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Why Employees Unionize

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Exactly how political, economic, and workforce changes affect employers and unions will be factors in the future of the labor–management relationship. Employers and HR professionals still need to understand the system of laws, regulations, court decisions, and administrative rulings related to the nature of unions. This is important because unions remain a strong alternative for employees in the event of poor HR practices. A union is a formal association of workers that promotes the interests of its members through collective action. If employees believe they are being treated unfairly by their companies, they may turn to unions to get assistance with their concerns. The major factors that can trigger unionization are issues of compensation, working conditions, management style, and employee treatment. One of the primary determinants of whether employees want to unionize is how well their companies are managed. Unionization often occurs when employees feel disrespected, unsafe, underpaid, and unappreciated; they see a union as a viable option for change. Once unionization occurs, the ability of the union to foster commitment from members and to remain as their bargaining agent depends on how well the union succeeds in providing the services that its members want, which can further strengthen or weaken workers’ perceptions of unions.
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