Britain’s economic performance can be traced or can be attributed to the reforms on legislation in the 1980s on industrial relations in the country. This legislation has had an effect on the trade unions which in effect has impacted the relations among the employers and their employees. In other countries, there also have been reforms in the employment sector in trying to increase the wage rates of the employees and also improving their working conditions. It has become a heated debate recently on whether the employers should be able to hire and fire according to their organizational needs, without interference from the Government or Unions (Hsieh 2006).
It should be noted that in every country, there are rules and ethics that govern the industries and for them to be licensed to operate in that country they must adhere to the set rules and regulations. These rules and regulations are contained in various legislations and are predetermined in such a way that each employing agent should familiarize with them first to be guided on the procedures, rights, freedoms and roles of the potential employees as well as their own rights, roles and freedoms in their business enterprises (Brown 1990).
Work ethics demand value in the workplace that is based on virtues of diligence and hard work in order to add value to the wealth of the owners of the business and on the part of the owners to reward the employees’ determination with better pay and good working conditions. These rewards should be based on the worker’s ability to meet the expectations of the employer by maintaining and improving his/her skills and hence the excellent workers are given promotions which come with more responsibilities. On the other hand, if the workers do not exhibit their work diligence, the employer may feel that the employee is adding any value to the business enterprise since he/she is not reciprocating the fair value for the rewards and hence such an employee cannot qualify for additional responsibilities and promotions (Hsieh 2006).
It is at the discretion of the employer to either fire this employee at will or retain him/her but with little benefits. As to such, there are certain contracts that the employer and the employee signed that bind them both before the start of the work and hence this should act as the guiding rule as to procedures of either employee dismissal or promotions. Should that fail to work, the government and trade unions should intervene so that justice is done on either side.
The rules that govern the relations in the industries are determined whether the businesses are operating in the market-based environment or socialist environment. As to both cases, the government has some degree of interference (Hsieh 2006).
Industrial relations mean the relationship between the worker/employees and the management/employers and especially in a situation where these workers are members of a trade union. This relationship helps to analyze the various rights of both the employees and the employers. This relationship also helps us to know how the employers introduce changes in their businesses and how their employees adapt to these changes without jeopardizing their relationship; whether in the short-run or in the long run. These industrial relations are set by the governments through the framework of legislation and regulations. Typical legislation is the one that sets rules governing wrongful firing/dismissal and minimum wage rates (Brian et al).
In any workplace, the relations are determined by the theories that underlay the industrial relations which are the Marxist theory, pluralism and the unitary theories. The theory that I intend to critique is pluralism where we have two groups conflicting to conflicting objectives and needs. These two groups are the trade unions together with the government championing the rights of workers and on the other side of the divide, the trade union as well as the government fighting for the management. In either case, we have the employees on one side who are deemed to be legitimately represented by the government through the trade unions and the employers on the other (Brown 1990).
Due to such conflicts, the employers have no rights that make them be able to hire and fire according to their organizational needs, without interference from the Government or Unions. Hence justice management comes in to save the situation. This justice is designed in such a manner to help in the allocation of the responsibilities and resources of the economic activities in the business enterprises (Hsieh 2006). A trade union and sometimes referred to as a labour union is an association of workers who have come together for collective goals of improving their working environments by bargaining for better wages, better working conditions and minimum working hours with better pay, among other goals.
The trade union represents the employees and enter into dialogue with the employers on behalf of the employees. The negotiations are many; from wage, negotiations to work policies and hiring and dismissal of the employees by their employers (Brian et al).
These trade unions are organized as a general trade union that acts as an umbrella to other specific industrial trade unions or these trade unions could be many, each fighting for the rights of specific industrial workers. In many cases, these unions act as the government agents in controlling the welfare of the employees and they are sometimes given juristic power to hear and determine cases that arise in the industries that they represent. Such trade unions have been bestowed which particular legal rights that enable them to negotiate on behalf of the workers with the employers in a way that they come into binding agreements. If the demands of these unions are not met, witness strikes where the workers “lay down their tools of work” until their bargains are heard (Brian et al).
Good Industrial relations act as motivators in industry, job security being one of the pressing issues in any employment. For good relations to thrive in any industry, employers and employees have to sit at the same table and negotiate instead of employers having their way all the time without consulting the employees. These negotiations should take place at all levels of management no matter the worker’s rank; whether top-level management or subordinate staff, in an organization since all workers, in all the big companies, have developed what is known as a teamwork-based environment. This makes all the workers equal. If such is the case in any organization, strikes that come to disrupt industrial operations will be minimized since the workers will not feel inferior and feel as if their efforts are not recognized (Hsieh 2006).
If workers are dismissed at the will of the employers, we would have a situation in the economy where there is more people are unemployed and hence forcing the government to add to its expenditure in order to provide for the jobless. To avoid such situations, there is a need for government interference. The employers have no right of denying the workers the opportunity of participating in the work of their choice that taps their potentials in meaningful and productive ways (Hsieh 2006).
The employers also should not act in such a manner to dehumanize their employees by inhuman dismissals and discriminating some workers and hence prejudicing on their learning process of developing their skills. Employers should not at any one time have a feeling that they are doing any favour to their workers but in fact, they should treat them with love and considerations. This is because the owners of the business enterprise cannot perform on their own without some help from the outsiders whom they should reward abundantly. This is guided by the fact that the workers and their employers enjoy mutual benefits (Hsieh 2006).
