Trade Union Response And Collective Bargaining Supervision Essay

Trade Union Response And Collective Bargaining Supervision Essay

According to the dictionary of People Resource Supervision (2010, p.370-371), Trade union is defined as, “A representative or member group of personnel that exists to safeguard and advance the pursuits of employees.”

According to the National Archives of UK, as of 2002 there were 213 trade unions in UK with a membership of 7.7 thousands. Whereas, in Pakistan the total number of trade unions is just about 7200 out which only 1900 have a right to act as collective bargaining brokers (CBAs) (Ghayur, 2009, cited in Ahmad, p.8). Collective bargaining brokers are those, which were given a legal permission or right by the Government to collectively bargain with the management on their members’ behalf.


According to Jeff (1989, p.66-67) the trade unions could be divided into five main types:

i. Craft unions: These kind of unions organize the staff on the basis of their skill irrespective of the business or industry they are employed in. For instance, doctors or engineers whether from private or general public sector join together to create a union.

ii. Occupational unions: These sorts of unions organize workers belonging to a single occupational category whatever the degree of their skills or encounter. These kind of unions are as well being created from the craft unions in order to increase the number of organized employees. For instance, the construction personnel joining hands together to form a trade union covering both competent and low-skilled workers in the construction industry.

iii. Industry Unions: This kind of union organizes the workers only in a specific industry. For instance, nurses union representing the health care market or a union representing the lectures from numerous universities.

iv. Basic Unions: It organizes personnel over a range of industries, occupations and skills. For example, a workers union can include employees from overall health, education and phone centers etc.

v. Company Unions: This sort of union is formed only by the members of specific organization. For example “Union Unite” signifies the members of British Airways Authority.

The other types of unions may include sectoral unions and ideological unions.

The trade unions have been on a decline because the 1980’s because of the unions’ inability to organize workers especially in the constant growing substantial technology, IT and the provider sectors in USA and in the 90’s the data became more apparent that the union electric power was going right through a similar downfall in many countries, incorporating Sweden and Germany, where unions got a very strong position (Katz, 1999). This decline in addition has been experienced by UK aswell (Arthur, 2010). Also as well, because of globalization, network societies, increase industry competition and the decentralization of authority have also influenced on the decline of union membership. Another point could be the rising real wages and increasing inflation has also decreased the incentives for staff to join unions (Blyton and Turnbull, 2004, p.143). The increasing costs of living include made the personnel reluctant to become listed on or renew their unions’ memberships. Another factor could be due to the sharp upsurge in the unemployment level across various economies due to recession and other factors. For instance the youth unemployment amount in UK (20.5%) as of today is the highest since 1994 (BBC, 2011). The general unemployment price of UK has also raised from 5% to 7.5% over the last five years (workplace for national statistics). This has resulted in management having more ability regarding hiring and firing of staff members. Low way to obtain jobs against the substantial supply of employees have manufactured the workforce in immediate competition with one another which again has bring about de-unionization of the workforce.

Another reason why staff today are more hesitant in favour of trade unions is they are not sure about whether unions can actually “deliver” (Gemstone and Freeman, 2001 cited in Blyton and Turnbull, 2004 p.143). The trade unions have usually failed to surpass their goals to the workforce before. As well, an increasing number of managements in the organisations, whose staff were vulnerable enough to become listed on the trade unions, attended up with pro-active ways of keep the personnel satisfied under the umbrella of management that have again led to the decline of the trade unions.

But concurrently, during the last decade the amount of decline provides been constantly decreasing. That is because of the fact that the trade unions have tried to develop different sort of revival ways of attract and organize more workers. These tactics are as follows:

Consumerism: This plan involves around individual people of the work force. The idea is to concentrate on needs of a person that will then provide them inspiration for applying and retaining union membership. The huge benefits supplied by the union include financial discounts, insurance and trip travels, legal guidance and training and development. Regardless of the excessive advertisement of the services, its still didn’t marked as a travelling force for the workers to join or leave the unions.

