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AS and A Level: Trade Unions

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  1. The Waterfront Crisis

    (WSWS.org 1998). He promised to improve efficiency and the labour market by substantially restructuring industrial relations. At the core of this agenda was the "waterfront reform", involving nothing less than the dismantling of the industrial relations system, based on a centralised system of regulations governing wages and conditions, supervised by the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC). For corporations facing heightened competition at both a global and national level, this system had become completely incongruous increasing the need for daily flexibility in the hire of labour -- constant downsizing, contracting out, the use of part-time and casual labour and flat-rate working to eliminate overtime payments.

    • Word count: 2002
  2. Identify and explain the major issues relative to the unionization process and what organizations do to make it difficult to implement the process relative to unfair practices. Cite sources and examples.

    The signatures of 30 percent or more of the employees in the bargaining unit being sought must support it. These signatures may be on paper. Generally, this designation or ''showing of interest'' contains a statement that the employees want to be represented for collective bargaining purposes by a specific labor organization. Each employee must sign the showing of interest and each employee's signature must be dated. These elections are conducted under laboratory conditions to ensure that the election represents the free choice of the employees.

    • Word count: 2328
  3. What is the influence of women social workers in the United States labor movement?

    Of the 13 million people in unions today, 5.6 million, or 43 percent, are women. Labor officials say the percentage of women in unions has risen steadily over the years, and will likely increase faster as the U.S economy continues its shift toward service sector industries. As a result, labor operatives are turning more to "pocketbook issues" to appeal to women, and convince them that unions hold the key to better pay, better benefits, better hours and more safe. Currently around the world women in social work have actually changed the structure of the American labor force.

    • Word count: 5255
  4. Examine how "the decline of trade unions and low levels of out of work welfare payments, and several other factors have all made it easier for firms to keep wages down'.

    So as you can see the basic purpose of the trade union is the welfare of their union. As we know the number of trade unions have fallen dramatically since 1979. This has be caused by various factors such as changes in composition of employment. This includes manufacturing deindustrialisation and downsizing. Also expansion of the service sector employment and also the rise in self employment and many more. But all of these factors have resulted in the trade unions to decline in numbers.

    • Word count: 1189
  5. American Labor Movement.

    Child labor in the factories was not only common, but necessary for a family's income. Children as young as five or six manned machines or did jobs such as sweeping floors to earn money. It was dangerous, and they were often hurt by the large machinery. No laws prevented the factories from using these children, so they continued to do so. Technology improvements continued to reduce the demand for skilled labor. With an abundance of new immigrants willing to work, and no laws protecting a worker's rights, businesses disregarded the lives of the individuals. The first large national labor organization to become popular was the Knights of Labor.

    • Word count: 856
  6. How significant were trade unions in the creation and Development of the LRC by 1903?

    Far from being social revolutionaries the members regarded striking as a last resort. This non-militant strategy allowed the unions to develop rapidly as they posed no real threat to the status quo, they were also able to gain some important reforms. The 1867 reform act gave the vote to skilled workers. (It was not until seventeen years later, in 1884, that unskilled workers were finally given the vote. This widening franchise meant more workers felt they were being short changed in that they had finally been given the vote but had no party that truly represented them - this will be discussed later).

    • Word count: 1983
  7. Account for the much lower level of strike incidence in Britain in recent years. Are strikes 'withering away' as a feature of British industrial relations?

    For example the number of working days lost per year due to strikes had peaked at 14 million in 1970-1974 before falling below 1 million between 1990 and 1994. During the 1970s, strike numbers fell, but the presence of large disputes kept the levels of worker involvement and days lost very high. The 1980s saw the majority of strikes shift to the public sector. During the 1980s all the main indicators fell, so that by the end of the decade the number of strikes was similar to that in the 1940s though worker involvement and days lost were still higher.

    • Word count: 2536
  8. Describe and analyse the key developments in British industrial relations over the past 20 years. How do you account for these changes?

    Throughout the 1970s Britain had been subjected to a series of damaging strikes and terrific inflation. There are several identifiable aspects of Thatcherism that set about to deal with these problems. The Tories 1979 manifesto pledged to encourage private enterprise, lower taxes and restore power to the individual. During its years in power, the Thatcher government managed to weaken the stranglehold trade unions held over industry and government in Britain. Thatcher saw this as a very important part of her plans for the country. In 1980, 82, 84 and 88 legislation was introduced affecting the Unions.

    • Word count: 2436
  9. "Big" Industries.