Man is a human and a social being. With that, every party to this character should be involved whenever a decision concerning the workplace, the environment, the economy and the socio welfare all parties should be involved in the process of making such a decision for mutual sustainability. If the workers are hired and fired at the will of the management because they feel that they have power over the economically disadvantaged people, the government and trade unions should react in trying to restore equality in society. In addition, democracy is what is being pursued by every character in this world and as to such, democracy must prevail in the workplaces. Democracy calls for majority rule (employer) but also giving way to the few (employee) (Dirk).
There are no sacred cows when it comes to matters of justice. Every worker and every employer are guided by law and hence each deserves justice and protection whenever there is injustice. The law guarantees the safety of every citizen from unlawful dismissal and discrimination. Such privileges can only be guaranteed if there is government interference if it is deemed that these privileges are being denied. The employer does not operate his/her business in a vacuum but in an environment where rules and regulations should be followed (Jeff et al 128).
It is also a known and generally accepted policy within any form of government to provide its citizen’s employment. Since this is not practically possible, other third parties provide a bulk of citizens with work opportunities. The government should be in a position of making sure that good employment practices are upheld by limiting the excessive powers of employers. This is achieved by ensuring that acceptable employer practices are observed and hence the government might be forced to interfere in organizational decisions. The government on the other hand cannot leave the responsibility of formulating policies for individual enterprises since they would be making policies that only suit their organizations and hence lack uniformity in the running of the business sector (Dirk).
Individual employers do not take part in international trade conventions but the government represents the employers and the employees and thus it is the responsibility of the government to uphold the deliberated standards during such conventions. The international labour organization which is the umbrella of all other trade unions in the world sets standards that must be adhered to and hence the local/national trade union should ensure that these standards are maintained. They have no option but to intervene where such violations of the employees’ rights are jeopardized. In many circumstances, the trade unions are formed by industrial workers who are semi-skilled and it is not a wonder that they might not know their rights. The trade unions and government should represent such workers (Dirk).
Whenever there is no rapport between the employees and the employers the productivity goes down. In such circumstances, the organization will forever have a high employee’s turnover which adds to the cost of training. The reputation of such a firm deteriorates and even the customer of such a business organization becomes disloyal and looks for other enterprises where their employees are treated with dignity (Jeff et al 128).
On the other side of the fence, employees are not that immune to such treatments of employer’s dismissals at will. In management theory, employers should sometimes in ways that are unprecedented by the employees because the employer also has some rights that are designed to protect him/her. An employee might engage him/herself in activities that are not beneficial to the enterprise causing the management to incur losses. Should such an employee was not a member of any trade union, there is no way any trade union can interfere with the affairs of this enterprise (Douglas et al 238).
Employers should be given a chance to exercise their power whenever there is a violation of rules in the business’s goals. If a manager fears that if he/she fires an employee the government or trade union will interfere, unsatisfactory performance by a worker will affect the business whereas another worker would have been hired and the one who is not performing well being fired. Though justice management points out the benefits of or importance of employer’s sensitivity in dealing with the workers, surprises at the workplace are important to keep the employees at their heels every time for better and higher productivity (Douglas et al 238).
Justice management in the workplace tries to determine whether employees are treated with dignity, respect and value that they deserve. If such morals are not present in any organization then the rights of employees will have been violated and this calls for government and trade union interference. There should be procedures of a worker’s dismissal, promotion, demotion and hiring. The organizations should also have a system of communication and not just mere verbal communication. This will ensure that the employees are given time to table their views before any action is taken on them. Justice demands that in case of dismissal, both the employer and the employee should be listened to in order to pass a fair judgment and if this is not possible the trade union and the government should come in (Douglas et al 238).
injustices may not actually affect the person on whom injustice is being done, but indirectly it may affect other people that are related to him or her. It is common knowledge that there are workers who like feeding on others’ sweat and at the same time there are employers who are very bossy in the workplaces. These two issues contradict and fairness in judgment is called for. It does not imply that since the employer owns the organization, he/she will adhere to the rule of law in dealing with the employees. In addition, a person (worker) who sees him/herself as being immune to injustices since he/she is protected by the trade union does not guarantee justice in the course of doing business. To arrive at justice, it might call for union or government’s interference (Jeff et al 128).
Most of the recent unions are a result of injustices that have griped the working places around the world. As to such, mechanisms had to be found out on ways of solving the workplace disputes in a just way. Unions also came to fight for the worker’s rights and their interests in order to be efficient in their production activities. Justice management is meant to protect the employers and their employees and at the same time supporting them. This justice is not subject to manipulation since it is meant to cover all the employees and employers’ actions without unlimited access to the same (Dirk).
In conclusion, we can argue against the idea of any employer hiring and firing his/her employees according to the organizational needs, without the interference of the trade unions or the government.
Nien-hê Hsieh (2006). Justice, management, and governance: Corporate Governance, 6 , 261-267.
Brown W. (1990). The Economic Effects of Industrial Relations Legislation since 1979: National Institute Economic Review,131, 57-70.
Douglas M. C, David I. L. Product Quality and Pay Equity between Lower-Level Employees and Top Management: An Investigation of Distributive Justice Theory: Administrative Science Quarterly, 37, 238-266.
Jeff A. G, Brian H. K. (2002). How companies can downsize legally. Managerial Law (Vol. 44, pp. 128 – 135) Barmarick Publications
Dirk D. S, et Marilena B. The Contributions of Organizational Justice Theory to Combating Discrimination. Web.
Brian C. M, Melissa S. A, et al. Scientists’ Perceptions of Organizational Justice and Self-Reported Misbehaviors. Web.