Human Resource Retention Human Resources Membership and Essay

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Human Resource Retention

Human Resources Membership and Retention

Organized labor unions have seen a decline in membership retention of the last twenty years because of a loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States. There are many different perspectives in which to view this phenomenon from. Due to the rise of the globalized business environment, labor is no longer necessarily required to be in proximity to the parent company. More and more organizations are outsourcing labor or opening foreign operations in locations where the labor force is far less expensive and yet still highly skilled. Therefore businesses have a strong financial incentive to explore labor markets around the world. Furthermore, in many cases, there are also significantly relaxed or no regulations present in foreign markets. All of these factors make it difficult for labor in the United States to be competitive and in turn the organized labor unions have diminished from their former position in many industrialized countries.

Figure 1 - Union Membership as a Percent of Employment, 1930-2003 (Mayer, 2004)

The Union Perspective

From the Union perspective this trend is troubling at best. Not only is manufacturing moving to foreign markets where labor is cheaper, during the eighties and nineties there have been increasing innovations in automation capabilities (Beggs, N.d.).
This meant that many process in manufacturing could be completely conducted with equipment and machinery thus displacing the employees that formerly were required to complete those tasks. Other issues that have affected the unions include instances of corruption that have created distrust among many citizens due to the wave of negative publicity that arose and impacted the public conscious. The negative publicity fostered distrust in unions even though they generally help employees receive higher wages and greater benefits.

For unions to remain strong in the changing environment they must utilize education and outreach. They must reach out to groups with a message that correctly conveys the power workers can produce through collective bargaining. Furthermore, give the wave of popular protest that have spanned the globe the unions have a unique opportunity to capture these disgruntled citizens. For example, although there is much confusion surrounding the Occupy Wall Street (OWS), some of their core tenants include empowering workers and everyday people as opposed….....

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