    By 1869, the Transcontinental Railroad was completed in standard gauge. The South changed over to it as well in 1886, and the entire nation used it. Later on, a Go-Getter named Rockefellar, made his fortune through oil. He organized companies into pools, where all prices were the same, and there was no competition. He made it so that there was no conspiracy, which was anything that involved different prices. He built a company, known as the "Trustee," which controlled all the businesses. The first trust, was called "Standard Oil." Two other Go-Getters were Morgan and Carnegie.

    • Word count: 1420
  10. The formation of the International Ladies Garment Worker's Union was somewhat of a miracle.

    The women in the garment industry held meetings in houses where they formed local unions. A local union is the smallest unit of labor organization and represents workers in a particular plant, neighborhood or city. These local unions mapped out their demands and organized strikes. In 1898, members of various cloakmakers unions began calling for the formation of a national union. In 1899, strikes broke out due to the demand for high wages, however, manufacturers forced them back to work without a pay increase.

    • Word count: 2272
  11. What Are Trade Unions For?

    If a person did obtain an injury in their workplace they would want advice and negotiation on benefits available. If these sort of negotiations where taken to court people would expect legal services, for example, representation at industrial tribunals and legal advice in cases of the employer's negligence. Trade unions would also be expected to provide advice and financial assistance when the employee is faced with loss of pay and/or employment, for example, during a strike. This is a general idea of what is required from a trade union and it can be applied into to almost every sector in the economy.

    • Word count: 1066
  12. It is our intention to examine the interplay between industrial relations (IR) and human resource management (HRM).

    (Mabey & Salaman, 1995) Industrial Relations - Definition "The study of the relationship between the organization and its employees. This covers the full range of collective and individual interactions and communications between employers and employees. And also the processes by which they adjust to the needs and wants of each other"(Clark, 1993, p. 97)) Approaches to industrial relations * Unitary approach This approach refers to mutual cooperation, individual treatment and sharing of common objectives. Work place conflict is seen as a temporary hurdle.

    • Word count: 2416
  13. The Winnipeg General Strike.

    Socialist ideals were readily received on the shop floors and there was sympathy for, if not an outright desire to create, the One Big Union. The Winnipeg General Strike, which lasted from May-June 1919 began innocently enough. The building and metal trades resorted to strike action at the beginning of May in order to resolve disputes with their various employers.4 Their demands were reasonable and were, in fact, the same as many modern day demands which result in labour disputes and strike action.

    • Word count: 5591
  14. Growth and Decline in Size and Density of Australian Trade Unionism.

    Not only was this seen in the convict settlement but also with free settlers making use of slaves. As Australia began to find new areas of trade such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing, metal and maritime the relationship between employer and employee remained the same. Job security at the time was high due to the scarcity of unemployed labour and the still infant Australian population. Employees thus would take the gamble with their job security to attempt and obtain more advantages through joining a union (Peetz, 1998 p.118). Unions in the sector of agriculture, maritime and mining were only possible because of the large scale employment of labour.

    • Word count: 2575
  15. To what extent was the end of Fleet Street the result of newspaper industry industrial relations?

    The National Graphic Association (NGA) and Society of Graphical and Allied Trades (SOGAT) unions had power over the newspaper management, which proprietors sought to end. The unions had power over the production process, like in no other industry. If the printing unions launched strikes they knew they would immediately disrupt the production process, as the cost of a day without production was enormous. An example of this is in 1978/79, the Times and the Sunday Times had been shut down for nearly a year, with the owners, Thomson losing �40 million2 as a result.

    • Word count: 1739
  16. To what extent has British employment relations changed since 1980?

    These emphases have had a great effect on Employment Relations, especially on the labour market. Mrs Thatcher believed that the Trade Unions held too many cards and measures had to be taken to tip the scales in favour of the employers. Rose (2001) quotes this as " neo-laissez faire" or new liberalism. Before looking into the changes that were rung in by the Conservative's, I feel it important to establish the main characteristics of this government. According Rose (2001), they were: > "A resurgence of capitalist values (free enterprise, open markets, deregulation, individualism, privatisation) and abandonment of Keynesian economics > "Avid pursuit of monetarist supply side economics" > "A concerted attempt to weaken the fabric

    • Word count: 1891
  17. Comparison between unitary and pluralist perspectives.