Mergers: This plan includes signing up for hands with the various other unions through mergers or acquisitions as a way to tackle the decline of union membership also to increase the ability of collective bargaining. As mentioned by Gennard (2009, p.117) the trade unions can merger by anybody of the two different methods. One is normally a union transferring its membership real estate, processes and finances to some other union. The acquiring union keeps its brand and workbooks however now has more assets with regards to workers, employees and finances to arrange its members. The other an individual is by dissolving two or more unions to make a new union with a new name and a union rulebook. The essence of such move is a new union with a new identification and modus of operandi will draw in in new members and will be in better posture to retain its associates by providing them a brand new motto and new directions. Dr Undy (cited in Gennard 2009, p.118-119) concludes that strategy does not offer an answer to the problem of declining union membership on the other hand the transferring of union membership is definitely relatively more successful than by to dissolve unions to produce a new one. It could be because of the fact that workers, now under the umbrella of a whole new union and the way it organizes, may well not like to see this sudden switch and some would even may found it considerably more riskier.

Partnership: Guest and Peccei (1998 cited in Peter and Michael, 2001, p.166) define partnership “in terms of commitment to a set of principals which usually do not include recognition of autonomous employees representation.” Whereas, “Social Partnership” is a very vague term and in UK can contain various meanings predicated on its interpretation under the spotlight of union activities (Ackers and Payne, 1998; Guest and Pecci, 2001; Taliby and Winchester, 2000, cited in Heery, 2002, p.21-24). Public partnership at European level will make reference to a social dialogue between the European countries such as for example Spain, Denmark, Italy, Holland etc; and will make an effort to achieve a mutual floor between your workforces of different countries on the framework provided by the European Union.

At Status level, it implies that the unions own a commanding role when it comes to deciding the objectives of the economic and social supervision. At provider level, it implies as the collaboration between your unions and the control to provide a win-win offer for both the parties. There’s been varied evidence with regards to success or failure of this sort of union revival strategy.

Organizing Unit: The organizing unit aims to create unions as campaigning agencies, which targets mobilizing the personnel against the injustices faced at work. This model main;y revolves around in construction the unions from the scratch by using the following approaches (Bronfenbrenner, 1998 cited in Heery, 2002, p.27) described below:

The organizing version involves carefully planned campaigns in which the target work force is determined and the means to recruit them are prepared out within an organized manner. The prepared campaigns likewise emphasizes on the problems and concerns of the prospective employees which are identified through surveys or target groups. They are than used as the selling point in the campaigns so as to retain and attract even more members. The strategy as well involves various advertisements/propaganda tools such as for example posters, badges, petitions, publications and strikes. These designs also involves around the thought of lead organizers or in other words as project managers in order to start, monitor and boost the rate of participation between the target employees. The strategy is usually overseen by an organizing committee, which involves the members of the target work force as well. By using mapping or location solutions to point out and locate all the potential members of the task force and than rank them in amount of their likeliness to become listed on the union. More participants are also recruited on like-to-like basis in which specially trained recruiters are used to convince the non-members to join the union. For instance, a mother-to-mother, young-to-fresh etc are specifically used to attract even more members to the union. This unit as well emphasizes on the production of the support of network so that it can reach out to the people outside the work force aswell so that you can enhance its impression and position.


Goodman (1984, p.145 cited in Blyton and Turnbull, 1994, p.177) describes collective bargaining as ” A process through which representatives of companies and employee organizations become the joint creators of the substantive and the procedural guidelines of employment”. It requires trade union representatives and supervision negotiating over substantive employee rules such as for example pay, working time, pensions, sick leave etc and procedural occupation rules including the nature of acceptable company conduct and behaviour. If the collective bargaining can function successfully in a society; depends upon the nature of its establishments, legislations and the roles performed by the three actors of occupation relationship i.e. federal government, management and labour. The ultimate way to appreciate the collective bargaining is certainly to truly have a deep insight along the way and the values connected with it. Vernon (1963, p.549-550) outlines the following six elements for the better knowledge of the procedure of collective bargaining:

1. There is a “real” interdependence exists between your parties. The staff need the supervision, the administration needs the personnel, and both the management and employees need the government and vice-versa. Without any of these actors, a business cannot be run successfully or efficiently and on a single page, the federal government needs both the get-togethers to play their functions in the creation of economy. Subsequently, this dependency can’t be terminated despite having issues between your parties.

2. Even all of the parties are dedicated in the continuous operations of a business; these parties can still have their own individual interests as well. Therefore, an absolute union and management corporation can’t be expected because there will always be a clash of pursuits.

3. Also in the unions itself, there may be workers ranging from differing backgrounds and having unique professional level and occupation in the union. Likewise there is usually a traditional vertical hierarchy in the unions, for instance, senior and junior management. These factors can lead to internal differences in between the unions aswell. This phenomenon is also similar across the management of an corporation/company, for example, a senior finance manager could have different individual interests in comparison to a cashier or a line manager.

