Dynamics of employment relations & employee unionization in banking industry.

AuthorAhmad, Javid


Employees unions play an important role in influencing the relationship between employees and the management. It has been considered that for smooth employee-management relationship, a collectivistic representational approach towards managing employees is better (Ray, 2004). Employees unions have been considered a force to check the unilateral power of management in employment relationship (Seth, 1993a; Nulty, 1993)

The right to unionize to employees of all cadres and categories is now formally and legally sanctioned in almost all countries of the world.

However, owing to internationalization of economic activities in the wake of increased globalization of production and liberalization of world trade and the consequent emergence of global level competition among firms putting pressure on employers to perform better to survive, emergence of the wave of proactive human resource management practices bestowing dominant role to employers in the employment relations system, decreasing size of conventional manufacturing industries and the emergence of service industries employing skilled and more educated employees, unprecedented advancements in technology and its larger use in industries, major restructuring of industries and downsizing of permanent workforce, decline in the size of public sector and expansion in private sector, emergence of non-unions firms, shortening of product life cycle, changing profile of employees have changed the role and effectiveness of trade unions. (Kochan and Mare, 1994; Gannon and Nollen, 1997; Rojot, 1992, Mankidy, 1998, Sharma and Joshi, 2001; Ghosh, 1995; Saini, 2003).

The advances in the field of technology have been affecting every sphere of life including employment relations. The innovative production techniques of lean production have given management the option to engage casual, contractual and part-time workforce and outsourcing of organization's non- core activities and processes have reduced dependence on permanent workforce and eased the management of workforce. Technological changes have fostered decentralized enterprise level bargaining as issues are now enterprise specific and the setting up of ancillary units or farming out business to vendors, setting up multi-site production locations, shifting production to green-site locations and automation of operations have resulted in the shifting of union power from national federations to enterprise level unions (Ratnam, 1994:30).

Owing to...

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