    The management would possibly see this as a threat to their power within the company, as once a trade union was developed management positions would not have complete control. This is why members have no decision making role within the business. Management should be trusted to make acceptable decisions and the members should agree and stand by resolution. The pluralist perspective accepts that their members all have goals, aims and objectives, but they may be all different in relation to the company.

    • Word count: 2991
  18. "Management strategy towards collective bargaining is now characterised by decentralisation and flexibility" Discuss.

    As Purcell argued, the ' decentralisation of collective bargaining and the focus on the local unit' is associated with the evolution of 'organisation- based employment systems'. Let us first focus on the reasons for trade union representation decline and the concomitant decline in the coverage of collective bargaining, particularly in the private sector. Firstly following the recession in 1980, some firms adopted macho-management policies, in response to the threat of plant closure and thus cost-cutting measures were needed. Union power was an obstacle in the way of this and companies such as the British Leyland Company confronted and defeated union power.

    • Word count: 1781
  19. How far was the development of trade union rights hindered by divisions within the American trade union movements 1865-1980?

    Both the immigrant and white workforce refused to work with the blacks. These divisions impeded the development of unity and solidarity that labour needed in order to assert its rights and be recognised. As well as this, ability of the workforce to protest was also fundamentally weakened by poverty and the need to survive. Therefore, the chance of some form of assertive leadership to unite the labour force and win change and reform was unlikely. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, association with radicalism violence and anarchy tainted organised labour protest, those who disapproved included, employers, the general public and members of the labouring classes.

    • Word count: 1631
  20. What are trade unions?

    With a trade union staff are more likely to go on strike which costs the business money. Conclusion: Trade unions are generally good because they keep your staff more happy as they feel more secure with there job and also it means that workers have a more fair deal. This will mean that staff will not get mistreated and will generally mean that the business will become more productive because of the increase in worker moral. RMT RMT: Democratic union composed of over 60,000 members which work in almost every sector of the transport industry - from the mainline railway, the underground, shipping, buses and road freight.

    • Word count: 1514
  21. Labourers’ Treatment at the Turn of the Twentieth Century.

    "With fingers that never new toil / with nose-tip swollen and red/ a delegate sat in an easy chair / eating the labours bread / Strike-Strike-Strike! / Nor dare return to your work, / and still with his swaggering, insolent air/ he sang the song of the shirk." (Desmond; pg.81) In 1913, the British Columbia Federation, a newspaper publication, explained how the labourers were treated at one of the Canadian Northern Railway camp: They (the labourers) are told that there is no work for them at their trade or on the conditions they were originally hired, and they will have to work as common labourers with pick and shovel, or any other work they may be set at.

    • Word count: 1445
  22. Why did the General Strike of 1926 take place?

    When men from the war came home they found the promises made by Lloyd George were not met and if men have been fighting for their country for four years they are prepared to fight for their jobs and standards of living at home. There are many long-term (something which builds up over a long time) causes of the strike. These are; conditions and pay of miners, at the time of the General Strike an average of two miners were killed per day.

    • Word count: 1872
  23. 'The First World War was important as a locomotive for domestic change' (Clive Emsley). How true is this of trade unions and government intervention in social welfare in Britain during the period 1914-1922?

    The first state pensions were introduced in 1909 with the Old Age Pensions Act, and the Workmen's Compensation Act enabled workers to claim for injury or illness. These are all examples of the government finally beginning to look after the working classes. This shows that Trade Unions were becoming militant and powerful before the war, and the government were already introducing welfare reforms, and that the war did not start, but merely increased these factors. The Defence of the Realm act of 1914 gave the government control by nationalising the main industries, such as the coal industry.

    • Word count: 1448
  24. Why did the general strike of 1926 take place?

    so the miners thought that because they were risking their lives they were they should get a higher pay, these factors contributed to the strike by building tension between the miners and mine owners and other businesses because of the rise in export prices. The trade unions contributed and supported strike action because they believed that they had special rights such as higher wages and threatened a general strike along with Labour for the first time in 1920, months later in 1921 the confrontation was to come to a head when the government said it was stopping its control over

    • Word count: 1666
  25. Explain fully and clearly the importance of negotiation within industrial relations to resolve disputes

    I believe the main reason why negotiations are important is that businesses reputations and profession develop a bad reputation, which has a knock on effect on recruitment. No one wants to be a fireman and most firemen don't want to stay in their job. This is the other way round in teaching; there is a lack of teachers applying for jobs. If the public see that teachers are given more London allowance then more people may think about applying for a teaching job.

    • Word count: 5727

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