The paper seeks to critically examine union versus non union employees in Cyprus. To adequately do those, the benefit or advantages of unionized/non-unionized workers will be succinctly brought to light. Labor unions are legal entities that represent workers in various organizations (Blanchflower, et al. 1991). The major activities of the union are to collectively bargain for better wages, compensations, healthcare insurance, better working environment among others (Thomas, 2010). In Cyprus, the idea has been met with mixed reaction. There are those that hold the opinion that it is just a collection of organized criminals and gangsters. On the other side, there are those of a contrary opinion and believe that it shows solidarity and togetherness to lobby for better returns from their employers. Union forms a fundamental of Cyprus economic history.
The research on union vs non-union employees in Cyprus will provide supportive information which would be used to arrive at a conclusion on whether or not workers in Cyprus in unions or labor unions. It will bring to light the advantages and disadvantages associated with unionized employees. It will further cover the limitations as well as advantages of non union employees. After all these issues have been brought to light, the study will provide recommendations to relevant stakeholders on whether employees will be under labor unions or not. The study will also provide basis on further research work related to library services. In respect with relevance to my area of study, the research will expand my knowledge on issues relating to employees welfare as well as sharpening my research skills and knowledge.
Just like any research study, the guiding research question is;
- What is the current situation with regards to trade union in Cyprus?
- What are the major advantages for employees to be unionized?
- What are the advantages to the employers for having unionized workers?
- Does having non unionized workers an advantage to employers?
- Is working for an employer without belonging to any trade union has advantages to workers?
- What are the major disadvantages for employees to be unionized?
Aims and objectives
The aim of the research is to establish whether the employees in Cyprus should be member of unions or not.
- To find out whether there are benefits both to employers and employees for having workers that belong to a trade union
- To establish if there are disadvantages linked to non-unionized workers
- To find out whether the employees in Cyprus should be member of unions or not
Literature review research
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The history of labor union in is attributed to industrial revolution that led to expansion of economic activities to the manufacturing industries. More and more workers shifted to these new industries with the hope of bettering their lives. They were shocked as they were faced with very unfavorable working conditions, long hours of work, poor wages, child labor among others (Kibbe, 1988). The government of the day did nothing to help these workers. The only thing they were left with was to act by themselves and they did this by striking but more often than not their efforts were frustrated as the employers employed private firms to forcefully stop these workers. Merchant and craft guild of medieval Europe is part of union history, employees joined each other and shared experiences, took part in charities, formulated rules for business as well as lobbying local government for number of issues (eHow Contributor 2010). Later governments passed lgislations after seriously analyzing issues brought forth, thus union became legal entities committed to helping employees feel comfort and satisfied while carrying out duties/tasks and responsibilities (Silverman, 2010).
The labor union helps in collective bargaining. This is where union members work to change their workplace. They fight for increase in wages and salaries, good working condition, better pension plan, health care, job security and vocations (Mishel, 2003). Union helps in upgrading the employees’ effectiveness in the company. It pushes the employer to either improve or collect conditions that are health hazard to the worker. This leads good working environment with less chances of accident. As the workers eyesight, it also fights for reasonable payment and better benefits. In the process, employees’ living is improved. When union is big enough, it may attract political arena. Politicians acts towards the desire of the union in search of their support. This helps the company employees to have government support in case of any grievances.
The costs and disadvantages of unionized workforce are either tangible or intangible. The negative implications cut across the board as it affects economy in general, the customers and vendors, the employees themselves and more so the employers (ICTUR et al., 2005)
The notable costs and disadvantages of unionized workforce to employer include lower job offers as the contracts blocks the employers from hiring new and competent workers, this can translate to power productivity, the collective bargain for wages and indeed for those official of the union makes the employer incur extra cost in establishing offices, paying fines (Thomas, 2010).
