Without labor relations, many industries cannot function effectively. It is a system that deals with human resource management.
They have a direct impact on the labor market, influencing decision-making in firms as well as governments.
Our approach describes the connection between employers and employees through legal rights (created by law), the negotiating process, collective bargaining, ‘actors’ in this process, pay and benefits, social and security protection, and so on.
Table of Contents
Labor relations refers to the process through which employers and employees, management, and unions collaborate to make choices in companies.
They are the social relationships that form between an employer and an employee in regard to employment, use of labor, and payment of wages. The judgments made include salaries, working conditions, working hours, workplace safety, security, complaints, and so on.
Human Resource Management is concerned with the growth of individuals as well as the organizations in which they work.
For years now it has been established that the most essential and challenging collective bargaining topic is wage and compensation.
Collective bargaining is a basic right. Bargaining units only reflect the most important concerns impacting a certain set of individuals.
In a hospital, for example, physicians may form one bargaining unit while nurses have separate bargaining groups. Bargaining units only reflect the most important concerns impacting a certain set of individuals.
Bargaining units bring issues to the attention of unions. The more support a negotiating unit obtains, the simpler it will be to negotiate the necessary topics.
In a very small business, all of the employees can bargain collectively with their boss. For millennia, this type of informal collective bargaining has occurred. Today, however, most collective bargaining is done through workers’ groups, or unions, for instance, the trade union.
Parties involved in Labour Relations
One of the distinguishing features of labor relations is the employer-employee relationship. There would be no labor relation if these two parties did not exist. Another distinguishing feature is that labor relation is a byproduct of the social, political, and economic aspects associated with work. As a result, diverse political, social, and financial policies and decisions impact labor relations in every business. The primary players in labor relations are as follows:
There are three major parties that make up this institution.
- A trade Union
- The Employee and
- The management.
Trade unions have their roots in the first attempts to organize collective action at the dawn of the industrial revolution.
Trade unions are organizations that advocate the interests of employees inside a company. A trade union’s legal position may be the same as that of any other organization, or it may be subject to particular laws.
Many nations require trade unions to register and provide certain basic information to authorities (name, address, the identity of officials, etc.)
Unions capitalize on this power to influence organizational changes in favor of employees, for example, a salary increment or better working conditions.
The control role of trade unions is the inverse of their representational function: their legitimacy is based in part on their capacity to impose discipline on their membership, such as by calling or terminating a strike.
Employees are the individuals that make up a company. In labor relations, their major purpose is to achieve corporate goals and objectives.
Management, that is, the employers or job creators, are typically classified differently in industrial relations systems depending on whether they operate in the private or public sectors.
Trade unionism was historically created in the private sector, but in recent years, these characteristics have expanded to many public sector contexts as well.
The prevalence of trade unions varies greatly between and within nations. In several Western European nations, for example, it is quite high in the public sector but relatively low in the private sector, particularly in white-collar jobs.
Because public sector employers are already part of the state, they are exempt from regulations requiring employers’ groups to be registered.
Benefits of Labour Relations
- They solve issues pertaining to employee working hours and salaries
- Trade unions are introduced as third parties to resolve issues between the management and an employee.
- They lead to the reduction of unfair labor practices which are against the employee
- Lawful procedures are made which must be followed to avoid an unlawful fire from the organization.
- Ensures that employees enjoy additional benefits outside their annual salaries.
Labor Relations Act and processes
The National Labor Relations Act of the 1930s, which granted employees the freedom to organize unions and negotiate collectively, significantly impacted labor relations in the United States.
Different nations have laws or Acts called the Labor Relations Act that seeks to manage human resources in organizations.
As an employee, it is important to have a knowledge of these laws to know your right as an employee.
Also, organizations that seek to work with a trade union, need to have a basic understanding of the requirements necessary to be registered.
Let us look at sections from different country’s labor Act
Art. L. 411-3 of the France Labour Code
“The founders of every trade union shall file its rules and the names of all persons who are responsible in any capacity whatsoever for its administration or management.
Every change in the management or rules shall similarly be filed.”
According to South Africa, Labour Relations Act, 1995 (amended by the Labour Relations Amendment Act, 2002)
Sect. 95. Requirements for registration of trade unions or employers’ organizations.
(1) Any trade union may apply to the registrar for registration if-
(a) it has adopted a name that meets the requirements of subsection (4);
(b) it has adopted a constitution that meets the requirements of subsections (5) and (6);
(c) it has an address in the Republic; and
(d) it is independent.
(2) A trade union is independent if:
(a) it is not under the direct or indirect control of any employer or employers’ organization; and
(b) it is free of any interference or influence of any kind from any employer or employers’ organization.
(3)Any employers’ organization may apply to the registrar for registration if-
(a) it has adopted a name that meets the requirements of subsection (4);
(b) it has adopted a constitution that meets the requirements of subsections (5) and (6), and
(c) it has an address in the Republic.
(4) Any trade union or employers’ organization that intends to register may not have a name or shortened form of the name that so closely resembles the name or shortened form of the name of another trade union or employers’ organization that it is likely to mislead or cause confusion.
Sect. 96. Registration of trade unions or employers’ organizations.
(1) Any trade union or employers’ organization may apply for registration by submitting to the registrar-
(a) a prescribed form that has been properly completed;
(b) a copy of its constitution; and
(c) any other information that may assist the registrar to determine whether or not the trade union or employers’ organization meets the requirements for registration.
(2) The registrar may require further information in support of the application.
(3) The registrar-
(a) must consider the application and any further information provided by the applicant; and
(b) if satisfied that the applicant meets the requirements for registration, must register the applicant by entering the applicant’s name in the register of trade unions or the register of employers’ organizations.
(4) If the registrar is not satisfied that the applicant meets the requirements for registration, the registrar
(a) must send the applicant a written notice of the decision and the reasons for that decision; and
(b) in that notice, must inform the applicant that it has 30 days from the date of the notice to meet those requirements.
(5) If, within that 30-day period, the applicant meets the requirements for registration, the registrar must register the applicant by entering the applicant’s name in the appropriate register.
(6) If, within that 30-day period, an applicant has attempted to meet the requirements for registration but the registrar concludes that the applicant has failed to do so, the registrar must
(a) refuse to register the applicant; and
(b) notify the applicant in writing of that decision.
(7) After registering the applicant, the registrar must-
(a) issue a certificate of registration in the applicant’s name; and
(b) send the certificate and a certified copy of the registered constitution to the applicant.
Enforcement of Contract and Labor Laws
Without an enforcement mechanism, labor agreements have no significance. However, in developed countries, most labor agreements rely on less problematic means of enforcement.
A system of arbitration, in which disagreements are sent to an impartial arbitrator chosen jointly by the employer and the workers’ group, is a frequent enforcement tool in industrialized nations.
In some situations, disagreements may be handled through the legal system, either through conventional courts or through special labor courts or boards.
A strike is one way for a workers’ organization to respond to a purported infraction by the employer; on the other hand, the employer might participate in a lockout, restricting employment to workers’ organization members until the issue is settled.
A sample video is provided below for a better understanding:
For policymakers in labor relations to strike a balance between ensuring rights and promoting competitiveness in their organizations, making their employers more productive is a top priority, relying on a variety of policy measures.
Wage levels, collective bargaining, employee representation, safety and security requirements, working hours, and contracts are all important considerations. All of these factors have an impact on policy and labor market flexibility.
Employees feel satisfaction in being able to accomplish tasks effectively and are more inclined to do a better job, boosting workplace participation and being more implicated.