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How employers feel about trade unions

Sometimes it depends on the social climate of a country that determines attitudes towards members of trade unions. Everyone is entitled to be a member of a trade union but for the employer, having members in the workplace can have its advantages and its disadvantages.

What are the advantages?

  • The employer can deal with the trade union representative in the workplace rather than lots of different employees. This makes it less intimidating for the employer, particularly if there are ongoing workplace issues.

  • Employers can pass information to the trade union representative in the workplace to distribute to its members and this saves the employer time.

What are the disadvantages?

  • Trade unions may encourage members to go against company wishes and this can cause ill feeling and create poor working relationships between employees and between the employer and employees.

  • Industrial action such as strikes can lead to loss of profits for the business because the employees are not in the workplace.

  • Trade unions can force employers to raise wages and improve terms and conditions which can put the employer under pressure.

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