4. The parties involved in collective bargaining, almost all of the times, aren’t absolutely alert to the exact mother nature of the stances of the additional. The parties are well alert to their own standpoint because of the common work place and the normal interest as well but have little background knowledge about the stance of others.

5. As a result of varied nature of the get-togethers involved in collective bargaining, all the parties operate with particular limitations as well. For example, a certain “rigid” organizational internal insurance plan may hinder the procedure of bargaining among the functions as no get together will be willing to change their policy. Concurrently, there could possibly be some external limitation in conditions of economic, political, sociable and legal obligations as well, which may also become a barrier for the process of bargaining.

6. In addition to the above-mentioned factors, there is also a struggle for the power, which can hinder the procedure of collective bargaining.

The Case of Pakistan:

Pakistan, an underdeveloped region, has suffered from interior political disputes and low levels of foreign investments since the day it was born. The constant acts of terrorism within the last decade, earthquake in 2008 and just lately the record floods in 2010 2010 in the united states have been a significant blow to the market of this country. As of 2007 the full total labour force of Pakistan constitutes of around 48 million. Through the 1969, the Industrial Relation Ordinance was passed by the government about the trade unions and commercial disputes. This ordinance was improved by all the respective military regimes on the sole basis of protection of their “power” which came after 1969. In 2008, the Pakistan’s people’s get together reinvented the Industrial Relations Ordinance into a brand-new legislation called the professional relations act, 2008.

Regarding the collective bargaining this can be a constitutional best for the trade unions in Pakistan but simultaneously, there are particular limitations on the proper of strike of an employee. For instance, the employees in the general public service sector do not have the right to organize. Therefore about half of the task force, which is normally from the personal sector, only has the to organize. Even of the members affiliated with the unions, just those have the proper to discount on collective bases whose unions have got the acknowledgement as the Collective Bargaining Agent by the Government.

Similar to the styles of the union decline already mentioned, the labour unions in Pakistan also have experienced the decline both when it comes to size and power in its brief record. As a number of the factors brought up by the literature about the decline of trade unions may be applicable to Pakistan as well, but there is an another unique factor which includes played a major purpose in the union membership decline. This factor may be the periodic military interventions which specifically pose an excellent threat to the climb of trade unions. As stated by Candland (2007, p.55), the army will continue to respect the unions as a hazard with their interests and for that reason will limit and dictate the personnel’ unions. There have been even some cases in which the management of an organization accused the trade unions representatives of against the law activities beneath the Anti- terrorism act. A good example is of Pakistan Telecommunication Organization Limited (PTCL), where the management of PTCL accused thirty-five union leaders and were charged beneath the anti-terrorism laws.

Research Objectives:

Based on the preliminary literature evaluation it can be concluded that there’s been little research completed on the trade unions and collective bargaining beneath the spotlight of frequent changes in the government regimes. As regarding Pakistan there has been a constant power struggle between the military and the political functions. So far there has been three military interventions resulting in military presidents in electricity from 1958 till 1971, 1977 till 1988 and the last one was arranged by Gen. Pervaiz Musharraf from 1999-2008. The regular shifts of the federal government systems have also resulted in different design of policies for the personnel in Pakistan.

Historically, the armed service regime in Pakistan had this policy of wearing down the trade unions in terms of their efficiency and the staff membership. This was because of the fact that the military vitality didn’t wanted the workers to arrange in any way as collectively, the employees can pose a danger to the military regime. Whereas, beneath the democratic program, the political functions allowed the trade unions to arrange the staff at least in the exclusive sector but still the political get-togethers would favour those unions, that may guarantee them an electoral vote in the next elections.

As it can be seen, it is fairly a unique situation in Pakistan about the role trade unions have to play. So far, almost all of the researches executed on trade unions and collective bargaining have already been carried out in created economies like UK, USA, Germany, Italy and Japan etc. These countries include stable governments usually having consisting employees polices.

Therefore, the aim of this research is to try out the union revival strategies and the function of collective bargaining in the individual banking sector of Pakistan. The research will give attention to previous literature and the study findings and will test the theories drawn from it under the spotlight of the initial situation in Pakistan. So, the aim of this research will be to explore the part of trade unions and collective bargaining in the banking sector conisdering the existing political environment of Pakistan and in what ways these functions have changed since the last military rule.