According to Sherk, (2010) organization can also loss its good will and reputation built over the years when unfair charges are taken to courts by the union, this coupled with increased running costs which is usually transferred to customers who end up spending more in buying a given service or product that may be of poor quality to resort buying that same product else where-losing customers. Additional wages incurred by employers in trying to compensate for those employees who are attending union function are too expensive when compared to paying them normally (Thomas, 2010).
Additionally, the contracts are signed in a manner that an employer cannot reward his/her best [performing employees, this may hinder efforts to motivate them thus ending up with less motivated and unsatisfied lot of employees translating to poor production among others (Sherk, 2010). Unionized employees have very high chances of going for strikes or a go slow as compared to their counter parts that are not unionized (Sherk, 2010). This results to interrupted service delivery, productions as well as poorly satisfied customers or venders.
The employer is also compelled to over-comply with government regulations, there by shifting part most of her efforts in being at par with the policies rather than issues that will translate to higher revenues, employee’s satisfaction and motivation, meeting the demands and aspirations of customers among others (Acuff, 2010). Similarly, demands for better pays, healthcare insurance that are hefty, compensations as well as other benefits incurred by the employer definitely forces the employer to consider these issues when pricing their products or services. This will be transferred to the end users of the product or service, considering the fact that there are other competitors who do not have unionized workforce, the former will be left disadvantage if the prices of the later are lower and offer quality goods and services. Being a fact, better pay, compensations, healthcare insurance ‘eat’ most of the revenue generated, hence very little is left for the employer to invest it elsewhere which couuld have led to creating more jobs and fostering economic growth (Bronars, et al., 1994)
The research employs a mixed research design method-qualitative and quantitative approach. The population of interest for the study is employees in industrial sectors as well as those in sectors such as hospitality, financial institution and education sectors. This is because are in a better position to provide the necessary and relevant information employees unionization. Due to the fact that the study cannot fully incorporate all of them, selecting a sample which will represent the whole population is always deemed necessary in such a study. The sample will however be representative of the general population.
The sampling strategies that will be used to obtain the sample population will include; random sampling, stratified random sampling, snowball sampling and careful biased sampling (Creswell, 2003). Use of random sampling ensures that a group of the entire population is selected to represent it in the research being done. This will involve the whole population being divided into samples that represent the entire population.
Data collection methods
The data required to fully address all the objectives and research questions will be obtained through perusal of secondary as well as from primary data sources. It is worth mentioning that before embarking on collection of the required and necessary data one would first seek permission from the relevant authorities from the institutions of higher learning targeted.
The main activities will be outlining the required data, data collection, preparation of the material and tools, and the arrangement of the needed assistance. The tools will include preparing, the questionnaires structures and questions and the data collection items to record the collected data. Forms will be designed so as to ensure the data collected is systematic and easily understood. After the collection of data there will be presentation of findings before the analysis where the data collected will be sorted or arranged appropriately to bring out a meaning; this will make it possible to emphasis on time management, accuracy and precision of the data (Beiske, 2002).
The collected data will be analyzed using non parametric statistics. The data will be filtered to clean it, modeling and transformation will be done in away that will expose useful information in drawing of conclusion and recommendation, then codification follows. Descriptive statistics will also be employed in analyzing the data. T-test will also be used to test research questions. The data will first be entered in to spreadsheets after coding where initial analysis will take place such as checking the errors logs and percentages of the data to check any outliers which will then be transferred to Statistical Program for Social Science (SPSS Version 12.0) package which will aid in the final data analysis (Pallant, 2007).
Ethical consideration time plan of research
As indicated by Beiske, 2002 some of the ethical consideration to be observed include the following; the targeted sample populations that will be involved in the study to provide relevant information are to be informed about the same in advance. The reasons for carrying out the survey as well as how they stand to gain from the study will also be brought out clearly.
It is important to note here that the rights and welfare of the participants involved in the study must be protected and guaranteed. To do this, their identities will be kept confidential. It is expected that the interviewees/respondents will be ethical and provide accurate information to the best of their knowledge. This means that they should not knowingly give false full information.