.
Such systems of relations can be defined as the actions undertaken in preparation to the new era which the international society is presently facing (Baccaro, Daley, Fraile, Howell, Locke, Mahon, Martin, Ross, & Silvia, 1999). Questions on the agenda and the real nation of the new technique of industrial relations and new employment method remain. This is in effect to the role that the said notion can undertake in the labour and trade unions. Such area is presently being studied by different groups.
Although still under in-depth analysis, the projections of the benefits are enough to boost the industrial relations itself and the economic state (Beardwell, 1996). Such case occurs through the prediction of the possible success of the system although no legitimate benefits had been achieved yet. This brings the resolution into focus, thus, the probability of the feasibility can increase through the projections given and the lessons that was achieved through the course of the nations economic and industrial history.
B. The Functions. The different roles and functions of the trade unions in employment relations can be attributed to the main reasons for the establishment of such organization. The trade unions can be considered as the significant organizations that are comparable to the institutions in the society, e. g. the church and the state. Although the membership in such organizations is not considered as compulsory, the widespread membership can be attributed to the perceived functions of the said groups. Trade unions exist in the labour society with the objectives of representing the needs of the members.
In the middle of the 90’s, the known trade unions in the United Kingdom are approximately 700 units, an indication that the presence of such organizations is being recognized by the labour force (Allen, 1954). This is an indication of the need of the working population to be organized for a common goal, a need that is answered through the organization of unions. The trade unions are established on the basis of different objectives. These goals and functions can be perceived on both the needs of the individual members and in some cases to be able to assist the leaders of industrial institutions and even the political leaders.
On the bases if the needs of the individual members of the labour force, membership to such organizations can be equated to representation and voice to the different issues that can affect the welfare of the workers. Also, it can be noted that being able to cooperatively achieve a certain goal can increase the strength and the ability to be able to reach the aspirations of the group. This is important in the totality of the different members, although in some cases some desires and aspirations of the fewer members of the groups cannot be achieved.
In such cases, the needs of the majority is the main focus, this is where the test of cooperation and unity comes in (Allen, 1954; Crouch, 1993). Through the course of the history, the functions that are being played by the trade unions have evolved. In terms of the development of the economic and political aspects of the society, the growth and the occurrence of the different trends related to unions and the organizations establish by the employers can be used to study the said areas.
This can be attributed to the fact that the growth and development of these systems are interconnected, interrelated and interdependent (Allen, 1954; Rose, 2004). Thus, the growth and the trends that trade organizations are undergoing can be considered as gauge and marker of the national process such as the level of industrialization, the economic capacity, the economic organization and even the national stability. One of the examples that can be cited is an economic measurement such as GNP indicating the income of the country.
It can be observed that countries with low income have comparatively less capacity in maintaining functional trade unions (Allen, 1954; Crouch, 1993). Through such view it can be surmised that secure trade unions and employment relations is one of the important indicators of the nation’s economic and political security. Indications of the role being played by the industrial and employment relations and related institutions are very evident in other European countries such as Denmark and Sweden. These nations were able to improve the economy through stabilizing the trade unions and creating essential employment relations.
Also, the relationships with other countries are also improved. Through such method, these countries were able to survive and even excel. The need for the establishment of such institutions on the other hand was observed in one of the advanced nations, which is France. Although the country was known as a progressive nation, the need for the establishment aroused and when it did it can be considered inevitable (Crouch, 1993). Such cases exemplified the need for the establishment of employment relations and industrial and trade unions.
The functions of the trade unions can be considered to transcend the economic status and even structure of a nation. In fact, such organizations are can find applications in different nations. Although such observations can be made related to the trade unions, the dynamics and related trends is still considered as a complex process, thus, making a generalization can be a challenge and at the same time a prejudice. The Legislation of 1979 One of the main events that left an important mark in the history of development of trade unions in the British nation is the legislation in 1979.
The event can be attributed to the change in political leadership and main priority of the leaders of the nation during that time. This resulted to the change in the policies regarding the membership in trade organizations and the establishment of such unions. These changes revolve and greatly affected the totality of the employment relations (Shaw, 1994). The changes in the policies related to trade unions and employment relations have different effects on the industrial and economic systems of the country.
The policies came about due to the change in leadership in 1979. Collective bargaining is the main focus of the policies presented during that time due to the perceived economic success of such system (Brown & Wadhwani, 1990). The legislation was projected to benefit the country in certain ways. Although this is the case, significant effects were observed in relation to employment relations. This can be attributed to the fact that changes in policies can be equated to changes in the process of different economic institutions to where the unions are interconnected.
Although the legislation is aimed to be able to increase the benefits of the people, the changes that are needed to be undertaken can cause instability. Such changes can cover almost every aspect of the economic system. Specifically, in terms of the employment relations, the changes can ultimately affect the labour training, the income that are being given to the labour force and other factors such as the differences in the public and the private sectors (Beardwell, 1996). It is important to consider that the industrial and employment relations are one of the important focuses in the improvement of a nation’s economy.
One of the ways that make such undertaking possible is the role of trade unions as motivators to be able to achieve a better status and welfare for the individual members of the organization. Included in the said category are the salary and the benefits (Bieler, 2000; Shaw, 1994). The Modern Role of the Trade Unions Upon the recognition of the importance of trade unions, a query on the decreasing number of membership of such organizations through the course of the modern era still lies. This was related to the policy changes during the 1979 change of leadership.
Based on the study that was conducted related to the trade unions, there are different notions that were observed. The decreasing membership of trade unions and employment organization can be attributed to the negative effects of the change in policies. The instability occur when the change in leadership, with a different priority and points of view lead the country. Another effect is the realization of the labour force of their capacity to survive in decreasing presence of trade unions, even if there are benefits that can be attributed to the said institutions and organizations.
Also based on the change in leadership, less emphasis were given to the employers duty to have the trade unions. This is in contrary to the former leadership that points out the development of the nation through the trade unions. Although deceasing effort in the establishment and administration of trade union can be observed, being involved in a complex process, this trend cannot be equated to the decreasing necessity because there are still groups in the economic and trade institutions that value the establishment of these types of organizations. Such groups are comprised especially of the majority of the labour groups.