The study will be concentrating on Pakistan Worker’s Federation which happened through the merger of three trade unions of Pakistan, namely: All Pakistan Federation of Trade Unions (APFTU), All Pakistan Federation of Labour (APFOL) and Pakistan National Federation of Trade Unions (PNFTU). Regarding the work force, the research will also concentrate on the employees of a private bank in Pakistan to emphasize the workers attitudes towards the trade unions and collective bargaining.

The research will give attention to the following questions:

1. How will the trade union organize their workers currently in Pakistan?

2. In what techniques these actions have changed since beneath the military regime?

3. What are the views of managerial and non-managerial employees of a private lender on the trade unions?

4. What exactly are the opinions of the same mentioned staff on collective bargaining?

Research Design:

It is definitely a qualitative research focused on to describe and explain the techniques of trade union organizing and collective bargaining and the employees attitudes, behaviors and encounters involved in this process.

As mentioned before, in the context of the unique circumstance of Pakistan, an ontological job seems a proper paradigm as the reason to apply interviews in this analysis. This position means that the people perceptions, experiences, awareness, thoughts, analysis, and relations happen to be meaningful assets of the social fact, which the research problems are aimed to explore. Further more, the common/native dialect (Urdu and Pushto) used by the respondents and the researcher will provide a much better insight in discovering their views regarding the research questions.

The research will try to test all of the existing literatures about the union decline and revival and the process of collective bargaining by adopting

an iterative way. This will enable to identify new insights (if any) in to the existing subject area.

The mother nature of inquiry as stated before will likely be explanatory and descriptive. The unit of analysis will be based on the attitudes of managerial and non-managerial staff regarding the role of trade unions and collective bargaining. On the union’s side, the machine of analysis will be the ‘activities’ considered by the trade union so that you can tackle the fee of decline of its customers. It will focus on the actions used by the trade union in the last military rule and in today’s democratic government.

The research design will be a case study approach. Its focus can be instrumental, as this case study provides further insight on the previous theories of organizing trade unions and the collective bargaining. As already mentioned, this research will focus on a lender and a trade union. As stated by Yin (2003 cited in Bryman and Bell, 2007, p.64) this could be categorized as a single case study having the top features of “representative or a typical case” as it is aiming to explore a situation which is often exemplified to the businesses under consideration.

Such kind of design has already been used by the researchers such as for example Walters (1987), Wolf (1949) and Leopold and Jackson (1990).

One of the research site will be the “Pakistan’s Employees Federation”. This company is chosen because of the fact; it’s the single most significant trade union in Pakistan and having a membership greater than 880,000 workers in the united states. The second organization is going to be a private bank from the monetary sector. Specifically the personal bank is chosen simply because in the general public service sectors like Drinking water and Gas, Energy and Overall health etc, the workers do not have a right to form or associate with a union and hence therefore, no ideal of collective bargaining aswell.

Research Methods:

The research is likely to be based on semi-structured interviews. The reason for selecting this technique is because of the actual fact that it’ll allow to construct the interview questions predicated on the understanding from the previous literature and exploration done in neuro-scientific trade union organizing and collective bargaining. Simultaneously, it will allow the respondents to improve their own voice, encounters, knowledge and interpretations about the research questions. The qualitative interview permits the researcher to understand the phenomenon in mind from the additional person’s perspectives (Patton, 2002, p.341).

As highlighted by Bryman and Bell (2007), the semi-structured interviews are often related to qualitative studies and they should be flexible enough to search out the sights of respondents as well. The same authors (p.507) likewise outlined that tape-documented and than transcribed may be the appropriate method for a qualitative interview. Tape-recording methods are time keeping, provide scope for even more interaction and authentic account aswell.

In the case of trade unions, they will be more open to supply the feed back again whereas there could be some limitations regarding bank as a number of the employees may not provide reliable feed back again due to the sensitivity of their posture in the organization. Also the lack of time will not permit to conduct interviews with a large number of respondents.

