Industrial Relations Essay

2224 words - 9 pages


Introduction Page: 3

Collective Bargaining and the Employer Page 3-4

The Employment Relationship Page 4-5

Trade Unions & Collective Bargaining Page 5-6

Conclusion Page 6-7
Bibliography Page 8

Collective bargaining is the most effective means of giving workers the right to representation in decisions affecting their working lives’ (Donovan, 1968: 54). Discuss
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An essential component of Collective Bargaining is that employees do not negotiate independently and directly with employers, but negotiate in a collective manner through representative bodies such as Trade Unions and employee councils (Gunnigle, Heraty, Morley, 2006).
According to Salamon (2000) there are two distinct theories that govern the area of industrial relations; unitary and pluralist. If the industrial relationship was governed by the Unitarist approach Collective Bargaining would be an obsolete within the management style as Unitarists believe that there will be no conflict within the organisation. This is based on the core assumption that all stakeholders within the organisation share common goals and objectives. (Fajana, 2000).
In contrast with unitary, the assumptions of a pluralist industrial relationship are:
* The employment relationship is based on diverse aims and objectives which can cause conflict.
* Labour markets are not perfectly competitive.
* The human nature of employees, they are not just a unit of labour.
The Pluralist view is a more realistic approach to industrial relations that recognises the diverse and conflicting interests of the employee and employer relationship i.e. increase in wages/lower labour costs, job security/flexibility, work safety/ increased productivity The Pluralist also recognises the joint aims of the relationship in the form of job security, employers profitability and strong economy (Clegg 1975.)
While the above enhances our theoretical knowledge of the Employment Relationship, how does this affect ‘workers…working lives’
Salaman (1992) states that “the aims of the HR strategy process are typically concerned with managing people which assists in achieving organisational goals”. According to its many supporters the HRM led approach has enhanced organisational performance through many recent employee orientated iniatives such as High Performance Management (HPM) and High Commitment Management (HPC).
* It has encouraged and developed employee engagement: HR policies have been introduced that develop a more inclusive nature to the Employment Relationship, where employee’s views and ideas are considered in the decision-making process.
* Improve employee’s skills and abilities: Management have achieved this through identifying job appropriate candidates in recruitment process and then training and developing these employees through job specific training.
* Provide employee with added responsibilities to uses these skills and abilities: This further enforces the notion of engagement and the narrowing of the status divide by allowing employees to take ownership of tasks and reducing the “us and them” attitude.(Kelly and Kelly, 1991)
HRM professionals would also argue that balance within the Employment Relationship is achieved and maintained through the management of labour policy’s, strategies and structures that they implement to combat the four key instruments of...

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