Trade Unions Concept and Theories

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Trade unions are developed to protect and promote the interests of their members. The ability of trade unions to exercise power and influence over users of that service depends on the relative demand for that service. Thus, when demand for skilled labour is high, trade unions are in a relatively powerful position to negotiate a high price for the use of that labour. When demand for labour is slack and unemployment begins to raise, the influence power of trade unions will diminish (Ken 1994 p25).

The state (all levels of government) plays a crucial role in employment relations, both directly and indirectly. The roles undertaken by governments may be categorized into five components including maintaining protective standards; establishing rules for the interaction between the parties; ensuring that the results of such interaction were consistent with the apparent needs of economy; providing services for labour and management such as advice, conciliation, arbitration and training; and as a major employer.

After World War II, it indicates that many governments adopt a more active role in regard to employment relations (Bamber et al. 2004 p 12).

Theory and ConceptsBain and Clegg (1974) as well as Clegg (1976) state that dissimilarity in the dimensions of collective bargaining in various countries is the most important element in the shaping of union behaviour. This might represent a theory of trade union behaviour regarding collective bargaining however Clegg does not consider it a complete theory of trade unionism, because theory does not clarify the political actions of trade union. Even if the theory was comprehensive enough, it would not still not be considered as of theory of industrial relations. The dimensions of collective bargaining for Clegg are mostly affected by the structure as well as attitudes of employers' relations and management. State involvement through legislation might also...