Apart from interviews, a secondary data analysis will be utilized which would are the data collected by various other researchers. There are several advantages of secondary evaluation ( Bryman and Bell, 2007, p.328-334) such as in terms of cost and time, high quality data and offers an opportunity to re-analyze from a new interpretation. Some of the constraints of the secondary data examination (Bryman and Bell, 2007, p.334-336) will be the lack of familiarity with data as this info is not collected on first hands basis, its complexity as the data can be extremely large in terms of size and scope, the commercially financed research which might lack objectivity and the absence of variables which are of curiosity to the researcher. With that said, there seems to become a limited secondary data obtainable regarding the trade unions, collective bargaining and workers attitude in the context of Pakistan.

Sampling considerations:

The interviews will be conducted on the managerial personnel and companies across both genders in the trade union and also the bank. Since the focus of this research regarding the role of trade union organizing is normally extra strategic in nature so interviews will be also be conducted on the bigger managerial positions in the union. Whereas, interviews will come to be conducted on officers together with managerial levels in the lender in order to asses their attitude and behavior regarding the trade union and collective bargaining on several degrees of this organization.

As described by Liza, Michelle, Karen, Julie, Nicky and Jeanne (2007, p.541) ” the single research study is limited by a very small sample but it can offer interesting and important information about a setting”. For the purpose of this study a cluster sampling technique will be used. The employees in the bank will be categorized in conditions of their occupation, work, gender and their location in the hierarchy. When compared to a sample of around fifteen respondents will come to be selected to ensure that there can be the same representation across each clusters. As there may be a probability that a specific cluster can influence the outcomes of the research. For example, an employee who has just joined the bank could have different or lesser judgment regarding the union compared to employee who has worked in the same bank for more than five years.

The total number of respondents will become roughly 15-20 ranging across from both the organizations.

Methodological Considerations:


One of the issues of the qualitative research design and style as demonstrated by Bryman and Bell (2007, p.423) is that these are very difficult to generalize. The results of this research based on a research study approach; might not be applicable to the overall population. As the research study approach focuses on a small population in a particular work context such as the banking sector of Pakistan in this instance. The policies, work environment and attitudes may vary from one organization to another; therefore, it can’t be generalized to the whole population but at the same time stated by Bryman and Bell (2007, p.424), “the results of qualitative research will be to generalize to theory rather than to populations”. As the purpose of this research is to test out the theoretical debates and the prior researches completed on the revival of trade unions and collective bargaining, consequently, the findings of the research will be beneficial to provide a new insight in the current literature on the subject areas in focus.


The exploration will be in the beginning carried out through a comprehensive literature evaluation to supply a much better insight and interpretation about the decline and revivals of trade unions and collective bargaining beneath the context of diverse economies. It will provide an chance for better understanding of the theme of the analysis, as at current you will find a very limited literature on the specific context of Pakistan. As mentioned before, the sampling will probably be conducted on the category of theoretical sampling. The associates of the group will get chosen through cluster sampling to ensure that a thorough complete representation of the populace of the respective company and trade union may be accomplished.

Andreas (2003, p.82-83) complied different ways of various academics/researchers, which can be utilised to improve the reliability in a case study research. These are as follows:

To give full account of theories and thoughts for each research phase and record observations and activities as authentic as possible (LeCompte and Goetz, 1982).

Development and refinement of the case study protocol in the study design phase can be achieved by conducting some pilot studies, testing just how of questioning and its structure (Eisenhardt, 1989; Mitchell, 1993; Yin, 1994).

Record data by utilizing a tape recorder (Nair and Riege, 1995).

Use peer review/examination (LeCompte and Goetz, 1982).


The qualitative method may be the most appropriate one to be able to evaluate the knowledge, encounters, attitudes and behaviour, the conversation and perception regarding the topic under analysis. The semi-structured interviews will permit the researcher to devise the queries based on the previous literature and research results and a room for self expression and opinions elevated by the respondents will be looked at as well. The triangulation of interview tapes, docs and others can be utilised for protection against the study biasness (Flick, 1992; Perakayla, 1997 cited in Andreas, 2003). Reviewing of draft case study reports in the report-writing phase with the assistance of the research supervisor to change the blurred top features of the data analysis and the email address details are useful to enhance the validity aswell (Yin, 1994).


One of the constraints relating to this research may be the issue of time, since it does not permit to increase the scope and size of research. The other issue could be the age gap between your researcher and the respondents as a number of the respondents could possibly be too experienced and may underestimate the abilities of the researcher. Another constraint is definitely in conditions of budget, which can be in parallel with the time as well, since it will be difficult to carry out the interviews in the other branches of the bank and in the other regional headquarters of the trade union.

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