Workers rights

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Workers' Right to Form Unions

Workers have the right to form unions to solve the difficulties that they face (USDL, 2017). With the dawn of the industrial world and capitalism, workers' collective bargaining power has evolved. Previously, there were no laws governing labor unions (Sachs, 1998; Craver, 2013). Historically, most workers who participated in strikes were abused and faced termination. But, in the current world, there are rules that protect strikers and prevent them from being harmed (Noe, et al., n.d). Furthermore, in the past, employees had enormous collective negotiating strength because they were limited in number and employers had no choice but to listen to them. In the current era, there are so many workers and that has given employers massive bargaining powers; they can hire and fire at any given time (Surmon, n.d).

Impact of a Recession on Unions

A recession causes reduced production and earnings for corporations and most of them are forced to take radical measures to minimize further losses (Surmon, n.d). An example of a measure that is taken by corporations during a recession is the reduction of workers' salaries and benefits and downsizing. In the line with that, a recession cripples a union's ability to strike and win concessions from corporate management by dividing workers. It introduces anxiety and worry among workers, many of them are worried they will be part of those who will be laid off. So, many would want to be in good terms with the management to avoid being fired. By creating the feeling of uncertainty, workers end up being divided and as such, their unions cannot have collective bargaining powers. This limits a union's ability to strike and win concessions from corporate management.

Organizational Climate after a Strike

The organizational climate after a strike is always disfigured. After a strike, mistrust between the employer and employees may set in. If the issues causing the strike have not been solved, workers are likely to have low morale and low job commitment. Additionally, there could be mistrust between employees whereby those who did not take part in the strike or underperformed are viewed differently by their colleagues. Interpersonal relations between workers, managers, junior staff, and between departments may be strained after a strike.

HR Actions to Improve Workplace Relations after a Strike

Once the strike has ended, there are different HR actions that are needed to improve workplace relations. Firstly, the HR department needs to organize a meeting where all employees and the organization's management engage in ironing out any differences between them (Durai, 2008). If a meeting that brings together all employees is not possible, departmental heads can meet with the organization's management. The departmental heads should thereafter meet with their staff and pass the message to them. The meeting should allow both parties to air out any issues they have and commit to fulfill what was agreed upon. Secondly, the HR department ought to improve interpersonal work relations (Durai, 2008). The HR department can organize workshops, seminars or outdoor training activities that will allow employees to interact and in the process, build positive interpersonal relations. Thirdly, the HR department should seek to motivate all employees by introducing bonuses, rewards or recognition for successful employees or those that attain their targets (Durai, 2008). This will challenge others to put in more effort and be rewarded too, thus, improving work performance.


In conclusion, workers have the right to form unions that seek to address the issues facing them. However, a recession creates the feeling of uncertainty and divides workers and as such, their unions cannot have collective bargaining powers. After a strike, the organizational climate may be disfigured and to make it conducive for everyone, the HR needs to organize a meeting where the management and employees iron out their differences. The HR department should also invest in building interpersonal relations among employees and improving employee motivation.


Craver, C. (2013). Collective bargaining interactions. Retrieved on April 7, 2017 from

Durai, P. (2008). Human resource management. Mumbai: Pearson Education.

Noe, R., et. al. (n.d). Human resource management, Chapter 14: Collective bargaining and labor relations, chapter 14 PowerPoint presentation. Retrieved on April 7, 2017 from Entertainment-ppt-powerpoint/

United States Department of Labor (USDL). (2017), Office of labor-management standards, collective bargaining agreements. Retrieved on April 7, 2017from

Sachs, S. (1998). Negotiation skills: A platform for success. Risk Management, 45(4), 70-76. Retrieved on April 7, 2017 from

Surmon, P. (n.d). Labor struggles. Retrieved on April 7, 2017 from http://newshour

May 02, 2023

Economics Business

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Workers Trade Union Employee

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