A labor union is an organization that consists of a group of employees that work as a unit to protect their rights as workers and negotiate benefits, salaries, training, and other work conditions with their employer. Approximately one in eight Americans is in a labor or worker’s union. While the media is quick to peg unions against employers, labor unions are not necessarily a bad thing for employers. Read on to find out how a worker’s union can actually help your business.

Advantages

There are several key advantages to having employees who are unionized. The following are some of the most significant.

  • Easy Negotiations: Dealing with a labor union is far easier than negotiating with a number of employees at once. When your employees are unionized, you will only have to deal with union representatives in order to negotiate terms and resolve disputes. While unions may be differ in their structural organization, most have several elected representatives to represent all workers. These representatives handle all negotiations, meaning that you won’t have to meet with multiple people.
  • Employee Satisfaction: Labor unions help to increase employee satisfaction with their job. Employees feel that their needs are being addressed this way. Workers are more likely to receive higher wages and well-rounded benefit packages when they are unionized, which means that as an employer you are meeting their needs. As a result, your employees feel greater satisfaction in their positions and are willing to return the favor by being responsible, productive, trustworthy employees.
  • Lower Turnover: Companies and businesses that are unionized experience less employee turnover. This is due to the fact that employees value unions and the outcomes that they can bring in terms of improved working conditions. Employees also pay dues to belong to a union and achieve seniority for staying longer in an organization. They are less likely to risk losing their position. This saves you money in the long run, as you won’t have to be continuously investing time and money into recruiting and training new staff.
  • Making Changes: No matter what the field, every business has to adapt, change, and grow to stay competitive. Businesses that have labor unions are able to partner to make changes happen faster. Unions are organized and can help disseminate information to employees very quickly so that everyone is on the same page.

Addressing the Disadvantages.

Naturally, there are also disadvantages to having unionized employees. These include strict labor laws that govern the rights of unionized workers, increases in the cost of labor, strikes, less control over your workforce, additional accounting, and more lawsuits. With that said, the mere fact that your employees choose to unionize isn’t reason to feel antagonized by them. Keep in mind that workers have needs just as you do, and the best way is to try to find middle ground that addresses everyone’s needs.

Union Members Discussing Union Business

Union Members Discussing Union Business

Quick Summary

A union is a group of workers that band together to protect their own rights and negotiate work conditions. If you’re an employer and your employees decide to unionize, it doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Keep in mind that there are both advantages and disadvantages.